From creating a solid morning routine, to implementing stellar productivity and time management systems, to prioritizing your physical and mental health, to exercising consistent self-discipline, there are many small – but meaningful – habits you can adopt to propel yourself towards success. Whether you’re a college student, entrepreneur, or trying to climb the corporate ladder like a boss, implementing these habits of successful people will have a compounding effect on multiple aspects of your life, allowing you to reach your fullest potential each and every day!
11 Habits of Successful People
1. THEY WAKE UP EARLY
One of the most well-known habits of successful people is that they wake up early, which allows them to focus on important tasks (exercise, preparing for an important meeting, etc.) before other people/things start to pull at them. Waking up early also ensures they are always prepared for whatever their day holds, and that they are never late.
2. THEY DON’T PRESS SNOOZE
While pressing the snooze button sounds luxurious, research shows it can actually cause us to feel more exhausted. We tend to fall into a deep sleep after pressing the snooze button on our alarm clocks, and the sleep-wake-sleep cycle this creates causes us to feel groggy and lethargic instead of awake and refreshed. Successful people know this, and set their alarms for the time they actually need to get out of bed, allowing their bodies to benefit from uninterrupted, quality sleep.
3. THEY DON’T PROCRASTINATE
Successful people tackle their least desirable/hardest task first thing in the morning when their energy is high, and they focus on those tasks without distraction until they have been completed. Prioritizing your hardest tasks instead of procrastinating on them allows you to embrace the remainder of your day feeling lighter and more accomplished, and also affords you additional time for activities that bring you joy. It’s one of the most effective habits of successful people and an excellent time management skill!
4. THEY RESIST DISTRACTIONS
When it comes to the habits of successful people, this one may seem small, but it makes a huge difference in terms of productivity and time management. Successful people take charge of their calendar to ensure they aren’t wasting their time on pointless meetings, they delegate wherever possible to ensure they can focus on their most important tasks and use their time more effectively, they avoid social media, they set aside time to respond to emails, and they avoid other time-wasters so they can concentrate on higher-value activities.
5. THEY SET MEASURABLE GOALS
While researching the habits of successful people, I expected to find a lot of tips surrounding planning and time management skills. I envisioned a list of different planners and productivity hacks designed to help people accomplish as much as possible in a short amount of time. As it turns out, successful people are more focused on setting and achieving clear, measurable goals. They know what their purpose is, and have a roadmap to help them get to where they want to be. Rather than getting bogged down in the minutia of day-to-day tasks, they focus only on the tasks that merry up to their long-term vision, and they take the time along the way to check-in, measure their success, and make changes if needed.
6. THEY DON’T MULTITASK
While it feels great to knock a million items off your never-ending list of things to do each day, successful people know that multitasking can actually make you less effective with your time. The key to productivity is to do fewer things for more effect instead. Focusing on ONE task at a time allows you to be more efficient, and enables you to give 100% of your effort.
7. THEY PRIORITIZE THEIR PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
When we visualize highly successful people, we have a tendency to assume that they work around the clock, leaving little to no time for them to take care of themselves, let alone spend time with family and friends. You may be surprised to hear that this is typically not the case. One of the best habits of successful people is that they prioritize their physical and emotional health. The eat well, exercise regularly, get ample sleep, and engage in activities to help reduce their stress levels, like meditating and practicing daily gratitude.
8. THEY NEVER STOP LEARNING
Successful people are always learning. Instead of getting lost in their social media feeds or zoning out to a movie during their downtime, they are usually reading, listening to podcasts, or doing something else to broaden their knowledge about the things they are passionate about.
Pssst. If you’re trying to adopt some or all of these habits of successful people, I highly recommend the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.
It’ll help you break bad habits, develop good habits, and make tiny changes that lead to significant, long-lasting change.
9. THEY PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Have you ever noticed that successful people tend to be positive thinkers? Many people assume their half-glass-full attitude is a result of their success, but their positivity is actually one of the reasons they’ve managed to be successful in the first place. By taking the time to write down the things that bring them joy each day, they train their brain to focus on the good instead of the bad. Keeping a daily gratitude journal takes very little time, but it’s one of my favorite habits of successful people as it can make a huge difference in shaping your life. It reminds you to see the good in everything and everyone.
10. THEY ARE VERY DISCIPLINED
Successful people are extremely disciplined. They understand that in order to reach their goals, they need to be consistent, and that nothing is going to be handed to them on a silver platter. They have a long-term vision of where they want to go and what they want to achieve, and an action plan to help them get there, and they are unwavering in the pursuit of their goals. They make sacrifices and persevere in the face of adversity.
11. THEY DON’T PLAY THE VICTIM
The final item on my list of habits of successful people is all about ownership. Successful people take accountability for their lives, and they never play the victim. Instead of deflecting blame when something doesn’t work out the way they intended it to, they assess what went wrong, what they can learn from the experience, and move forward. They aren’t afraid of failure!
I hope these habits of successful people inspire you to show up as the best version of yourself each and every day. Remember to set measurable goals, to keep learning, to stop procrastinating and avoid distractions, to prioritize your physical and emotional health, to stay grateful, to take accountability and ownership over your life, and to reach for your goals unapologetically!