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Highly successful people don’t become successful overnight, and if they do, chances are they don’t stay at the top without good daily habits to keep them on track.
When you set habits that you practice every day (like the habits of successful people), you live a life of intent, which includes making conscious decisions, setting goals, finding your purpose, and letting go of whatever doesn’t serve you or bring you joy.
If you want to be a high achiever and not just an average Joe or Jane, stop coasting and start living with intent. The road to success starts right now with great daily habits to help you stay ahead in life and business.
You may wonder what those daily habits are. Luckily for you, I have all the best ones to get you started right here.
What Are Daily Habits?
A daily habit is behavior, a routine, or an action you consistently practice every day. You could have good or healthy daily habits, such as making your bed, and you may also have bad or unhealthy daily habits, such as smoking or drinking two bottles of wine every night.
Why Does a Good Daily Habit Lead to Success?
Committing to practicing healthy daily habits can help you be successful, and you may need to be mindful of the unhealthy ones that hold you back or sabotage your efforts to achieve greatness.
Continuously and consistently practicing a healthy habit helps you meet and exceed any goals that you’ve set. These goals could be personal, relationship, professional, or spiritual in nature.
But how do daily habits set you up for success?
When you commit to a healthy habit, you free up brain capacity to make better decisions. When you get into the habit of something like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, your brain automatically helps you choose the stairs every time.
As such, you aren’t inundated with more decisions to make, which is
overwhelming and uses brain power you can rather use to work toward the success you want to achieve.
With more brain power for the important stuff, you are set and focused to really do your best work, and you are more likely to stay on track, even when challenges arise.
How to Create Good Daily Habits That Stick
Choosing a daily habit is easier than sticking to it. It takes at least three weeks or 21 days for an action or behavior to become a habit and at least three months or 90 days of continuously committing to it for the habit to become ingrained in your lifestyle.
Follow these best tips to help you build and stick to a daily habit so you can reap the benefits and success that comes with it:
21 Best Daily Habits of Successful People
Ready to know what the best daily habits of successful people are?
I’ve got 21 of the best habits you can practice daily if you want to be a highly successful person.
1. Make a Daily To-Do List
Successful people are busy, and I’m sure they have a lot of things to think about. Just how do they keep track of what needs doing and revising – in their personal and business life?
The answer is quite simple. A to-do list.
You may stress about the small stuff, while you actually need to be focusing on the bigger responsibilities. So to help set you up for success, make a to-do list every day.
You can do this while you have your morning coffee or while you commute to work. Note the small stuff that weighs on your mind but doesn’t need doing now in one column and the bigger stuff that’s urgent and needs doing today in another column.
When you’ve written the small to-do items, you won’t feel so distracted because you know they are on a list (and you won’t forget about them) and you can get to them when you’ve tackled the more significant initiatives.
Use a to-do list app to help you get things done (and so you always have your to-do list with you).
2. Decide on Your Purpose for the Day
The daily habit of deciding on your purpose for the day goes hand in hand with creating a to-do list. When you focus on your daily purpose every day, ask yourself this essential question:
It can be that you need to book flight tickets, have a meeting with your team about the next steps, or you may simply need to check in with your best friend.
Make this project or task a priority for today, and make sure you get it done. The sooner, the better (and then you can focus on getting the rest of your to-do list done). After all, a high achiever knows what’s important and urgent, and they make sure to take action.
3. Get Active
You may live a highly sedentary lifestyle, and this isn’t good for your health. When you are in pain or sick, going after success becomes even more challenging than when you are healthy and able.
Successful people know that “a healthy body = a healthy mind.”
So get moving. Choose the stairs, park further away and walk to the grocery store, or make sure you work out at least once a day. You can even add little “exercise snacks” throughout your day: 5–10 minutes here and there where you stretch or jump on a rebounder.
Exercise will help you manage stress, clear your mind, boost productivity, and improve your energy levels, all of which helps you to be more successful.
4. Stick to a Morning Routine
High achievers have a winning morning routine they stick to, which helps improve their health while also ensuring they start their day with intention. Your morning is the only part of the day that you pretty much always have complete control over since the rest of the day usually runs away with you if you aren’t careful.
I know that hitting the snooze button 5 times or setting 10 alarms to get you up in the morning doesn’t set you up for success. In fact, it makes oversleeping a high possibility, and that 10 minutes where you think you’ll catch up on some Zs only make you feel more exhausted when you do have to get up (and can’t postpone it any longer).
Before you can stick to a morning routine, remember that it needs to work for you.
And then consider:
Create a morning routine around key factors that affect your morning, and tweak it until it works for you.
5. Spend Quality Time with Those Who Matter
Highly successful people don’t just work, work, work. They have people in their inner circle who matter to them. When you spend time with your loved ones (family and friends), you recharge, gain new perspectives, learn things, and relax.
Quality time with those who matter to you helps fill your cup and feed your soul, which gives you the strength to keep going and go after your dreams of success.
Make time for family hobbies, call your bestie, and go to Sunday lunch with your folks.
6. Remember to Take Breaks
You can’t stay productive and on task when you keep on working and never take a break. You’ll only end up exhausted, which can – so easily – lead to burnout.
Taking a break helps you relax and refresh your mind, and it also gives you an energy boost – if you spend your break correctly.
You can scroll through social media or watch funny rabbit videos on YouTube, but ensure you also go for a quick walk, drink water, catch up with a colleague, and maybe tick off an easy and small responsibility item on your to-do list.
7. Stay Up to Date With Business and Industry Trends
Successful people make it their business to know the ins and outs of their company and industry. That’s how you stay ahead of the curve, or at least, don’t get left behind.
Your daily habit should be to learn something new every day. It could be something small about your profession, the side hustle you want to start, or the new career path you want to follow.
Set aside 10 minutes to an hour a day to learn.
You can see what’s trending in your niche in the news; read books, articles, research papers, and essays; listen to podcasts and influencers; watch documentaries and TED Talks, or research how you can up your skills, get into your new line of work, and so on.
8. Don’t Forget About the Small Milestones; Work Toward Them
It’s the small milestones that set you up to achieve your overall goal. So while you should keep the big picture in mind (that’s your goal), keep working toward the smaller goals too.
Your daily habit is to spend X time on this small goal a day. If you want to write a novel, ensure you write 100–300 words a day or work on the plot or character development. Keep practicing and build your confidence, and soon, you’ll achieve success.
9. Reflect on Your Day
Those people who enjoy success reflect on their day, and you should too. At the end of the day, after dinner, while you wash the dishes, or prepare what you need for the next day, take a moment to reflect.
You can journal about your day, which also helps you keep track of the small and big victories. You can even use a journal or diary app to help you reflect and keep track of your daily thoughts and activities.
10. Make Time for Your Mental Health
It’s important to look after your mental health, and you can only do that when you make time for it. “Me time” or practicing self-care helps you manage stress, boost your energy, and improve your overall health.
Since those who are successful use lots of brain power to make important decisions, it’s essential that they invest in their mental health so they can continue to focus on what’s important.
Make time for your mental health by:
11. Maximize Your Productivity
High achievers typically have loads of things to do, and to get through their to-do lists, they need to be as productive as possible. You need to maximize your time and learn the art of productivity if you want to be successful in this life.
There are various ways you can be more productive:
12. Promote Positivity
If you want to be successful, you need to incorporate positivity in your daily life. In fact, positivity is a root cause of success because what (and how) you think has a direct impact on your actions, which determines success or failure.
Make thinking positively a daily habit: Anticipate success, health, and joy, and don’t expect the worst. Use the law of attraction and manifest success to create a positive feedback loop so more good things can enter your life.
13. Eliminate Small Decisions
When you have too many choices and have to make many decisions every day, decision overwhelm or decision fatigue can easily set in, bringing you to a standstill as you feel mentally and emotionally drained.
So make a daily habit of eliminating “small” decisions that don’t have a huge impact in your life. This will decrease how many choices you have and improve your decision-making process.
Get rid of small decisions by:
14. Continuously Work on Finding Balance in Life
Is there anyone who has actually achieved a perfect work-life balance and maintained it? I think not.
A work-life balance that’s right for me isn’t right for you, and this brings to mind something Sadhguru said:
There is no such thing as work-life balance – it is all life. The balance has to be within you.”
Alain de Botton believes that “everything worth fighting for unbalances your life,” and Jack Welch agrees when he said that “there are work-life choices” you make, and every choice has a consequence you’ve got to live with.
A person who has achieved success knows this to be true. They don’t strive for a work-life balance; instead, they work on having a balance – whether that’s focusing on their work goals so they can be financially independent and then spend time with their loved ones, or making time for their family while also prioritizing work.
Choose to find the balance every day, and make this your habit.
15. Keep Track of How You Can Do Better
If you want to be successful, it’s high time that you start keeping track of your habits, goals, achievements, and failures. You want to look at where you can improve, streamline projects and processes, and be more efficient.
You’d also want to focus inward and work on yourself so you can be better.
You can journal or use a habit tracking and building app to stay on task and improve.
16. Pay It Forward
Many successful people are also well-known philanthropists (think Oprah and Bill Gates), and they make a concerted effort to pay it forward, serve others, and share their time and money, whether they are volunteering, donating money to a charitable organization, or helping others in another way.
When you pay it forward and practice a habit of giving, you attract success.
17. Be Thrifty
Many successful people have a habit of thriftiness with their time, money, and resources. They are economical in their spending to avoid waste, which increases efficiency.
They are careful with how they use their resources so they can spend their time on tasks and people who matter and their money on essentials.
When you don’t overspend and are frugal, you save money, time, and resources, which helps you succeed.
18. Work on Your Growth Mindset
A quality most high achievers have in common is having a growth mindset. Of course, you need to actively make a choice to see abundance every day.
Cultivate your growth mindset to help you succeed by:
19. Get Up Early
Many successful people, like Sir Richard Branson, Marissa Mayer, and Robert Igor, have joined the “Early Riser’s Club.” When you choose to get up early, you have more time to devote to your success.
So get into the daily habit of rising earlier (say 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.) to work on your goals and smaller milestones.
20. Eat Nutritious Food
A great daily habit that makes you more successful is when you choose healthy food that nourishes your mind and body. Nutritious meals boost immunity, keep your energy levels up (which makes you more productive), and keep disease at bay.
I get it that life gets busy, and choosing convenient fast foods is the easier option, so start meal planning and take an evening to prep your meals for the week. Pack healthy snacks when you get the munchies, fill your water bottle, and stick to a routine when it comes to mealtimes.
21. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude helps set you up for success because you feel better, appreciate good experiences, build stronger relationships, and deal better with adversity.
Best of all, you can set aside 5–10 minutes a day to practice gratitude by:
Final Thoughts on Habits of Successful People
A successful person needs to constantly work on their success. There will always be obstacles and challenges in life that need navigating.
Success becomes your future with the right daily habits… so start now with creating a to-do list, practicing gratitude, getting up early, paying it forward, exercising, and making time for work and family. These all may seem like small things, but will make a huge impact!
Looking for more daily habit ideas? Why don’t you check out our list of 35 good daily habit examples so you can stay organized and make healthy choices?
Or, maybe you have a few unhealthy habits you need to break? In that case, here’s our 27-step guide on how to break your bad habits.
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.