Daily Habits of Highly Successful People
The most successful people all have certain habits in their daily routines. These habits help contribute to their success and can be considered good habits to form for yourself.
As you read about the following daily habits of successful people, think about which habits you can incorporate into your daily routines and thought patterns.
Plan Your Day The Night Before
Planning your day the night before is one of the habits of successful people that I use every day, and it has contributed greatly to my achievements.
You can use this simple life hack to improve your personal and business productivity. It can be applied to anything from getting your daily chores done to planning your work day and reaching your long-term goals.
One of the habits of prosperous people is that they start their day working from to-do lists. Every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.
Review Your Goals
Your daily to-do list should always be a reflection of your long-term and short-term goals. If you’re working on your goals every day, you will accomplish them. If you’re not, they are simply good ideas that you may or may not take action on at some point.
This is one of the main reasons most people do not accomplish their goals. While they may be initially motivated to take action when first launching a new goal, the routine is soon lost when the excitement wears off or inevitable roadblocks come up.
However, highly successful people are constant goal-setters and goal achievers.
So the first step to creating a successful routine is to establish your goals if you have not already. Think about what you want to accomplish in your life, both professionally and personally. Create SMART goals that are specific, relevant, and time-bound.
Write your goals down and always have them in a place you can refer to every day, whether that is your journal, a vision board, a goal-setting app, or a document on your computer.
Make Your To-Do List
With your goals in mind, sit down with a piece of paper and write down everything you need to do the coming day.
If for any reason you do not do this in the evenings, it should be the first thing you do every morning. When you write a list you have a track to run on.
Writing a list clarifies your thinking and goals. It also forces you to think at a higher level.
If you start working from to-do lists, you increase your output by 25% each day.
Prioritize Your Tasks
With your list for the day ahead in hand, now it is time to organize your daily routine by ranking your tasks in order of importance.
Work from the 80/20 rule. If you have 10 items on your list of things to do, two will be more important than all of the other items put together. Your most important tasks are the ones that will get you the closest to achieving your goals.
You can also go down your list and answer the question, “If I were to be called out of town for a month, what are the most essential tasks that I must accomplish now?”
Some time ago I was out of the country traveling across 15 countries in 36 days. When I looked at my list of things to do before I left, I had to get the most crucial tasks done, this is also called eating that frog.
Once you identify these most essential tasks, be sure to begin your workday with them before your time is eaten up by all of the other things you must accomplish in your busy day.
Maintaining the daily habit of prioritizing the tasks that are directly related to your goals will have a huge impact on your prosperity.
Establish a Morning Routine
The way you start your day has a major influence on how the rest of the day will go. While the specific morning routines of successful people vary greatly, the essential part to focus on is developing an effective morning routine of your own.
If you have a habit of hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock too many times, or you wake up with just enough time to wash up, eat a quick bite and run out the door, consider getting up one hour early or even two. You’ll notice a significant difference in your daily routine.
Get Up Early
Starting the day early allows you to get a fresh start on the day. Just as the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm, some of the most productive hours of your day will be in the morning.
There are many benefits to being an early riser, including more time to yourself, more time to exercise and eat a nutritious breakfast, and spending less time in traffic if you plan to leave for work early.
Getting up before 5 a.m. is one of the daily habits of successful people like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Benjamin Franklin, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey.
In the quiet hours of the morning, take time to meditate to gain greater mental clarity throughout the day.
Meditation allows your body to relax and your mind to be calm. When your mind is at ease, you can think more clearly and make better decisions than if you’re in a prolonged state of stress and worry.
Meditation facilitates creative thinking. You can meditate at any time during the day, but adding it to your morning routine puts you on the right path to being able to stay focused, completing your best creative work, and setting yourself up for success.
Fuel Your Body
While a cup of coffee and a piece of toast may be a tempting way to start your day, take the time to add a healthy breakfast to your morning routine.
Not only will a good breakfast fuel your body, but it can boost your mental alertness, problem-solving ability, concentration, and memory.
Breakfast does not have to be big to be effective. A fruit smoothie is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. A bowl of fortified cereal with milk will improve your digestion and keep your heart and bones strong and vibrant.
Be sure to add a glass of water to your morning routine. Drinking water carries oxygen to your cells and significantly affects your brain function and energy levels.
Many successful people add exercise to their morning routines. Staying active is an essential aspect of self-care and positive well-being.
Fuel Your Mind
Successful entrepreneurs make a habit of reading. Influential people like Jeff Bullus, Daniel Scocco, and Bill Gates are voracious readers, setting aside time in their daily or morning routines to read books.
Fuel your mind with inspirational content such as daily affirmations, motivational quotes, and uplifting articles. The positive content you choose for the morning pages of your daily reading will set the tone for a positive day.
Include Family Time
People generally measure your love for them by the quality of time you spend with them. While you may not have much time, the time you devote to your family should be meaningful. They are usually, after all, the reason you do all that you do during the day.
Spend time with the people that mean the most to you as part of your morning routine. You might choose to work out with them, eat breakfast together, discuss an inspirational message with each other, or have a conversation.
Follow Good Values
Successful people share a set of core values that include having a positive attitude, prioritizing self-care, taking responsibility for their own path to achievement, and being organized.
While many of us think of material wealth or status as being successful, the most successful people define success differently, based on values, such as being happy, content, and healthy.
Highly successful people value freedom, peace of mind, balance, good friendships and relationships, and personal fulfillment.
When you spend your time, energy, and focus on these or similar values, you’re more likely to attain real success in life.
Successful people practice gratitude. They do not expect life to hand them success; they make plans and work for it, feeling genuinely grateful for each opportunity they receive and each challenge they experience.
Being thankful is a trait you can cultivate daily with the simple act of writing down three things you’re grateful for each day. Studies show that those who keep a gratitude journal have lower rates of anxiety and depression and experience more joy and satisfaction.
Positive thinking and gratitude go hand in hand. As you build habits of looking on the bright side instead of complaining and counting your blessings instead of listing where you’re falling short, you will naturally cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
In turn, the more grateful you’re, the easier it will be for your thoughts, words, and actions to be positive.
Sharing with others is also among the habits of successful people. Successful people do not keep their wisdom and knowledge to themselves. Instead, they mentor, counsel, and uplift others so they too can achieve their dreams and goals.
The most successful people understand that victory in life is not a competition: everyone in the world can achieve a high level of success without taking away from the well-being of others. There are enough opportunities to go around for everyone to enjoy fulfillment.
Focus on sharing your talents, time, experience, knowledge, and lessons you have learned along the way with others.
Develop Good Time Management Skills
On a typical day, you have many choices of what to do with your time. And there are not enough hours in the week to do everything you may want to do. Therefore, you need to manage your time wisely to be the most successful.
Know Your Priorities and Focus on Them
Your goals are an offshoot of your priorities. In other words, you should create your life goals based on the things that are most important to you, whether that is being a bestselling author, having a happy family, owning a business, winning a triathlon, or becoming financially independent.
Once you define your priorities, it is essential to protect them. That means not letting distractions or other tasks, events, or endeavors get in the way of what is most important.
That will require you at times to say no to good things so you can focus on even better things. It also means tuning out negative thoughts that can detract you from your path.
Complete the Most Important Daily Task First
Begin your work day on your most important task and focus on it until completion.
Larger projects can often be broken down into several smaller jobs. Organize your jobs in sequential order in a checklist, and then start on your most important project at the top of your list.
Completing the smaller jobs in your project until the entire project is finished is one of the most powerful things that you can use in managing your time. You can increase your productivity by 50% by planning, starting, and completing your most crucial tasks every single day.
Having a busy day and having a successful day are not synonymous. While it may be tempting to think you will save time by doing more than one thing at a time, multitasking actually lowers your productivity.
you’re not able to give your full attention to one task, so your output tends to be lower quality. Forcing your mind to switch between tasks is also inefficient and leads to mistakes and fatigue.
Avoid multitasking by giving your full attention to the task at hand. This includes communicating with coworkers, friends, and family members. When you’re in a conversation, be present and give your full attention to the person.
Likewise, give your full attention to the item on your list you’re currently working on. You will find you’re able to check the items off of your list more quickly and of higher quality.
Similarly, remove unnecessary distractions from your daily routine and from your life in general.
Distractions come in many forms, from negative thoughts and time-wasting social media scrolls to chatting with coworkers in the office during work hours to unnecessary conference room meetings to not properly taking care of your health so your energy wanes.
Take time to audit your daily habits to identify the distractions that may be keeping you from achieving the type of and level of success you’re looking for. Have the self-discipline to make the changes you need to remove these distractions and build habits that will catapult you to success.
Learn From Others
Just as it is important for you to share your knowledge with others, it is also essential to learn from the successes and mistakes of those who have gone before you.
Daily habits of successful people include being lifelong learners.
When you have a task to accomplish, a problem to solve, or a goal to reach, learn all you can through research, observation, and asking questions so you can find the best possible approaches and solutions in an efficient amount of time.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
For each goal you have, chances are someone else has tried to accomplish it. The world is full of wisdom and knowledge that you can learn from to gain an edge on achieving success.
If you want to increase sales in your department, for example, find out what your competitors are doing to gain and retain customers, improve product quality, and market their services.
If need to boost morale among your employees, research effective strategies until you find the ones that pertain most closely to your work environment.
Observe People Who Inspire You
Imitation is one of the greatest compliments, and imitating the successful habits of people you look up to is a foundational skill that will move you towards your own success.
Think about the people in your life that are most inspiring to you. What is it about them that uplifts you, motivates you, or inspires you?
Identify those values and then observe how they use these principles in their everyday lives. As you do so, ponder how you can emulate their habits and characteristics and personalize them to your life.
Additionally, analyze the values that are most important to you, and then identify people who have those values. Observe them or read all you can about them to understand what makes them tick and how they are among the ranks of those you consider successful.
Become Familiar With Experts in Your Field
Whether you have been in your career field for a while, or you’re just embarking on a new endeavor, find the individuals who are considered experts in the field.
Chances are they have written books, created podcasts, developed webinars, written blog posts, posted on social media, or authored coursework.
Learn from the experts by taking advantage of these resources. By gleaning the knowledge and wisdom they have gained over time, you can save time, effort, and the disappointment of avoidable mistakes by applying what they have already learned.
Prioritize Self Care
The road to success is a journey, not a final destination. It is a step-by-step, day-by-day process in which you achieve success along the way to reaching your larger goals.
Successful people understand that we do not one day arrive at success and then we have reached our ultimate goal. Instead, we build on each success. Once we have achieved one goal, there is another one to reach for. The more we accomplish toward reaching our true purpose, the more fulfilled we are.
Instead of allowing the drive to overcome your mental and physical health due to stress, worry, or fatigue, take time daily to prioritize self-care.
Eating healthy nutritious meals and snacks is key to keeping your body and mind thriving. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with the vitamins and minerals your cells need to function. Lean meats, vegetarian protein sources, and whole grains give you essential sources of protein, fiber, and other nutrients to keep your body functioning at its best regardless of your age.
Choose to replace processed foods, fast foods, and too many sweets with healthier choices. While we may not notice the negative effects of unhealthy foods right away, over time they cause problems with memory and increase our risk of diseases.
Likewise, make healthy choices in the beverages you drink. Drinking water daily is an essential component of optimal health. Many health experts recommend eight glasses a day.
Drink caffeinated and sugary drinks in moderation and opt instead for naturally flavored seltzers, coconut water, milk or nut-based drinks, and other healthy beverages that are high in nutrients and low in sugars and harmful substances.
Exercise and Stay Active
Highly successful people make a habit of staying active. They prioritize exercise instead of putting it off due to being too busy or unmotivated.
This is because of the immense benefits of exercise. Adding physical activity to your daily routine makes you feel better, look better, and function better.
Physical training creates endorphins that naturally calm your mind and body and make you feel happier, more peaceful, and more relaxed. It also increases your mental clarity and ability to focus.
Before, during, and after his time in office, former president Barack Obama made a point of exercising each morning, regardless of where he was. Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest men in the world, is known for running on the treadmill as part of his daily routine and being an avid tennis player.
Self-care also means being kind to yourself. Often we are our own worst critics, and while we should make a habit of self-evaluation and challenging ourselves to progress and improve, we should not be overly harsh on ourselves.
Mistakes happen. It is a natural part of life. In fact, if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not challenging yourself to grow and progress — which is a mistake.
When you find you have not lived up to your expectations, made an unintentional error, been guilty of procrastination, or any other scenario you’re not pleased with, forgive yourself and move on.
The key is to learn from your experiences and use them as fuel to do better next time and achieve more than what you’re currently doing.
Highly successful people are driven, but they are also patient with themselves and others and know that the most rewarding successes are forged out of difficult circumstances.
When you’re making your daily to-do list, schedule breaks throughout the day. It is important to allow your mind and your body to have a reprieve from the stress and responsibilities of the day.
A break can be as simple as closing your eyes for five minutes to meditate, taking a walk around the office or your neighborhood, or having a quick conversation with someone you care about.
Even on the busiest of days, you can give yourself a break by listening to calming music while working or an uplifting audiobook on your commute home.
Stress is healthy when we are in a life-threatening situation as it gives us the energy and clarity of thought we need to survive.
However, this is different from the daily stress all of us experience. Too much stress can be debilitating and overwhelming and lead to serious health issues and a shortened life span.
To ensure genuine prosperity, reduce the stressors in your life. Take time to think about those things that cause you to feel anxious, worried, angry, or overly tired.
How can you minimize or eliminate these things? Think about delegating tasks to others whenever possible. The freedom it will give you to focus on the things you most enjoy is worth the effort and price of moving those tasks to someone else.
If your workplace environment causes stress, consider which aspects you’re in control of and make necessary changes.
Spend Time With People You Care About
It is can be easy to become consumed with our responsibilities and goals, causing us to neglect to spend time with the people who are the most important to us.
While life is understandably full and busy, we can still take time each day to let those we love know we care and that they matter.
Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was known for prioritizing his family by eating dinner with them every night and limiting his travel once he had children.
Concentrate on quality of time over quantity of time. When talking with your spouse, child, or loved one, give eye contact, put away your phone, and listen actively to what they are saying.
Take time to laugh and relax with the people you care about. The memories you’re creating and the relationships you’re building are essential components of any success you achieve.
Be a Lifelong Learner
As mentioned earlier, the habits of successful people include continuous learning. Keep up with the trends and developments in your industry so you can have the best chance of continued progress.
Learn something completely new that you’ve never learned before. Challenge yourself to skydive, play the violin, learn a new language, change the oil in your car, or build a boat.
Wherever your interests are, expand your horizons, increase your joy, and build on your successes by pursuing them.
Get Enough Sleep to Be a Successful Person
Starting your day as an early bird means going to bed at a decent time. Many medical professionals recommend most adults get eight hours of sleep a night.
While you’re sleeping, your body and mind are able to recover from the day and refuel for what is coming up. With enough sleep, your mind is more alert, your body more refreshed, and therefore you’re able to be more productive during the day.
However, some people are most productive at night. If you’re a night owl and it works for you, just make sure you do not have to get up early the next day or that you get a nap during the day to make up for your eight hours of sleep.
Establish a Night Routine
Just as having a morning routine is important, so is establishing a healthy nighttime routine. This allows you to wind down from the day, assess what your successes were, reevaluate your goals, focus on your priorities, refuel, and get ready for the next day ahead.
Remember to make your list for tomorrow, too.
Eat Dinner With Your Family
Dinner time is often the perfect time to connect with your family. Spending time with those you love over a meal gives everyone a chance to bond, talk about the day, laugh, share stories, and even discuss important matters in a casual, safe setting.
No matter how busy you get, guard this time and make it a priority. Everyone needs to eat, so take the time to do it together.
You can also prepare food with your family and do the dishes together. These daily chores are built-in opportunities to spend quality time with those who are most important to your prosperity.
Keep a Daily Journal
Journaling at the end of the day gives you a way to reflect on where you’re and where you want to be. Your journal is personal to you, so what you include in it is a matter of what is most helpful to you.
Along with writing about the things you’re grateful for, it is often helpful to ponder the things you’re happy with and the successes you had during the day. Look at the list you made for the day and check off what you’ve completed so you can have a visual reminder of the progress you’re making.
Write about the thoughts, ideas, or experiences that you want to remember. Going back to your journal entries can often be inspiring during difficult times and it can allow you to chronicle the successes you’re having.
Retire Your Electronics
Studies show that screen time too close to bedtime can make it more difficult to get to sleep. You will also benefit from unplugging and having time away from your electronics.
Choose a time in the evening when you will put your phone away, turn off your computer and other devices, and be free from notifications, calls, texts, and online information.
This time away from your devices will let you be off duty, give you time to decompress, and help you get a good night’s rest so you can be recharged and ready for the next day.
Follow the Daily Habits of Successful People
Take time today to decide which of these habits of successful people you will incorporate into your life. To help you get started, download my free 14-Step Goal Setting Guide to identify and write goals you can achieve. As you define your goals and develop successful habits, your potential to break through barriers and achieve the best life you’re looking for is limitless.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.