It takes many things to be successful in life. There are no 5 things you can do to guarantee that you’ll be successful. However, if you adopt these 5 daily habits, your chances will be much higher.
I’m confident in saying that because I’ve done some research.
Reading many articles, blog posts, and books on success has shown me some patterns. Successful people all have habits and routines.
And although those habits and routines are as varied as the individuals themselves, certain ones are consistent.
The five habits below were mentioned in every single article, blog post, or book I dug into. Check them out. If you haven’t already, adopt these 5 daily habits if you want to be successful in life.
Related: 10 Must Read Books on Habits
Successful People Read
Photo credit to JayMantri
This one might seem like a no brainer, but you absolutely must begin reading if you aren’t currently.
Some people say that knowledge is power. My opinion is that knowledge is potential power, that can only be realized with persistent action.
However, the knowledge part is still essential and a prerequisite to taking action. Reading consistently is one of, if not the best way to gain knowledge.
Three of the most successful and inspirational individuals in history accredit this key trait, affinity for reading, to their success. Those three individuals are Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban, and Malcom X.
When asked at a conference about how to get smarter, Warren Buffet held up a stack of papers and replied:
Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.
Mark Cuban said:
I read every book and magazine I could. Heck, three bucks for a magazine, twenty bucks for a book. One good idea would lead to a customer or a solution, and those magazines and books paid for themselves many times over.
Malcom X dropped out of school after the 8th grade. Later in life, after becoming successful, he was asked in an interview “What’s your alma mater?” He replied:
Books. You will never catch me with a free fifteen minutes in which I’m not studying something…
Regardless of what path you choose to take in life, reading is a key to upward mobility. It doesn’t guarantee success, but most certainly increases your chances.
They Have a Morning Routine
Photo credit to Dorli Photography
Successful people might not share all of the same morning routines, but they all have morning routines. They wake up knowing exactly how they are going to start their day.
Most unsuccessful people have morning routines as well. The difference is they aren’t intentional about their routines and just do them by default. If you get up as late as possible, skip breakfast, and rush to work everyday, that’s a routine. A bad routine.
Starting the day this way leaves you feeling behind from the start. You end up spending the rest of the day trying to catch up.
A hurried and stressful morning routine sets a hurried and stressful tone for the day. A focused and mindful morning routine sets a directed and calm tone for the day.
Morning routines can vary based on individual preferences, but waking up early should be on everyone’s list. Waking up early is the single best thing you can do to avoid feeling rushed.
My post on morning routines provides some additional information about the benefits of waking up early. It also talks about 9 other morning habits you can incorporate into your life.
Successful People Meditate / Practice Mindfulness
Photo Credit to Denise Cross Photography
Meditating and practicing mindfulness is like a mental workout. Not just any workout though. It specifically targets the parts of your brain responsible for emotional control.
If you’re going to undertake any endeavor where high performance is required, this skill is crucial.
Tim Ferris, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, interviewed 140 people at the top of their fields and found that the majority of them had a mindfulness or meditation practice.
He also meditates himself everyday for 20 minutes and has found that it’s improved his emotional control.
Regarding his study, Ferris said:
Despite the fact that these people are from tennis to surfing to cryptocurrency to fill-in-the-blank, like any field you can possibly imagine – some type of morning mindfulness or meditation practice would span I’d say 90% of the respondents.
While the terms meditation and mindfulness are commonly used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same thing. There are many different kinds of meditation and mindfulness is just one form.
Mindfulness is the form of meditation of simply becoming aware of your thoughts. It is the practice of being aware of your thoughts rather than being your thoughts. It is bringing your mind to a single focus and repeatedly bringing it back to that focus when your mind starts to wander.
The ways to practice mindfulness and objects to focus on are endless. You can focus on your breath, the food you are eating, the drink you are sipping, the breeze, really anything that forces you to pause the endless stream of thoughts.
Personally, I like to close my eyes in the shower and silently count down from 90 then back up to 30. This may sound easy, but you should try it. It’s only two minutes, but you’ll be surprised at how often you need to force your attention back to the numbers.
If you want to start practicing mindfulness, check out this 10 minute YouTube video.
Exercising isn’t just something that a lot of successful people have in common, they all consider it integral to their success.
One of the main reasons could be that regular exercise such as running, lifting, or yoga can provide you with four extra hours of energy per day. Four hours!
Some of the most innovative companies in the world, such as Google and Apple, have exercise facilities on their campuses. The reason for this is simple. It leads to results. Making exercise more accessible eliminates excuses and encourages staff to use them. They become sharper as individuals and the organizations become sharper as well.
Billionaire and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson said:
I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.
Billionaire and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said:
Staying in shape is very important. Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you’re fit.
The fact of the matter is that stress will inevitably arrive at some point in the journey to success. Most likely many times, and it doesn’t end once you reach the top. Regular exercise, along with good nutrition, is probably the healthiest way to manage the stress and keep you moving forward.
Successful People Have Goals
Photo Credit to TheDyslexicBook.com
Successful people don’t operate like a ship without a sail. They don’t just spend their time doing things just for the sake of doing them. Every activity taken on by a successful person is attached to a specific goal.
People who achieve success do it because they they are intentional about their actions.
Successful people all have a large vision of what they want to achieve in the long term. What separates the successful and the unsuccessful is the break down of the long term vision.
The long term vision is broken down into goals. Yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, until eventually their daily tasks are all laid out and scheduled. Successful people know they aren’t wasting time with these tasks because the tasks all dovetail from the long term vision.
If you aren’t sure how to set goals, habits number two and three from Stephen Covey’s, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peoplecould be a great place to start.
Habit number two is “Begin With the End in Mind” and talks about creating a personal vision. Habit three, “Put First Things First” talks about identifying your highest priorities and scheduling them appropriately.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is one of the most important books I own and I still refer to it regularly.
Related: Quick Guide to The 7 Habits
Are you willing to try a few of these? A couple of these? Even one of these? You landed on this page and read (or skimmed, I’m not judging) all the way down here. It’s clear that you want to change. In order to change, though, we have to change the things we do. Our circumstances don’t change until we change.
I used to read a TON of self help and personal development books and they always fired me up. I would feel great about the possibilities of change, but I wouldn’t execute anything. Or I would start to execute, but wouldn’t stay consistent and never formed a habit. Consequently, I always ended up where I began.
Scroll back up through this list and find one thing that you aren’t currently doing. Start doing it every single day for a couple of weeks. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Force yourself to be disciplined enough to do it and immense benefits will be achieved.
Also don’t forget to scroll down and sign up for your free personal mission & vision builder and check out my ultimate guide to becoming the best version of yourself.