Success is usually the end product of a culmination of various little positive habits. It’s the result of weeks, months or years of intentionality and routine.
The difference between high achievers and regular people is intention. If you get up every day and just go with the flow, you are going to end up somewhere other than the ideal place. To achieve your potential, you need to steer your path via daily habits geared towards success.
According to studies of the lives of high achievers, here are some habits of successful people you should emulate:
1. Be Goal-Oriented
You need to be a habitual goal setter, and dedicate yourself to working from clear, written goals daily. You should know exactly what you want, break it into smart short and long term goals, have written plans to accomplish it, review and work on it daily.
2. Be Results Driven
Firstly, practise continuous learning so that you become better at what you do.
“Education and learning are not just for students, but something to be embraced at every stage of life. As a CEO, I am constantly looking to grow my skill set to not only remain competitive with my peers but also to nurture a sense of personal accomplishment and learning. I believe it’s especially important to step away from your everyday and gather new information and skills only tangentially related to your industry. It can be scary learning new things, and sometimes it takes a little push to take that step and open yourself up to try, but learning difficult things can build up confidence and an ability to be at ease with being outside of our comfort zone”.
– Tara Chklovski, CEO of Iridescent, an education nonprofit that partners with Google, NVIDIA, GM and more to deliver STEM education.
Secondly, practice time management. Set very clear priorities and then concentrate single-mindedly on the most valuable use of your time.
3. Be Action Oriented
This is a very important habit for material success. It is the ability to get on with the job and get it done fast. You can develop and maintain a sense of urgency, and bias for action. You need to overcome procrastination, push aside your fears and launch 100% toward the achievement of your important goals. A combination of goal orientation, result orientation, and action orientation will naturally assure great success.
- Be People Oriented
“This is where you put relationships in the centre of your life. It is a decision to cultivate within yourself the habits of patience, kindness, compassion, and understanding. Focusing on being more pleasant with the people in your life is a great technique to promote a positive thinking lifestyle.
I always try to find time throughout the day to ask people what’s going on in their lives and how they are doing. It is important to have those connections and day-to-day interactions with the people around you and foster a sense of community.”
–Dr. Laura Hamill, chief people officer at Limeade, chief science officer of the Limeade Institute, and named a 2019 Top 100 HR Tech Influencer by HR Executive.
5. Be Health Conscious
You must watch your diet, and always eat the right foods in the right portions. You must exercise regularly, and have good habits of rest and recreation, all of which will enable you to live out your years in a healthy state.
Remember, your health is very vital, and it is completely subject to your lifestyle choices.
6. Be self-critical and honest
Honesty means that you practice the reality principle in everything you do. You are completely objective with yourself and with the world around you. You set very clear values for yourself and you organize yourself around your values. Never compromise your integrity or peace of mind for anyone or anything.
“I try to stay humble by being self-critical, looking for my potential faults, taking responsibility for failures, and looking for critical feedback. This pushes me to always strive to improve, not only in my career but in my personal life as well”.
–Sean Chou, CEO of Catalytic, an automation cloud which was named Boschs Global Supplier of the Year in Innovation
7. Be Self-Disciplined
Your ability to discipline yourself, to master yourself, to control yourself, is the most important single quality that you can develop as a person. The habit of self-discipline goes hand in hand with success in every area of life.
8. Plan your day, use schedules and checklists.
“I start off every morning by writing a checklist of major tasks I have to get done for the day and check them off one by one, making sure I complete them all before I leave for the day. With so many workflow tools and task management providers out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted. I find that a pen and paper checklist is simple, keeps me accountable and has a huge impact on my overall productivity and focus”.
– Richie Serna, CEO of Finix.
9. Prioritize your tasks
“There are so many things on my plate at any given time that it becomes difficult to prioritize and focus on the right things when faced with an avalanche of responsibilities. How is it possible to get it all done? The answer is simple: it isn’t. We must work smarter, not just harder, and we must reconcile ourselves to the notion that it’s impossible to get it all done. To deal with my day-to-day responsibilities and to focus more easily on what really matters, my daily habit is to apply a ruthless guiding principle to prioritize my to-do list each morning; I ask myself one simple question: Will this still matter in a day? A week? A month? A year? I then focus on the items that will have the deepest long-term impact [so that] what’s important is not getting lost in what’s urgent.”
– Theresa Forman, president of MacMillan.
10. Carry out research to develop your unique brand.
“My most creative and successful ideas have been formulated by looking at best practices and successful innovations in industries that are totally unrelated to mine. When you are successful, it’s easy to get complacent. And too often, looking only at your competitors will give you only incremental improvements and perpetuate good enough results. By looking outward, you not only draw on your ingenuity and motivation as a leader, but it also gives you the power to drive key innovations that have the potential to transform your business and leapfrog the competitors, whether they are traditional or non-traditional”.
– Sue Marks, founder and CEO of Cielo, EY Entrepreneur of the Year and three-time winner of the Working Woman 500 designation
11. Minimize communication/social media time.
“I used to pride myself on being responsive to emails, Slack and chats until a friend pointed out that I was priding myself on being bad at my job, because my job was to give serious thought to big projects and decisions. Don’t get in the habit of constantly interrupting your workflow to check communications. Set the expectation that you’ll respond once or twice per day, and stick to that.”
– Steve Newman, serial entrepreneur and founder and chairman of Scalyr.
12. Stay focused.
“As an ultra-marathoner, I’ve used my experiences tackling these distances to grow not only my physical strength but my mental strength which has carried over to many aspects of my life. To run 30 to 50 miles successfully, you must stick to the training plan and stay structured. Starting and running a business is similar. Whether it be an injury or a product failure, you have to continually practice and always come back to the plan, regardless of the deviations that get in your way”.
– Stanton Jandrell, co-founder and CEO of Fraxion.
13. Keep an idea journal
“Creativity is not just for artists and designers. And inspiration can strike at any time. I have several different notepad pages on my phone, organized topically. Whenever I have an idea I quickly and immediately write a sentence or two in the form of a running list to remind myself later of the thought. This is an incredibly powerful way to tap into your creativity and combat the natural forgetfulness we all have.
– Mike Ward, CEO of ThriftBooks.
14. Tackle your hardest daily or weekly task first
“I did not personally develop this concept, but it is one that I’ve found very useful in staying productive and also staying focused on the most important things. If you are familiar with the book Eat that Frog, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It is easy to procrastinate starting the projects that challenge us most. Setting a goal to tackle your hardest challenge first will make the rest of the day or week seem easier and will ensure you get the most important things accomplished.
– Brian Powers, CEO of PactSafe.
Successful people know the value of exchanging ideas with others through networking. They also know the value of collaboration and teamwork. Surrounding themselves with other successful people.