5 Top Habits of Highly Successful People

What exactly is it that successful people do to become successful? The secret lies in their habits, which we've listed the top 5 most important ones.

What is it that successful people and entrepreneurs do? What traits do they possess that has led them to success? And most importantly, how can you learn from them and become more efficient and successful yourself. Well, it seems that highly successful individuals share a few commonalities within their habits. We’ll breakdown the habits and tips that make up the foundation of successful people, with the help of Tom Corley’s findings when he surveyed self-made millionaires in order to investigate the true habits of success.

1. They get up early

Ever wonder about the morning routine of highly successful people? Almost 50% of the millionaires studied by Corley said they start their day at least 3 hours before the workday begins. This may be what separates successful people and unsuccessful people. The daily head start allows for time dedicated to personal projects and growth, as well as ensuring completed tasks before the workday even begins, meaning every day is a productive day. To quote Corley, “getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life”.

2. They Exercise

Turns out that successful people also devote time to improve themselves and not just to run their empires. Corley’s study showed that 76% of the participants exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Of these respondents, they all focused almost exclusively on cardio. "Cardio is not only good for the body, but it's good for the brain," he wrote, "it grows the neurons in the brain”.

3. They Read... A Lot

A total of 88% of the millionaire respondents said they read for around 30 minutes per day. And I’m not talking about indulging in the Harry Potter series or a breezy romance novel. According to Corley, "The rich read to acquire or maintain knowledge". His findings showed that the most common types of books the participants read were: biographies, history, and self-help books. This habit is also seen in CEO and business magnate, Warren Buffet, who apparently spends approximately 80% of his day reading. Bill Gates reportedly reads on average 50 books per year, though during his infamous “Think Week” he spends up to 18 hours a day reading newspapers.

4. They Surround Themselves with Success

There’s something to be said about the people you surround yourself with. There's a reason your mom didn’t want you to hang out with “that group” in high school. Corley found this to be true amongst the wealthy and successful as well, stating “you are only as successful as those you frequently associate with”. In short, the people that the respondents chose to surround themselves with were also highly successful and motivating. "The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook”, says Corley. Just the same as surrounding themselves with success and positivity, they avoid “time-wasters”, which makes sense, when you have an action-packed day like these individuals, time is of the essence. 

5. They Sleep

Sleep is as important as success to many entrepreneurs and business people, as a quality night’s sleep ensures increased productivity, energy, and wellbeing. In fact, 89% of respondents sleep for at least 7 hours per night, talk about good sleeping habits!. Corley wrote, "sleep is critical to success," then continued by saying "sleep accomplishes so many things behind the scenes,” referring to memory function and creative thinking, which is improved and aided by sleep. 

What Now?

I think we can agree that it definitely takes dedication to be highly successful. Our personal takeaway is that those that have achieved great success invest more time in themselves than you would think. We're all about making yourself the best you can be so that you can achieve more. That's why we highly recommend the Habit Journal, a highly effective tool to track your daily habits and goals. Like we said, It’s worth learning from these habits of highly successful people and get started on your own path to success by harnessing habits that allow you to increase knowledge, energy, and productivity.

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5 Steps to Achieve Your 2020 Goals: A Guide to the Habit Journal

Sticking to your New Year’s goals isn't that hard, you’re just doing it the wrong way.

Many of us view the new year as a new beginning and a time to work on improving ourselves. Low and behold the “new year, new me” phenomenon. Cue the New Year's resolutions flooding your mind (and social media feed). Unfortunately, most of these goals will not even last a month. What can we do to make sure that our goals for 2020 are not just dreamy, unattainable thoughts but are actions that actually stick? The secret of achieving any goal lies within the science of habits. The Habit Journal and this 5 step method below will reveal how you can reach your goals by first making your habits stick.

1. Think Big: Identify your Vision

Picture the ideal self you want to become - what does it look like? Visions, are a compilation goals and aren’t limited to the year, so think BIG. Brainstorm on a piece of paper the following:

Now that you’ve scribbled some of these thoughts on paper, try coming up with a vision that reflects all or most of what you’ve just put down. Do you envision yourself being financially free? Being healthy and physically fit? What about being highly successful in school or your career? Whatever your vision is, make sure it’s something that excites you and makes your heart beat a little faster.

2. Break it down: Come up with your Goals

The next step is to break your vision down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Goals should be specific, measurable, and actionable, think about what you want to accomplish this year, this month, or even this week. Maybe your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight or becoming more aware and informed on world issues. Whatever your goals are, pull out a piece of paper and jot them down. Did you know that you increase your chances of accomplishing a goal simply by writing it down? 40% - that means you’re already almost halfway there!

3. Act Small: Translate into Habits

We started big, now do the opposite - translate your goals into habits. Habits are regular behaviour patterns that are carved so deep into our brains that they become almost involuntary. Because they become almost second nature, habits are tremendously powerful in helping you achieve your goals. Hence, one seemingly small habit can greatly impact your quality of life and the way you do things. Expanding on the previous example of losing a certain amount of weight. Translating this goal into a habit could look something like this:

    The magic number is 3 habits to focus on each month, and the Habit Journal does a very good job of walking you through the secret of realizing your goals through building habits. 

    4. Be Intentional: Track and Reflect Daily

    Just 5 minutes. With just 5 minutes a day spent on the Habit Journal in tracking and reflecting on your habits, you’ll be able to build the life you envision with intent and purpose. Daily reflection and tracking help you keep yourself accountable to your habits and live your life with intention going forward. The Habit Journal includes a monthly tracker and a section for daily self-reflection, intention setting, and gratitude - all essential tools to help you grow and improve, putting you on the path towards achieving your goals.

    5. Bring it all back: Review your progress Monthly and Quarterly

    On average, it takes 21 to 90 days to build a habit. That’s why a month is the perfect amount of time to practice your habits and alter them if needed. With the Habit Journal, the reviewing of habits is split into months while the reviewing of goals is done every 4 months. At the end of each month, you should ask yourself a few questions:

    • Have I been consistent in carrying out your 3 habits?
    • Is the action starting to feel like a habit?
    • What can I do to improve the consistency of my habits?

    Other than monthly reviews, it is also important to revisit your goals and habits quarterly to make sure you’re not losing sight of the big picture. Check that you’re habits still align with your goals and are indeed moving you closer to them. Take this time to also identify the goals that you’ll be committing to for the next 3 months.

    The Bottom Line...

    Although setting visions and goals sounds like a daunting task, it doesn’t need to be that way. Start small with habits and build towards your goals and visions. 

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”


    View visions and goals as the destination while habits are the map. This is where the Habit Journal comes in, serving as an effective and comprehensive tool to track your habits and goals. It is a tool that breaks down the most difficult goals into simple, attainable habits so that you are empowered to control your life and make sure that those 2020 goals end up sticking.

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