If you have these 16 habits, you’re probably more successful than you think

Have you heard of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey?

This was a self-development book that came out in 1989 and made a big splash with management gurus and development experts as well as the general public.

It’s famous for outlining seven habits that help people cultivate first independence and then interdependence, especially within the business world.

It’s also a good start for looking into the traits and characteristics of successful people. However, there’s a lot more to the story. There are many more habits that successful people share, and many they definitely avoid.

I’m going to take you through many more examples, and if you have these 16 habits, you’re probably more successful than you think.

1) Waking up early

I always thought that morning people and evening people were just different, and one wasn’t better than the other. 

So as a full-fledged member of the evening person community, I was shocked to find out that morning people tend to be more successful

According to researcher Christoph Randler, morning people are more optimistic, stable, and proactive. They also fit better into corporate life because they get up early and are well-prepared by the time they start their work day.

Evening people tend to be more creative and intelligent but also more pessimistic and depressed.


2) Getting enough sleep

According to that same research, the amount of sleep you get doesn’t really change these attributes.

Instead, it simply affects everyone in more or less the same way.

If you get enough sleep, you have an overall better mood, improved memory, and clearer thinking during the day. You also put yourself ahead by reducing your risks of diabetes and heart disease.

I’d definitely call that a win!

3) Exercising 

Getting regular exercise is one of the best habits you can cultivate in your life.

The beneficial effects of exercise on our minds and bodies seem to be countless, but the CDC points out a few of them, like reduced anxiety, faster learning, better memory, improved sleep, weight management, and reduced risk of hundreds of diseases.

And while exercise like jogging or hitting the gym is important, any activity is better than none. 

Sitting for long periods is now known to make us more prone to many health risks, so interrupting your sitting periodically is an important habit that successful people cultivate.

4) Being positive

It’s hard to be successful if you’re always looking for the worst.

Personally, I struggle with positivity. 

I wouldn’t call myself a pessimist, but I wouldn’t say I was an optimist, either.

I’m more of an “I wonder where half that water went” kind of person.

But the power of positivity is that it searches out positive results. 

Someone who says, “This doesn’t work,” might simply end things there on a negative note.

But a positive person might add, “I’d love to make it work, so I will find out how to do it!” and then go looking for solutions.

That’s how positivity can lead to success.

5) Maintaining a work-life balance

By some standards, if you already have a great balance between your work, personal life, and family life, you’re successful right now.

After all, we spend decades working, so why would you wait to find a balance in the end?

You could work hard and make tons of money, then plan to retire and use that time to balance out your life. But by then, you may have distanced yourself from family and friends and pushed your body through stress that has done permanent damage.

If you’re already feeling a really great balance in your life, you’re a lot more successful than you may think! 

6) Looking for room to improve

Successful people have this habit of always looking for how to do better.

But they don’t approach this idea through the lens of self-criticism.

Instead, they understand that there’s always room to improve and that practice makes better.

7) Investing in yourself

So many people see success in the material terms of how much you can take out of the system.

But people who are truly successful are constantly putting back in.

They invest in themselves in things like training, education, and professional development, rather than just carrying away cartloads of profits.

Because, in the end, they know that investment will have an even bigger payoff.

8) Valuing time

Time is money, right?

Or is it infinitely more valuable because it can never, ever be replaced?

If you see things this second way, you’re probably a lot more successful than you think.

Having this incredible value for time leads successful people to respect others’ time and be punctual and efficient.

It also leads them not to waste time doing things that don’t matter or, worse, distract them.

9) Seeing opportunity in challenges

People who are truly successful If you have these 16 habits, you're probably more successful than you think

“My car broke down!”

Great, you discovered an underlying issue that was going to fail at some point or another.

“Our sales figures are taking a nosedive!”

What an excellent opportunity to reevaluate our strategies and make exciting new changes.

Is that the way you look at challenges when they come into your life?

I’d certainly like to because I know I’d be more successful with that sort of grit and resilience.

10) Staying informed

Keeping up to date in your field is an important ingredient in the recipe for success.

That might mean reading about the latest advances in technology, learning to use new apps that have just come out, attending training sessions, or even taking upgrade courses.

Not much in life is more certain than the march of time and the change it leaves in its wake. 

But if you’re ahead of the curve, you won’t be left behind when things in your area change.

That’s an extremely important habit that can help you maintain your success in the future.

11) Planning out your day 

Do you wake up and sort out your schedule before you do anything else?

Well, maybe you can do it over a coffee.

But getting a plan in place first thing is an incredibly powerful way to frame your day and prepare you for what’s coming.

I know because I started doing this two years ago, and it has totally changed my life.

I’m so much more organized and less forgetful, and I’m getting more done than I ever could have expected. And all just because I sit for five minutes and make a list each morning.

12) Doing hard things first

Do you know what’s supposed to go at the very top of your morning list?

The most difficult thing you have to do that day!

This is the exact opposite of procrastinating – putting that tough thing on top of your list forces you to confront it as your main goal for the day.

So you focus on it and put your energy towards it while your reserves are still full.

And guess what?

When you do the hardest thing first, it’s easier because you haven’t been tired out or worn down by doing other things beforehand.

That simply leads to more success!

13) Prioritizing effectively 

Going hand-in-hand with tackling hard jobs first, prioritizing is also a crucial habit of successful people.

When a task comes in, they can quickly decide if it’s urgent and makes a difference or if it can wait because it’s not a big deal.

Successful people don’t hmm and haw over these tiny details.

They rank things, put them in order, and do them.

And that’s that.

14) Taking breaks

Don’t think that to be successful, you have to work day and night non-stop!

Successful people take breaks from what they’re doing.

Breaks are great for your body and your mind.

Taking a walk or having a beverage break lets you move your body away from your workstation and your mind away from working too intensely.

And when you come back from your break, you feel revitalized and often have new ideas to apply to the tasks you were doing.

15) Making connections

Successful people love collaboration because they know that two heads are simply better than one.

Even when they’re not working, they still make connections with others to learn and enjoy life.

And anyway, who knows when those people might end up being very helpful at some later date?

16) Practicing gratitude

Finally, successful people practice gratitude.

Do you?

Taking time to reflect on the positives in your life can help to reinforce positive feelings, improve mood, reduce stress, and just feel really darned good.

Healthy habits of successful people

If you have these 16 habits, or at least some of them, you’re probably a lot more successful than you think.

Or you’re going to be.

As for the others, try to cultivate them and reap the rewards that these changes will bring. I’m working on them, too! 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.