10 morning habits that separate high achievers from everyone else

We all dream of being high achievers, right?

I’m sure you’ve wondered, just as I have, what exactly it is that sets these successful people apart…

Is it their intelligence? 

Their work ethic? 

Or perhaps they’ve got a secret weapon up their sleeve?

Well, it’s time to wake up…literally.

Because a lot of the answers as to how high achievers manage so well and never seem to have too much on their plates is by their carefully crafted morning routines.

These successful individuals tend to have a set of individual morning habits that kick-start their day and set them up for a comfy success. 

(Habits that the majority of us don’t follow.)

But no more!

Today, we’re going to unveil the 10 morning habits that distinguish high achievers from the rest of the crowd.

Ready to see what’s missing on your morning routine, and what might propel you towards new heights of success?

Let’s get started!

1) Rising and shining (before the sun)

Look, I love a late-afternoon lie in. Call me lazy all you like, but sweet sleep beckons.

Equally, I know full well that one of the biggest habits of high achievers consistently maintain is that they wake up early.

I’m still guilty of avoiding this one where I can. I love my shut eye and am more of a night-owl, but I can agree just as much as the next person that waking up early = more productivity = more ‘success’.

Also, you have to admit that there’s something peaceful about those quiet hours before dawn.

Whether you live in the midst of a bustling city, or far out in the countryside, waking up before the crowds and gazing out over mists of fog and dew as the sunrise slowly creeps in is so very tranquil.

Waking up early doesn’t only grant you access to this calming and idyllic atmosphere; it gives you the time and space to plan your day, to think and to create without any interruptions. 

Have a go: start setting your alarm an hour earlier than usual this week and see what changes you see in your own productivity.

2) Embracing a structured morning routine

Now we’ve covered waking up early, but that’s really just the first step…

What you do with that extra time in the morning is equally important.

High achievers don’t just roll out of bed and start working

Nor do they laze about in bed, half-asleep but also half-awake. No, that doesn’t count.

Instead, they have a morning routine that sets the tone for their day. 

This will likely look different with every individual, but might involve waking, hopefully having a glass of water before the first caffeinated beverage of the day, journaling, meditating, exercise etc.

To some, this might look rather rigid and militant, but starting off your day with a fairly recurrent routine is one of the best things you can gift your body and mind.

It means you lean into each day refreshed, you know where to allocate your energy best, and you have a sequence of habits that best preserve your energy and allow you to operate at maximum efficiency.

3) Prioritizing learning

Apologies in advance to the non-readers out there!

Warren Buffet’s reading routine includes reading for up to 80% of the entire day.

Of course, depending on your day job, you might not have quite so much time to allocate purely to reading. And don’t show your boss this if you get caught pouring over Pride & Prejudice during a meeting.

But know that constant curiosity and a desire to expand your mind and all the ideas it is filled with is something high achievers continuously prioritize.

They start their day by feeding their minds with new information, ideas, and perspectives – and usually end with the next few pages of the same book. 

This doesn’t just have to be done with good ol’ fashioned books, mind you. A podcast, an educational video, a hearty debate.

All of these types of knowledge pursuit add up, day by day, allowing high achievers to stay ahead of the curve.

4) Practicing gratitude

morning habits of highly successful people 10 morning habits that separate high achievers from everyone else

High achievers understand the power of gratitude.

And despite what you might stereotype them as – too busy, too rich, too preoccupied with all that they have earned to be grateful for it – they set gratitude very high on the list of priorities

They know that starting the day with a positive mindset can heavily influence how the rest of your day unfolds. 

Hence why they take a moment each morning to reflect on what they’re thankful for; be it their physical health and wellbeing, their family, or even the simple opportunity they’ve been granted in facing a whole new day. 

This simple act of acknowledging the good in their lives fills them with positivity and is a gentle reminder of how success isn’t just about the goals we reach, but also about appreciating the journey.

5) Setting clear goals for each day

You can wake before dawn and hit the ground running, but without ample planning and clear goals to charge at, you’re wasting precious time.

High achievers know this, hence why they set clear, actionable goals for each day ahead. 

They might’ve written some of these down the day before, or have them memorized. Either way, they use a few minutes each morning to scan the tasks required of them, and plan accordingly.

They also know what a dopamine rush it is to tick off all the boxes of the tasks you set yourself, and what a great sense of accomplishment this provides.

So why not give this a go. 

A good old pen-and-paper planner will do the trick, or there are more apps and online resources out there than you could possibly think of if you want help getting started. 

6) Fueling their body right

We’ve all heard the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’.

Then we’ve heard the mantra about how all successful people eat keto, so only have bulletproof butter coffee for breakfast.

Or how they do 4-day water fasts.

I’m not going to push any form of rigid diet on you in this. That is never my place, nor anyone else’s bar your own.

However, know that high achievers take the importance of nurturing the mind just as much as the body to heart. 

They understand the importance of starting their day with a nutritious meal (if they’re a breakfast person), and getting plenty of rainbow-colored fruits and veggies. 

Plus, it’s not just about filling their stomachs – it’s about providing their bodies with the energy and nutrients needed to perform at their best. 

You won’t find them skipping breakfast or grabbing a donut on the go, or drinking 6 americanos before lunch. 

Instead, they opt for foods that keep them energized and focused throughout the day.

7) Avoiding digital distractions

Many high achievers avoid checking their smartphones first thing in the morning. 

I know – sounds impossible, right?!

And no, it’s not because they don’t have emails to answer or social media to check. In fact, their inboxes are probably overflowing.

No, quite the contrary; it’s because they understand that starting the day with digital distractions can set such a negative tone for the rest of the day. 

Hence why high achievers and successful individuals much prefer to spend their mornings in a more productive and positive way.

This is the very reason they engage in these seemingly trivial routines and wake their bodies up slowly rather than shaking them awake and tossing them straight into the digital world.

8) Reviewing their long-term goals

truly confident man 10 morning habits that separate high achievers from everyone else

More goals, oh no!

Don’t fret – this one can be fun, if you’re a bit of a daydream believer.

Sure, you now know the importance of setting a routine and glancing down your goals and tasks for the day.

But don’t forget the importance of reflecting on your long-term goals and big dreams, too

High achievers don’t just focus on their everyday goals; they also have their eyes set on the bigger picture. 

This motivates them, too. 

Whatever they’re working towards – be it a big house, a fancy car, a big family safety net, financial freedom – they have this vision ticking over in the back of their minds as their motivation and drive for success.

9) Taking time for self-care

High achievers know that success isn’t just about constant work, work, work. 

It’s about taking care of themselves too and taking time out of their busy schedules to directly allocate to self-care.

Be it a morning jog, a quick meditation before the first meeting of the day, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in silence, they ensure to carve out some “me time” in their morning routine. 

This helps them start their day on a positive note, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and more than ready to tackle any challenges that come their way.

10) Preparing for the day ahead 

Last, but definitely not least, high achievers end their morning routines by preparing for the day ahead. 

This one might sound a little boring, but it is the savviest organization method out there for hitting the ground running and being able to tackle all of the tasks without feeling overworked or stressed.

Hence why high-achievers conclude their morning routines by reviewing their schedule, planning out their tasks, and making sure they’ve got all the resources and time needed to spread themselves out (not too thinly.)

Something so simple as allocating this 5-10-minute planning slot ensures they don’t waste any time during the day figuring out what to do next, allowing them to be far more efficient and productive.

So it’s time to set my alarm that little bit earlier?

And there you have it! 

The 10 morning habits that separate high achievers from everyone else. 

Remember, becoming a high achiever isn’t about overnight success. Getting up at 2am and dragging your feet, all bloodshot-eyed and exhausted isn’t paving the way to riches…

Instead, it’s about making small, incremental changes to your daily routine, and adding these up consistently over time until before you know it – you’ve built the next Rome! 

So why not start early (excuse the pun), and try incorporating whichever of the above habits you find yourself currently lacking. 

Check out this list of habits you need to consider shedding if you’re feeling on a roll and want to be even more productive.

Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

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