10 things successful people do differently every morning

We all want to be successful. It’s fascinating how most of us define success as this big, shiny goal – that the road is paved with gold or glittering with the glitz of glory.

But here’s a truth bomb: Success isn’t a far-off destination. Sometimes, it’s about the small, everyday habits that add up over time that lead us to change our very definition of “success.”

Consistency is key. Incorporating these habits into your morning routine won’t transform you into a celebrity or a titan of industry overnight.

You’ll need to make these a non-negotiable part of your day to steer you towards success.

1) They Avoid Checking Their Phone Immediately

Life in the digital age is, to be frank, noisy. There’s always an influx of notifications, messages, and updates that drown out the tranquil morning hours.

Many of us have developed a habitual reflex to reach for our phone as soon as we open our eyes.

But the most successful and the happiest among us protect their sacred mornings.

They resist the lure of instant gratification that comes from scrolling through social media or checking emails, choosing instead to let their mind breathe and ease into the day.

When I tried to weave this habit into my daily routine, I started small. Don’t go cold turkey – that’s unsustainable.

I just extended the gap between waking up and checking my phone by, more or less, five minutes each day.

It was uncomfortable, but when I stuck to it, I felt more relaxed. I encourage you to do the same. Let your morning be a time of calm before the storm of the day.

2) They Always Eat a Healthy Breakfast

We hear this quote all the time: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

However, successful people not only understand this but live it out daily. Instead of hastily gulping down a sugar-filled pastry or skipping breakfast altogether, they prioritize a balanced meal.

They don’t see it as a pesky interruption to their morning rush but, rather, as a non-negotiable foundation.

A nutritious breakfast – like eggs with whole-grain toast or a protein-packed smoothie – signals your brain to gear up for the day.

Notice that when you start your day with just a cup of coffee, you end up feeling sluggish and irritable a few hours later.

As another saying goes, “You are what you eat.” So start your day by fueling yourself with the good stuff. Thank me later.

3) They Take a Cold Shower

Stop – hear me out, first. Please don’t scroll past this point. Icy water can be one of the best things you incorporate into your morning routine.

I know it can seem like a form of torture. But the thing is, its benefits far outweigh the momentary chill.

Cold showers are good for you. Not just in a “good for your skin” kind of way, but good for your immunity, resilience, and ability to face discomfort head-on.

When you turn that temperature knob to the right, you’re choosing growth over comfort. Your future self will thank you for it.

You don’t need to leap into a freezing shower right away. Gradually decrease the temperature over time.

You might even opt to begin with lukewarm water and end with a burst of cold water for the last 30 seconds.

You’ll soon find yourself getting used to the sensation and even the sense of fulfillment that comes with pushing through a challenge.

4) They Dress Up, Even When Working From Home

Granted, remote work is increasingly becoming the norm, it’s tempting to lounge in pajamas all day.

But our clothes influence our mood and productivity more than we realize.

Wearing appropriate clothing provides a mental boundary, a signal to your brain that there’s a clear distinction between your personal and professional life.

A while back, when quarantines were the dominant headlines on the news, I found myself stuck in a rut while working from home.

My days were blurring into each other. My motivation was waning. As an experiment, I decided to start dressing up as if I were going into the office, even though I was just using my laptop in the living room.

No, not because my boss might suddenly decide to turn on the video during a Zoom meeting, but because I needed to tell myself that it’s time to get to work. It’s time to get serious.

So I hope you give dressing up a try. I’m not saying you should don a full business suit or formal dress; a simple business casual look will do. When you look good, you feel good – and do good.

5) They Listen to Music, Podcasts, or Audiobooks

Successful people engage with different forms of auditory content to boost their mood and get nuggets of wisdom.

These aren’t merely entertainment, but tools that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

They can turn mundane tasks – like commuting, exercising, and cleaning – into productive and enjoyable experiences.

Music, for instance, can tap into our emotions and memories like nothing else. Podcasts open up a world of perspectives.

Audiobooks offer the knowledge of books combined with the convenience of listening on the go.

6) They Set Goals for the Day and Visualize Success

This isn’t about setting grand, overwhelming objectives but, rather, small, achievable targets that guide their daily actions.

It gives them purpose and direction. For starters, you can figure out your “big rock” for the day, and then everything else is just your pebbles you have to overcome.

Imagine a basketball player shooting free throws in his mind before a big game or a presenter going over her speech before stepping onto the stage.

When it comes to visualizing, you’re painting a mental picture of your desired outcome.

This rehearsal primes your brain for success. It’s a precursor. Believe in your vision, then roll up your sleeves and get to work.

7) They Revisit Their Long-Term and Financial Goals

Planning for the future is another shared trait by successful people. They make sure that their daily actions align with their overarching vision.

When they regularly review these goals, they can recalibrate and pivot accordingly.

To adopt this habit, set a dedicated time each week to review your long-term and financial goals, whether it’s Sunday evening planning or a mid-week check-in.

Once upon a time, I was living paycheck to paycheck, constantly worried about how I’ll pay for rent, food, and utilities. I also felt directionless, drifting through life – surviving, not really living.

I wanted to get out of that dark place as soon as possible.

When I started having financial goals, I had the inspiration to make better financial decisions, and soon enough, financial stability was no longer a far-off dream.

8) They Clear Their Inbox

Before officially starting their shift, successful people make it a point to regularly clear their inboxes.

A cluttered inbox = a cluttered mind.

An overflowing inbox can make them feel like they’re perpetually behind, so they try to keep their digital life in check and reduce unnecessary frustrations.

They don’t want anything important to slip through the cracks.

Take note that you don’t have to do this every time you clock in.

Find a time that works for you. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or at the end of your work day, see what fits your schedule and which hours you’re in a good headspace.

9) They Perform a Random Act of Kindness

Successful individuals understand the transformative power of kindness.

They know that the smallest acts of kindness can create a ripple effect, touching lives and brightening days, including their own.

Again, these don’t have to be grand gestures – it’s the thought and the impact that matter.

Acts of kindness can be as straightforward as saying “hello” to the janitor, helping a co-worker with their task, or giving to charity.

Kindness, even in small doses, can inspire others to pay it forward. It’s a beautiful way to remind ourselves and others of the goodness and humanity in this world.

10) They Spend Time With Loved Ones

Take a break from the rat race. Success isn’t just about the bank balances, fancy titles, or the number of zeros in your paycheck. It’s about the relationships you cultivate.

Carve out time in your schedule to connect with those who matter to you – be it a weekly family dinner, a regular catch-up with a friend, or a date night with your partner.

These add more meaning to your life than work ever will.

A few years ago, amidst the hustle of life and career, I realized I was neglecting my relationships. I was so caught up in my work that weeks would go by without meaningful conversations with my family and friends.

I lost sight of what made life worthwhile. Applause fades. Trophies gather dust. People are priceless. At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have, but who you have in your life that truly matters.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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