5 Habits of Successful People You Should Adopt

We all want to get there: Being a leading light in our industry, known for being incredibly effective at work (and by extension, in life).

But how do we do it?

There’s the obvious: Being dedicated, working hard, taking risks, continuously improving, etc. But are there other factors that can get us ahead?

We’ve done some research into the topic and discovered that it can help to see success as a habit. Or rather a collection of habits. In other words, one of the best ways to be a successful person is to emulate successful people. And where better to start than by emulating what they do day in and day out?

Here are five habits of successful people that you should consider adopting today.

1. Get enough sleep

It might be hard to believe that magnates and moguls sleep at all, but they do! When Forbes surveyed the sleep habits of 21 successful people, they found that most (32%) slept five to six hours a night. If you really want to emulate these individuals, the majority go to bed at 23:00 and wake up at 5:00.

2. Exercise

The saying “sound body, sound mind” is popular for a reason! You need to put your all into achieving your ambitions, and you can’t function at 100% without  regular exercise. One Inc. article found that 70% of successful business individuals exercise daily – mostly early in the morning.

Need more motivation? John Ratey, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, said that “exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning.”

3. Have a good work-life balance

Just because you want to be successful doesn’t mean you have to work all the time. Finding the right work-life balance will help you destress, recharge and put your career into perspective. The downtime will also give you time to reflect on what you’ve done and plan where you want to take your career next.

It can also boost your productivity. A Corporate Executive Board survey of 50,000 global workers found those who believe they have a good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t. (Incidentally, if you want the complete formula for job satisfaction, this forensic Cleverism dissection of the topic is definitely worth a read.)

4. Plan ahead

Success doesn’t happen by accident. Make the effort to clearly map out how you want to spend your time at work. Prioritise important tasks and make sure you allocate enough time for them. This can also go hand-in-hand with goal setting; set yearly, quarterly and even monthly goals, and create a weekly plan that will help you reach them.

Setting goals is shown to boost both motivation and achievement. In the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching paper “Setting Goals: Who, Why, How?”, author Selen Turkay notes that “setting goals increases motivation. In fact, goals and motivation are so intertwined that many definitions of motivation incorporate goals.” She goes on to explain that “setting goals increases achievement. Hundreds of correlational and experimental studies show evidence that setting goals increase success rate in various settings.”

5. Network

Some of the best opportunities come from connecting with others. By ensuring you’re always putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’ll begin to create a network that will take you to the next rung on the professional ladder. According to a ProMatch, 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking.

What’s more, if your path to success involves working for a dream employer, it pays to start building your relationship with them early. Even if you’re not ready to join right now, you could be establishing and sustaining fruitful connections until the right role comes along in the future.


By adopting these habits, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your professional goals and becoming an industry leader. Of course, these tips alone won’t get you there, but allied to the right mindset and ambition, they can act as a solid foundation on which you can begin to build your empire!

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