Habits of Successful People


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

— Will Durant

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of people in some capacity, whether one-on-one as a coach and therapist or in group settings. I’ve worked with major companies to help improve the well-being of their teams (and increase their bottom lines). I’ve lent my ear as a friend for countless hours. And as you can imagine, I’ve gleaned A LOT along the way about human behavior.

So many people come to me looking for a change and wanting to get unstuck. Well, I’m here to tell you that it starts within. It’s challenging work; if it were easy, people wouldn’t pay for it. But when the breakthroughs do happen, it’s linked to habits and behavioral changes. Several key characteristics and tendencies emerge from my studies, research, and personal observation. 

Whether they acquired them with work or just happened to have years of healthy habits under their belts, here are some of the standout habits of highly successful people I’ve known. 

They have integrity between their word and what they do

There are many well-intentioned people out there who are, unfortunately, all talk. It doesn’t matter how many wellness and self-development social media accounts you follow; if you don’t do the damn thing, none of it really matters. 

When people’s deeds align with their words, magic happens. Notice if you say one thing and do another. Of course, we don’t always get through every goal and to-do; that’s life. But your actions should align with most of your written and spoken words. If you’re all talk and no action, that’s called being in your bullsh*t. If reading this triggers you or causes you to have an “ah-ha” moment about someone in your life who is all talk, I got you. Coaching is an incredible way to get back on track and have someone hold you accountable in a supportive, no-BS way. 

They aren’t afraid to look at their shadow side/ issues.

Highly successful people aren’t afraid to take good, hard looks at themselves in the mirror – and I don’t mean for looks. This ability to set aside ego and examine oneself, even the gnarly stuff you don’t want to see, stems from that integrity bit I talked about above. A lot of stuck people are drowning in their own bullshit. 

They wake up early.

The early bird gets the worm… and likely has more energy throughout the day. We all exist on different clocks, and some night owls may feel upset by this (nothing wrong with being a night owl, especially if that’s your productive time!). In general, people who wake up earlier have more focus and energy. Mornings are also an amazing time to tune your instrument if you will. Do you claim not to have time for practices like meditation, journaling, or workouts? Use your mornings! Your morning routine helps set the tone for your day. If you wake up and immediately start scrolling, perhaps it’s time to become a bit more mindful. 

They move their bodies daily.

Movement is medicine, period. Countless research points to the benefits of exercise for mental health. In addition, if you have good habits (and integrity), there’s a good chance that some form of movement is already deeply ingrained in your daily life. You don’t have to be a gym rat, folks! Movement might look like hitting the gym, but it can also be dance, tennis, hiking, walking your dog, volunteering in a community garden, and so much more.

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