How To Build 10 Habits Associated With Successful People

Habits of Successful People
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Little children on African streets would see a passing car and say, “I want to buy that car when I grow up“. Everyone wants to be successful, to live comfortably, and to afford the things they cherish. Visualizing the kind of life you want is easy. However, developing habits that actually lead to success is tough and many will be reluctant to put in the necessary work to reach the goal. Well, nothing good comes easy, but successful people have identifiable habits that a proven to lead to success. Here are 10 of those important habits and how to build them.  

Top 10 Habits Common with Successful People

We pick up habits knowingly or unknowingly. However, they guide our actions in any particular situation. To a large extent, habits determine the level of our success. The reason is simple; how we view, approach, and handle issues is largely hinged on our habits. Therefore, if you want to be successful, it is time to build new habits. 

#1. Positive Beliefs

The most important habit of successful people is having a strong positive belief. They are optimistic and talk positively even in the face of failure. Ideally, the intensity and type of emotion attached to an action considerably affects the outcome. An example is the determination and accompanying success to lose weight or quit smoking after a patient is told that they may die in a matter of months if they fail to do so. Dr. Morris Massey described this as a “significant emotional event”. The benefits of positive thinking are numerous. However, it affects both mind and body and attracts success.

How to build a positive belief 

  • Write down your new positive beliefs. Start with the opposite of every disempowering thought you hold concerning success. Neuroscience explains that writing down your goals first helps you recall them better. This is termed the “generation effect”. In addition, writing allows your mind to analyze the information. 
  • Reiterate your positive beliefs. Whether in words or writing, say them to yourself over and over again. This produces intensity. It is a significant step that will implant your new beliefs in your subconscious mind and improve your responses and outlook on life.   
  • Practice creative visualization. This involves imagining experiences or emotions that relate to achieving your goals. Naturally, this pulls you to work toward those goals. 
  • Stay around like-minds. A good habit environment is one that puts you in close proximity to people who are developing the same habit as yourself. 

#2. Mapping Out Plans 

Image depicting planning by successful people.
Image depicting planning by successful people. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

A famous bon mot said ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’. Successful people stay organized in all they do—from setting goals to listing priorities and organizing activities. Regardless of your determination, without a plan, you are bound to fail. Also, lack of plan makes it hard for you to track your progress leaving you with the exhausting feeling of stagnation.

Lumen Learning describes 5 stages in the planning cycle. According to the article, planning goes beyond just having a target and a deadline to involve making backup plans and tracking success. Business and personal development planning alike will benefit from using this outline. 

One major advantage of having an effective plan is that you get to conserve energy, resources, time, and money. This is simply because effective planning includes taking the most productive step. Also, there is a feeling of accomplishment that comes with the easy actualization of goals. 

How to build a habit of mapping out plans

  • Create a To-do list. Basically, this is a list of things you plan to do. It can cover activities for a day, a week, or more.
  • Write out each item randomly as it comes to mind.
  • Categorize your list either in order of “important” or “due soon” actions. However, you can merge two categories or create different lists for all your categories.
  • Strictly follow schedules. Disregarding timetables and deadlines will defeat the aim of making plans. A lot about success has to do with discipline.  

#3. Taking Action

Taking Action Photo credit:
Photo credit:

After setting goals and with lots of enthusiasm, the next habit to build is that of actually taking action. Too much planning is a form of procrastination. Building a habit requires conscious, repeated actions. Successful people are quick to act when they see opportunities. They commit to their plans, wake up early, work when they ought to be working and even rest diligently. In addition, successful people try to do a little extra work. 

Author and coach Tony Robbins said, “the only impossible journey is the one you never begin”.  The psychology of taking action goes ahead to advise that beginning this impossible journey doesn’t require big leaps but little repeated actions. 

How to build a habit of taking actions

  • Focus on the purpose of action rather than the feeling surrounding it. Accepting and understanding the purpose of action gives a strong motivation to act. It is a lasting drive compared to feelings that quickly dissipate. 
  • Avoid overthinking. Just do it. Some brilliant plans don’t get executed simply because they were thought of more than necessary. While there’s a wide variation between problem-solving thoughts and disempowering ones, overthinking can easily put you in a mental rut. This creates fear and consequently, avoidance of action. 
  • Talk about what you plan to do. Telling your friends, family, or mentor about your proposed actions will help create some form of accountability.  

#4. Relaxing Properly

Relaxation is a state of calmness and ease from emotional or physical tensions. Relaxing properly is a positive habit. Although a little stress has some benefits, it is recommended to set out time to rest your muscles and mind. Successful people take care of themselves through stress management activities—and you should too.      

How to relax properly

  • Schedule your relaxation. In order not to burn yourself out, it is a good practice to schedule your relaxation. Make out sufficient time to relax between chores or at the beginning or end of long sessions of work. 
  • Do what is most soothing. Relaxing in your workplace will most likely not involve taking a warm shower. However, you can carefully determine whether reading a novel or listening to some music will best fit those afternoon breaks.  
  • Be fully involved. Most often, people try to relax while trying to finish off that project at hand. This is a terrible waste of time and will lead to both poor relaxation and low work efficiency. Therefore, it is important to relax wholeheartedly when it’s time to do so. 

#5. Building a Network

Photo showing networking by successful people. Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Successful people know the need for building a network of friends, co-workers, family, and mentors. Psychology describes this as social interdependence. The idea behind this habit is that you come in contact with people that inspire and support you. Friends can share business opportunities, a family can assist with funds, co-workers can share ideas, mentors can provide motivational support and you can grow to contribute positively to the network. 

How to build a habit of networking

  • Be aware of opportunities. Noting and taking every opportunity to build your network is one important step. It means that you can easily spot talent and you are well involved in meetings and activities that strengthen your network. 
  • Be open to new ideas. Being open-minded does not translate to lacking opinions or accepting just any idea. It is simply allowing presentations and positively criticizing each one to sort out the most productive and efficient.

#6. Being Economical

 Image depicting economical habit of successful people. Image by Cottonbro from Pexels.
Image by Cottonbro from Pexels

This is another habit closely linked to successful people. Although it is largely attributed to managing one’s finances, economical habit cuts across all aspects of life. Being economical is described as using or doing just the required amount of something. Behavioral economics tries to understand the economic behavior of people in making decisions based on how much satisfaction it will bring. 

How to build a habit of being economical

  • Always have a budget. No matter how minor the activity, bear in mind how much you are willing to spend on a purchase or what amount of money you will need to cover logistics. This will prevent unnecessary expenditure. 
  • Weigh the productivity of an action. Since being economical relates to every area of one’s life, it is necessary to filter out wasteful actions in our daily activities. Managing resources is key to achieving this.

#7. Giving And Sharing 

Successful people give and share. The habit of giving takes different forms. Examples are donating to charities, participating in community service, gifting less privileged people or our loved ones, funding NGO activities, sharing advice with those who we mentor, and even sharing a smile as often as possible. The psychology of giving describes a healthy feeling of being valued and doing right when we think of ourselves as givers. 

How to build a habit of giving and sharing

  • Understand that giving is not just for the holiday season or for special occasions. Every time is the right time to give. This mindset will help you see the opportunities available to freely share and give. 
  • Always give something tangible. This does not exactly mean that your gifts should cost you a fortune, except you decide otherwise, but it is important that you give something of good quality. 
  • Freely give. The emotion surrounding your giving should not be that of compulsion. In addition, you should not give expecting a gift or favor in return. This is as important as the habit of giving. 

#8. Expressing Appreciation 

Firstly, appreciation enables deeper connections whether in a business or private setting. Self-appreciation is another valuable yet not-so-talked-about aspect of appreciation. The psychological benefit is that it improves self-esteem. 

How to build a habit of expressing appreciation

  • Be observant of nice gestures by others. Take note of the little good deeds done by people you come across. This allows you to express gratitude.
  •  Say polite and appreciative words. This is the most common way of showing that you appreciate someone and it works just well.
  • Perform nice gestures. Other than setting a good example, this is a brilliant way of expressing your appreciation.  

#9. Developing A Reading Culture

IPhoto showing reading habit of successful people. Photo by Gabby K from Pexels
Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Successful people are known for their habit of reading as often and as wide as they can. Wide reading helps one learn about a range of things including business opportunities, personal development, and general knowledge. This is definitely one recipe for success. 

How to develop a good reading culture

  • Develop the mindset of valuing reading. Without this, reading will seem like a task and this will not help your reading culture. Growing your reading culture starts with loving books. 
  • Write down a list of subjects or topics or books you will like to read. This is more like setting a reading goal. Having a list will also ensure that no time is wasted on looking for what next to go through. 
  • Read with understanding. As much as it is important to read wide, it is equally important to understand what you are reading. Looking up the meaning of relatively new words, briefly researching new concepts, and trying to analyze what you read will help achieve this.  

#10. Demonstrating Ethical Behaviors

Behaving in an ethical manner is one of the habits of successful people. Being a successful businessman/woman will require that you are transparent and trustworthy. Also, being a successful sports person will require that you are consistent and fair, and the list goes on. The advantages of good ethical behaviors include a lawful society and in turn, a stress-free life. 

How to build a habit of demonstrating ethical behaviors

  • Be ethical even in private. That is the first step. Being originally and intrinsically ethical is linked directly to success. 
  • Reward ethical behaviors. In your little way, rewarding people who demonstrate ethical behaviors such as honesty will go a long way to build your own habit. 


Essentially, building a habit is done in a number of steps that begin with believing that you can do it. Planning what activities will help you achieve this and actually taking repeated actions to build the habit are the next steps. Finally, take note of your progress at every point and share this with friends and family. If you find this helpful, feel free to share it with your friends 😊 

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