14 Good Habits to Start that Will Make You Successful

A white daily planner, a golden ball point pen, a white calculator, a white keyboard and an orange drink on a white desk

If you want to become successful, you have a lot of work to do. You have to change your whole daily routine to make sure you are using your time in an optimal way. And changing your routine comes down to habits. In other words, if you want to succeed, you have to start some good habits and possibly let go of some bad ones.

In this post, I will share with you a list of some excellent daily habits that will make you more productive and help you stick to your goals. Glance through the list and ask yourself what habits would benefit you the most or what habits would make the most sense to start with.

It’s important not to try to be too ambitious and start 15 new habits right away. You will likely fail by day three. Instead, start with 1-3 new habits and add new ones to your routine when you feel confident with the old ones. It’s better to make slow, but steady progress than to try too much at once and end up with no learned habits at all.

How can daily habits make you successful

Positive daily habits can make an enormous difference in your life. They help you stay on top of things, work on your goals every single day, become healthier, and get ahead in life. If you for example start a habit of studying a new language for an hour every day, you can make very impressive progress in only a few months.

It can be hard to know how you can reach your goals or how you should spend your time every day. That’s why you want to take some time to define what success means to you, what are your most important goals, and what are all the things you think you should do to reach your goals. Then it’s easier to know what would be good for you to do every day and what habits would benefit you the most.

Good habits to start

Now let’s get to the main part! Here is a list of good, productive, and positive habits to start if you want to improve your life. Pick one or two habits to start with and work on them for at least three weeks. Once you start feeling confident with them, add another one or two habits to your daily routine. This way you will be making good, steady progress and you won’t be overwhelmed.

1. Have a master to-do list

This will make your life much easier because you will always have a clear idea of all the things you should do in the near future. I recommend you create a simple Word document and then list everything you need to do sooner or later. You can use categories to make the list easier to grasp.

2. Drink water

We are back to the basics, but this one is important. It’s not healthy to be dehydrated and if you want to be at your best, you’d better make sure that you drink enough water every day. Have a bottle of water on your desk or take it with you wherever you go.

3. Think of one thing you are grateful for

Every morning when you get up, think of one thing that you are grateful for. This will increase your happiness and give you some energy to tackle the day. You can also write down the things you are grateful for.

4. Tell yourself one thing you are proud of

We all need some positive feedback every once in a while, so why not provide that for yourself? Every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself one thing you are proud of. This will definitely make you feel much better about yourself. You can also do this in the evening and come up with one thing you did very well that day.

5. Write a detailed to-do list every morning

This is super important for your productivity. You have to know what you are supposed to do and you also have to push yourself to do things you don’t feel like doing. Listing things down makes you do just that.

Make sure your list isn’t too long because that will just make you stressed and overwhelmed. It also shouldn’t be too short because then you’re not making as much progress as you could be making.

Two daily to-do lists side by side

6. Study for 15 minutes

You should always be studying. It might have been years since you graduated from university or even opened a non-fiction book, but you should still keep learning. Whether you want to learn a language or how to create a successful Youtube channel or you just want to finally understand US history, you should dedicate some time of your day to learning. 15 minutes a day is not too time-consuming, but you will still learn a lot.

7. Exercise while you watch TV or Netflix

This is one of my favorite ways to save time. It’s nice to watch your favorite series sometimes, but they also take a lot of your time! One episode can last 45 minutes and you might want to watch the next one right after that. You can do some yoga, weight-lifting, or even running while finding comfort in Stars Hollow, Wisteria Lane, Central Perk, or wherever you feel at home.

8. Throw away everything you don’t need right away

To embrace change and to make sure you stay organized, get rid of everything you don’t need right away. This means old notes, files, pens that don’t really work anymore, and other things you don’t need. You don’t want useless clutter to be in your way or be there to distract you.

9. Read for 15 minutes

We all think we should read more, but it’s hard to find enough time for it. Reading for only 15 minutes a day doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a difference. It’s good to read non-fiction books because it’s important to learn. But if you want to read fiction, that will definitely benefit you too.

10. Listen to motivational videos or podcasts when you cook

This is the perfect kind of multitasking. You might need some extra motivation from time to time, but you don’t necessarily want to spend 30 minutes just staring at your laptop screen if you have a long to-do list to tackle.

That’s why you should get your motivation dose when you’re cooking. Just pop in your headphones, pick a motivational podcast, and start making a healthy meal. Afterwards, you will be more than ready to get back to work.

11. Reflect on your week every Sunday

Reflection is important for growth. Start a habit of asking yourself every Sunday night what you did really well that week and what you should do differently next week. This way you can get better every week and you have a better understanding of how you are performing.

12. Use apps to learn about your behavior

Mobile apps can help you become much more productive. You can use apps to keep track of your habits, how you spend your time, how you make progress in your projects, and so on.

There’s no need to even use the same app for long. You can use a time tracking app for a couple of weeks to learn more about how you spend your time, what you spend too much time on, and what takes more time than you thought. TimeCamp is a good option for this and it’s available for both iOS and Android.

13. Set a certain time in the evening for social media

Social media can steal a lot of your time and we don’t want that. It’s perfectly fine to spend some time scrolling through Instagram or whatever you want to do. To be more productive, you’ll want to set a certain time of the day for this though. You can for example decide that you can’t be on social media before 6 pm or you can only use it for 30 minutes between 8 and 10 pm.

14. Choose a skill to focus on every month

I’m sure there are a lot of skills you’d like to learn. One way to make more progress is to choose a specific skill to focus on each month. This could mean that you’ll study a lot of Spanish one month, or maybe you’ll work on your self-discipline. You will get much further by deciding to focus on something for a few weeks than if you just keep telling yourself that Spanish or self-discipline is something you should probably do at some point.

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Just because it feels difficult, doesn't mean it can't be done

I hope these ideas are useful to you and that this post motivates you to start some new habits. Make sure to focus on only a few habits at a time and don’t add new ones to your routine too early. Daily habits can improve your life a lot and they are one important step on your way to success, so it’s definitely worth it to take this seriously.

What kind of habits have you been building lately? What do you find difficult about building habits? Let me know in the comments and make sure to share this post!

Next, read this article to get some fun and useful monthly goal ideas!

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