8 things successful people do at the start of every day

Imagine starting each day with clear purpose and clarity, knowing that the habits you’ve cultivated are paving the way for success and fulfillment. 

It’s a nice idea, isn’t it? 

The truth is that the magic of high achievers doesn’t lie in secret formulas. Rather, it’s rooted in their daily habits, particularly their morning routines.

You might be thinking, “But I struggle with consistency!” 

And you know what, I completely relate. Establishing and sticking to a routine was a challenge for me too. 

Even though I slip up from time to time, when my arrows are generally pointed in a good direction, I hit more targets. 

By closely observing and learning from successful people, I’ve discovered that the key to unlocking one’s potential lies in the mastery of daily habits.

Research supports this. Studies have shown that our morning routines significantly influence our mental state, productivity levels, and overall well-being. This realization was transformative for me.

In this article, I’ll guide you through 8 powerful daily habits that successful people practice every morning. 

1) Keep the first hour sacred

The first hour of your day can set the tone for the remaining twenty-three. It’s true.

Research indicates that morning habits profoundly impact our mental state, productivity, and overall happiness. 

This realization was a game-changer for me.

I’ve learned to keep the first part of the day utterly sacred. I don’t want to hear any loud noises, I don’t want to hear bad news, and I can’t handle intense conversations when I’ve just woken up. 

I make an effort to ease myself gently into the day slowly. 

You’ve just spent the night swimming around in your subconscious mind. It just doesn’t make sense to jump straight into the highest gear. 

Here are some good ways to ease yourself slowly into the day during your first hour of wakefulness

  • Drink tea in silence
  • Meditate
  • Do some gentle stretches

But wait, does it matter what time you wake up? It might.

2) The early bird really does get the worm

“Early bird catches the worm”— a bit cliché, right?

But there’s solid truth behind it. 

Waking up early unlocks hours of undisturbed peace, perfect for planning and introspection. 

Science backs this up, showing that early risers tend to be more proactive and optimistic.

Waking up early improves: 

With all these benefits in mind, is the extra couple of hours of slumber really worth it?

3) Morning meditation

Let’s cut through the noise—meditation is not just a fad. 

It sharpens the mind and enhances focus.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins found meditation can:

  • Improve anxiety
  • Reduce depression
  • Help pain

My own mornings transformed once I started sitting in silence, tuning into my breath before the day’s chaos took over. 

I feel so grateful to have been introduced to meditation from a young enough age. It feels like getting a mega headstart on life. 

And every morning that I sit in silence before taking on tasks, I get a headstart on the day.

4) Delay digital life

Now, here’s a revelation that might just make you rethink your entire morning routine — putting off grabbing your phone the moment you wake up can actually elevate your spirits.

Are you surprised?

A fascinating piece of research from the University of British Columbia sheds light on this: folks who check their email less often experience significantly less stress. 

Instead of immediately plunging into the digital whirlpool of emails, social media, and news alerts, start your day by stretching your limbs or savoring a cup of coffee. 

The very thought feels like a breath of fresh air, right? 

I can really notice the effect digital life has on my stress levels. I immediately notice a rise of stress if I venture near social media or news — not just in the morning, but all day. 

Aside from that, unless you’re working, you might end up wasting colossal amounts of precious time. 

Don’t stumble blindly into the digital void! If it’s not on your to-do list — scrap it. 

5) To-do list or not to-do list

A well-crafted to-do list can be a thing of beauty, a roadmap to achieving your daily goals with a satisfying tick for every task completed. 

Yet, there’s a shadow to this shine. 

Overstuff your list, and you’re setting yourself up for a fall — a tumble into the abyss of overwhelm and guilt over unmet expectations. 

The trick, I’ve found, is in striking that delicate balance: crafting a list that’s ambitious enough to motivate but realistic enough to be achievable, allowing room for life’s unpredictable twists. 

It’s about harnessing the power of the list without becoming its servant, navigating your day with both direction and flexibility.

You’ll often hear that many highly successful people don’t use to-do lists. But many do, too. 

I guess this one requires some trial and error. I say try it out — give it a good shot. 

If it works for you — keep it. If not, try something else. 

Personally, I enjoy the process of setting myself daily goals and ticking them off task by task as I complete them. 

6) Plan a daydream

Daydreams can be a strategic tool for success? 

I began dedicating a few precious moments each morning to visualize my aspirations and the victories I hoped to claim. 

It was as if I was sketching out my day’s blueprint, imagining myself achieving all my goals and what it would feel like.

I don’t know if I believe in the Law of Attraction — it might be a gimmick, it might not. I honestly don’t know. 

But I do know that allowing myself to indulge in those success daydreams aligns me more tightly with my goals. 

It’s like the more time you spend thinking about it, the more you naturally want to align your daily life to match it. 

One things sure — it can’t hurt to give it a try!

7) Read, and then read more!

I think it’s fair to say that success often requires more than raw work ethic. It requires knowledge too.

Reading isn’t just great for acquiring new knowledge and learning about the world, but it’s also a good way to:

  • Improve your concentration
  • Destress
  • Explore new worlds

Maybe you already have a solid reading routine, or maybe you haven’t touched a book in years. 

Regardless of where your reading practice is today, you can pick it up from anywhere

Want to read some fictional classics? Try Franz Kafta, Fyodor Dostoevsky, or Charles Dickens. 

Would you rather explore magic realism, dystopias, or fantasy realms? My favorites for this are Haruki Murakami and Philip K Dick. 

Since I started my creative writing degree, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading books I never would have usually picked up. 

But it’s been more enjoyable than I could have imagined. Even if I slip up from time to time, I’m trying to develop a more conscientious attitude to my reading practice. 

8) Practice being conscientious

If there’s anything close to a secret of success, it might just be conscientiousness. 

Want to know why?

It’s the personality trait that’s most linked to career success.

So, what exactly is conscientiousness?

I guess you could say it’s like dutifulness. 

When you say you’re going to do something — do it. 

When you know you should be working, don’t go partying. 

When you have a tonne of tasks to get through — cut the BS and stop procrastinating. 

Conscientious people GET THINGS DONE. 

I know it’s a lot easier said than done. On top of that, conscientiousness is a personality trait. You either have it or you don’t, right? 

I have to contest this one. While research mostly indicates that you can’t change your personality, or mostly can’t, I can’t ignore the fact that I wasn’t always conscientious — and now I am. 

I used to have a strong distaste for responsibility and hard work. Now, I thrive on it. It might just be growing up and getting older, but some days I don’t even feel like I’m the same person as I was. 

Final thoughts

We might look at ultra-successful people as just being a different species from us. It might be easier to think like that.

That way, we don’t need to reconcile ourselves with the fact that we might not be opting for the best habits. We might not be living in a way to draws us closer to success. And we may not want to even face that fact.

But the truth is; everyone can be doing something better. We can all improve every day and lots of those improvements are within our control.

You can’t control what life throws at you. But you can control what you throw back at it. 

Whether it’s bouncing out of bed an hour earlier to sit quietly, meditate, and stretch, or it’s keeping a to-do list to be more accountable for your time — don’t hide from it. 

You’d be surprised how much small changes can improve your life and drive you closer to success. 

“The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

— Andrew Carnegie


Marie Lamb

Marie is a writer with an academic background in psychology and neuroscience. She’s also a qualified yoga teacher with more than 10 experience in Eastern practices. When she’s not writing about psychology and life, she’s reading and crafting stories, poetry, or prose.

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