4 Morning Habits of Successful People

by Emily Guy Birken · 6 comments

I dragged myself out of bed at 5:18 a.m. this morning (after I’d hit the snooze button twice), threw on my workout clothes, and went to the gym before the sun was up.

Despite the fact that I once viewed early mornings (not to mention a.m. workouts) to be a unique form of torture, I am trying my best to create a pre-dawn gym habit in order to set each and every day up for success. That’s because your morning habits set up your day for better or worse. Hitting the snooze button until 20 minutes before you have to leave for work is a good way to feel behind all day long, while getting up early and fitting in some exercise will help you feel empowered to handled any problem that crops up.

Did you ever want to improve how you start off each and every day? Here are four morning habits that successful people adopt to stay on top of their days, their careers, and their lives:

Get Up Early

I can recall my parents telling me I was missing the best part of the day back when I used to sleep until noon on weekends. Much as I hate to admit that Mom and Dad were right, it turns out that not only do early risers have healthier sleep cycles, and better mental health, but they are also far more productive than their late-sleeping colleagues.

The most productive people in the world are up before the sun and have several items checked off their to-do list while the rest of the world is still stumbling around looking for the coffee-maker. Feeling like you’re ahead of the game more than makes up for the 5 a.m. alarm.


We all know we should be exercising most days, and yet only a small percentage of people actually get their recommended exercise. The trick, according to many experts, is to plan your exercise for the morning.

Not only does that eliminate the possibility that a work emergency will nix your lunchtime or evening workout, but it also helps to give you a boost of energy prior to tackling your day. I can personally attest that work to-dos seem much more achievable after having run three miles at 5:30 am.


When you are extremely busy, it can often seem like the best way to start your day is to jump right in. But taking a few moments to reflect can make a huge difference in your productivity and your mood.

Many successful individuals — from Oprah Winfrey to Arianna Huffington — take a few moments every morning to sit quietly and clear their minds. This exercise allows them to be more connected with their lives and feel gratitude for what they have.

Successful early risers also take the time to reflect on the day ahead, so that they are well-prepared for the upcoming challenges.

Eat Your Frog

Mark Twain famously advised “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” There is a kernel of truth within the humorous advice — tackling something you dread first thing in the morning will make the rest of your day feel great.

Taking the time to do some focused work on a major obstacle will both help you feel productive, and make the rest of your work day much more pleasant. In addition, early morning is when your willpower reserves are freshest, so working on the dreaded project will be easier in the morning than it will be the rest of the day.

Good Mornings Make for Great Days

Modern life can often make you feel like you are always running to catch up — and never quite make it. Setting your alarm earlier and making mornings the best part of your day will do a lot to help you feel in control again.

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  • Mandy says:

    That’s right! I usually wake up early in the morning. It makes me feel good.

  • Laura Beth says:

    I love the post and the tips.

    I am a morning person and I find that the morning sets me up for the whole day. If my morning goes well, my day tends to follow suit. Mornings are a good time for creativity, such as writing.

    Enjoyed the post!

    Thank you,

    Laura Beth

  • Ashley says:

    I’ve implemented getting up early and working out into my routine and have seen a definite improvement in my overall production. I started leaving my phone on the bathroom counter so that I’m forced to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. On the days I skip this routine I am extremely sluggish the whole day! The next thing I plan to implement is to “eat a live frog.” I can’t wait to see the results…great post!

  • Jordan says:

    Great advice here. I definitely like the “eat a live frog” advice – if you get the worst thing over with, the rest of the day seems a lot better. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • I’m definitely a morning person, but I’m still working on becoming an exercise person. I think the hardest thing is just getting started.

  • Dewald Swart says:

    Like they say, the early bird catches the worm. Exercise and getting up in the morning are two things I hate very much. I get up early every day to go to work and yet I still dislike it.

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