10 Things Successful People Do that You Wouldn’t Expect

If you have yet to achieve your own definition of success, whatever that may be, you might not realize that behind some of the world’s most successful people are fairly ordinary habits that have helped them get to where they are. Many of these things are quite unexpected, such as how much time most successful people spend resting rather than working.

Want to be successful in your lifetime? Here are 10 things successful people do that you wouldn’t expect. Once you read through the list, you will have a better understanding of how people achieve success.

1. They hold themselves accountable

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Accountability partners are the ultimate key to success, right? Maybe not. The problem with asking someone else to hold you accountable for your goals and projects is that this action assumes that person will actually follow through.

You aren’t the only one with goals. Most people have their own ambitions to focus on, and as much as they would love to help you reach yours, it probably won’t remain their priority for long. Successful people hold themselves accountable and create their own reward systems.

2. They have a good reason in mind for doing what they’re doing

Man Playing Chess

The fastest way to fail is to not know why you want to do something. Let’s say you want to start your own business. Why? Do you want to help people? Do you have a really great idea you think others can benefit from? Or do you just want to be a business owner because it sounds cool?

Successful people create personal mission statements based on their values and what they want to accomplish in and outside their careers. They always know where they are headed and why they want to go there.

3. They make time for other people

People Together Hands and Feet

The way we measure success often leaves out the quality of relationships we have with other people. Those who have achieved true success are able to stop what they are doing to listen to other people’s ideas. They take days off to spend quality time with family. They believe in the power of team work and don’t expect to be able to do everything on their own.

4. They work out

Woman Athlete Stretching

Those who have achieved great success don’t just sit at their computers working all day. They also make time for working out and keeping themselves healthy. Working out regularly boosts energy and mood and can, in the long run, make you more productive.

5. They write down their ideas

Man Writing on Notepad

If you want to be successful, you need to toss out the notion that success and busyness go hand-in-hand. Success is literally a product of productivity. Often productivity means keeping track of ideas and saving them for later even when you’re in the middle of working on something else.

Successful people aren’t so busy that they can’t take the time to stop what they are doing and write down new ideas. While their ability to focus and follow through might be exceptional, they understand that all ideas are worth considering, even if they don’t end up working out later on.

6. They meditate

Wooden Buddha Statue

If you think meditation is a waste of time, you’re wrong. Successful people often adopt the practice because success does come with a lot of stress, and if they don’t have a way to deal with it in a healthy and constructive way, their success won’t last long.

Meditation helps people to relax, organize their thoughts and cope with internal and external stressors that might otherwise prevent them from getting their work done.

7. They keep motivational quotes close by

Motivational Quote Man

Motivational quotes might seem a bit silly, but it doesn’t hurt to have something encouraging to look at when you’re having a long and stressful day. Different quotes speak to different people at different points in their lives depending on what they are dealing with. Successful people hold those quotes close to them and use them as fuel to keep going, even when it seems impossible.

8. They sleep

Woman Sleeping Outdoors

Wherever the idea come from that all successful people wake up at 4 a.m., sleep deprived and addicted to caffeine, it’s time to shut it down. Sleep is a vital component to success: those who have made it far in life know this to be true.

Yes, even successful people sleep. When and how many nightly hours might vary, but they don’t deprive themselves of sleep just because they have busy schedules. They rest as much as they need to and still manage to build businesses, products, and platforms.

9. They only do one thing at a time

To Do List

Successful people single-task. They understand that focusing on only one thing at a time, and working through that one thing until it is finished, is the best way to get more done in a shorter period of time. They don’t reduce the quality of their work or waste time by trying to do five things at once.

10. They have fun

Woman Having Fun in Winter

Being successful does not mean a person has to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Working too hard without having something on the side to offset that stress only leads to burnout, which is pretty much productivity’s arch nemesis.

Successful people understand the need to balance work and play. They may not enjoy everything they do throughout the day (very few people like answering emails, returning phone calls and filling out paperwork), but they find creative outlets for their hobbies and leisure time regardless.

It turns out good work is about a lot more than just working. Successful people are able to hold themselves accountable for their own goals, work with a specific vision in mind and involve other people in the process. They also take care of themselves physically, find small ways to keep themselves motivated and reduce stress and keep rest and leisure as part of their normal routines.

Maybe by now your definition of success has changed. Succeeding is about setting and reaching a goal. During that process, though, successful people learn that success is a product of a healthy and fulfilling life, not the other way around.