Success is a relative term; what counts as success to some may very well be negligible in the eyes of others. I like to think of success as a positive, upward movement towards one’s personal goals.

Relativity aside, there are individuals that society views as resounding examples of success: CEOs, entrepreneurs, athletes, politicians, etc. As “success” is a common goal for most people, there’s been a lot of research done on the habits of successful figures. This is a list of some of the most interesting and effective habits that I’ve come across in both research and first hand experience. Whether you’re looking to find your own success, or simply working on continuous personal improvement, keep these habits in mind.

Waking Up Early

Many people love to get a few extra minutes of sleep in before starting their day. But, there are benefits to waking up an hour earlier than you’re used to. Studies show that people who are early risers are “happier, healthier, and more productive” than their late rising counterparts. All of those traits lend themselves to higher efficiency and an inherent ability to work through problems (which are both helpful traits to have in any industry).


 Reading literature (industry related or otherwise) allows for continued self-education and expansion of knowledge. There is nothing more valuable than having a wealth of knowledge to refer to when navigating professional and personal situations.  A study of 1200 wealthy people, carried out by Steve Siebold, showed that all of them self educated by reading, and mogul Warren Buffett says that he spends about 80% of this day reading. There’s no specific guideline to how much reading is “enough”; you should just focus on building reading into your everyday routine. Start with what you are interested in and expand from there.


This should go without saying, but is important to note anyway. Very few things can be accomplished to their fullest potential without a set plan and list of goals. This includes individuals. Successful people plan everything, starting with their next day. Spending some time in the evening planning the next day allows for the creation of specific goals to carry out the next day. This not to say that everything will go as planned (and successful people will be able to act reflexively), but having a solid plan allows for continuous work towards goals.

Maintain Work-Life Balance

Yes, successful people are generally extraordinarily hard working and conscientious about completing the tasks at hand. But, highly successful people make sure to factor in time for themselves. It’s important to work relaxation (whatever that means for you) and moments of solitude into your daily routine in order to avoid burnout. Taking time to yourself allows for one to reflect on goals and accomplishments and to determine next steps.

There are several articles that reflect on other successful habits. For resources and more information, look to these articles: Inc. &  Business Insider

Melissa Ko is the Managing Member of Covepoint Capital Advisors, LLC and serves as the Chief Investment Officer of its flagship, the Covepoint Emerging Markets Macro Fund. Please visit, and to learn more!