7 Successful Student Habits For A Highly Successful Careers

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A good habit takes 21 days to develop, as the adage goes. It may also be 30 days. or just 18. Or it can take six months or longer.

The fact is that there is no magic number that works for everyone when it comes to forming (or breaking) habits. Although it could seem frustrating, developing habits is still feasible.

As a parent or carer, you’ve certainly thought about how to teach your kids healthy habits, such as cleaning their teeth and doing their duties. Seven effective study habits are listed below, along with advice on how to help your child develop new ones.

Millions of individuals, both young and old, have used Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits idea to improve their quality of life and level of productivity. Highly proactive pupils are aware that their actions are a result of their deliberate decisions.

The other day, I had a lengthy car ride and utilized the time to listen to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s a really intriguing book to read (or listen to), and it got me thinking about the behaviors of successful students.


Since its first release in 1989, Dr. Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People* has sold over 40 million copies, making it one of the most influential books in history.

In light of this, for those of you who haven’t read any of those 40 million copies…

What’s it all about?

To put it simply, Covey sets out to distil hundreds of years of “success literature” — from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography to psychologists’ conclusions to what individuals contemplate as they lay dying.

His goal? to identify the core personality attributes that contribute to people’s success in both their occupations and in life as a whole.

He lists the following seven traits or “habits” that successful individuals exhibit:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

As I previously indicated, while driving, I was listening to Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, and it made me reflect on my own experiences as a professional study coach who helps students become efficient learners.

I started to ponder what seven behaviors and characteristics characterize a student who is academically successful, productive, and well-adjusted.

I started working and created my own list as a result! I asked myself, “What would the “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Students” be?” after analyzing all the information I had learned from years of studying the literature in the fields of education psychology and learning science?

There are some similarities with Covey’s original seven “habits” if you are acquainted with them, but there are also many on this list that are specific to the situations kids of all ages find themselves in.

Let’s get started with my version, which is packed of high school and college students’ productive study habits: the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Students!

1. They’re proactive

Successful students design their own futures.

Success is something individuals actively take responsibility for and work aggressively towards, rather than something that passively occurs to them.


They prepare in advance and get to work, lowering danger and stress by avoiding last-minute scrambling for assignments and test-night studying.

2. They know where they’re going…

Students that are successful have a future plan.

This doesn’t necessary imply having a detailed plan for their whole career, but it does include having some solid ideas about where they want to go in the next two to three years.

Successful students understand why they are in school and how to make the most of goal-setting in both their academic and personal lives.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want to be studying?
  • Where do you want to go to university?
  • What do you need to achieve now to make that possible?

To answer these questions, it may be helpful to look further into the future:

  • Who do you want to become?
  • What kind of life do you want to be leading in 20 years?
  • What qualifications do you need to earn, or skills do you need to cultivate, to get you there?

3. … and they focus on getting there

Students who succeed prioritize their needs first.

And it entails placing their schoolwork and long-term goals ahead of having fun now.

In order to concentrate entirely on the work at hand when studying, they also avoid distractions and switch off their phones.

This leads to completing assignments more quickly and to a higher level, which is a fantastic advantage. It seems worthwhile to me!

4. They persevere

“Gritty” pupils are those who succeed.

Why does that matter?

It all comes down to making a conscious, continuous effort to understand things that initially appear difficult.

But there’s more!

Additionally, successful students have a development attitude, which supports their commitment to their studies.

When speaking to themselves or others, they utilise aspirational language. For example, “I can’t” becomes “I can’t YET.” They are aware that there is always opportunity for improvement and obstacles to be overcame.

5. They study smart

Successful students are aware of all the techniques for studying more efficiently. And they make good use of them!

They devote the majority of their study and revision time to effective learning strategies.

Specifically, they employ:

  • Retrieval practice is the process of learning through recalling facts.
  • A timetable that spreads out learning can help you remember information better when you revisit it over time.
  • A precise study schedule is ideal for assisting in the realization of your successful study habits.
  • Memory-enhancing strategies such as chunking, interleaving, and mnemonics
  • Updated flashcards: including Q&A My preferred technique for spaced learning and retrieval practice is Ultranotes.

Successful learners are aware that these strategies can need a little more work than less effective ones (such rereading, underlining, or taking notes). Additionally, they are aware that on results day, their efforts will be amply rewarded.

6. They’re helpful

A rising tide lifts all boats; as successful students are aware of.

As a result, they employ two strategies to raise the tide of education:

They form strong bonds with helpful classmates, trading helpful materials, and are always willing to attempt and explain a complex idea to a buddy.

By being honest about what students still don’t grasp despite their best attempts on their own, they also assist their professors.

7. They sharpen the saw

Successful pupils understand that sharpening a saw is time well spent since it makes the tool more efficient and makes cutting wood much simpler.

What does that mean?

The intellect and body of a learner serve as their “saw”. They require these resources to properly learn and accomplish their objectives.

Any student who doesn’t spend time taking care of their body and mind will eventually become dull and useless, much like a saw.

Therefore, effective students make the time to care for themselves so that they can remain so day after day, year after year. That implies:

  • Taking care of one’s physical well-being includes eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and engaging in regular exercise.
  • Practicing excellent sleep hygiene includes going to bed on time and receiving adequate rest.
  • Taking care of one’s mental and emotional well-being involves taking time to relax, engaging in mindfulness and meditation, and fostering loving, supportive connections with family and friends.

How schools use Covey’s ‘7 habits of highly effective people?

During school interruptions, students risk losing more than just academic ground. Additionally, they risk losing the foundational routines and academic habits required to recover their learning.

“The routines and social conventions of how to prepare oneself are incredibly crucial for children to learn, and the organized and tidy surroundings that schools normally give are really helpful for this. How do you organize yourself?

And the pandemic’s interruptions really knocked those for a loop, according to Ronn Nozoe, president and CEO of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Children were fighting to get back into the swing of things and find their way into the regular course of the school day and how things should run in schools, as we witnessed and continue to see.

However, some educators and professionals assert that fostering students’ feeling of ownership and leadership in the classroom may boost their engagement and aid in the development of new study habits.

Public schools in Collier County, Florida, are one of the 5,000 schools nationally that use the Leader in Me programme to improve children’ and adults’ abilities. The programme offers training and executive coaching for principals and teachers to improve leadership, culture, and academics in schools. It is based on Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people:

  1. Be proactive: Take responsibility for your life.
  2. Begin with the end in mind: Define your mission and goals in life.
  3. Put first things first: Prioritize and do the most important thing first.
  4. Think win-win: Have an “everyone can win” attitude.
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Listen to people sincerely.
  6. Synergy: Work together to achieve more.
  7. Sharpen the saw: Renew yourself regularly.

According to a Harvard University evaluation of the curriculum, teachers demonstrate how students can first “lead themselves” through personal responsibility, planning, and decision making, then “lead others” through attentive listening, conflict resolution, and teamwork. This is done through 38 “key concept” lessons for each grade level that are each about 15 to 30 minutes long.

We put a lot of emphasis on executive function abilities while teaching the seven habits to students, am I right? Really, habits one through three are this: I’m accountable to myself. I must make and plan my goals. Meg Thompson, vice president and general manager of FranklinCovey Education, which operates Leader in Me and is the author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution for Educators, stated, “I need to manage my time effectively. “Several of our customer schools have been communicating with us.

They believe that if the youngsters had lacked the [executive function skills] basis, they would not have survived the epidemic. And following the epidemic, it is the framework that they are utilizing to rebuild themselves.

The Leader in Me programme was linked across studies to lower behavior issues and absenteeism, more positive perceptions of the school climate, and higher math and reading/language arts test performance, particularly for Black students, according to Harvard University’s 2021 evaluation of 33 social-emotional development programmes.

Schools build students’ identity as leaders

Collier County has extended Leader in Me to 25 of its 52 schools during the epidemic, and all grades now receive a 30-minute lesson on social-emotional learning activities twice a week.

According to Kamela Patton, the superintendent of schools for Collier County, teachers “saw the need for their kids to have structure, to understand a belief in themselves to be leaders, to help their future and their down the road careers.”

The district has 43,000 pupils enrolled in its schools, which are dispersed over an area larger than Delaware. The majority of the more than 100 home languages are Spanish and Haitian Creole, and over 65 percent of pupils live in poverty and do not speak English at home.

Twice-weekly district-wide events, according to Patton, contribute in the development of a feeling of identity among teachers and students. In a recent demonstration of electricity and the necessity for each individual to work as a team, students and instructors built building-wide human chains to close a circuit and light a lamp. Everything we strive to achieve, she continued, “we try to do over a large space.” Therefore, if you don’t have mechanisms in place, nothing will change.

Academic interruptions are a way of life in Immokalee, Florida; they predate the epidemic. At Pinecrest Elementary School, more than 40% of the pupils are from migrant farmworker families that migrate seasonally between Collier County and other farming and packing regions in Florida, Tennessee, and other states. More than 60% of the students are learning English as a second language, and the majority of them are Black or Hispanic.

When Laura Mendicino became Pinecrest’s principal in May 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the state had recently given the school a failing accountability rating and threatened to close it or turn it over to a charter organization. Mendicino prioritized adopting Leader in Me at Pinecrest as well because she had done so effectively at her former school, Highlands Elementary.

According to Mendicino, “allowing students to really start to make decisions on campus and have that ownership of our campus really impacted the culture of the school, which naturally impacted the academics.” “Within a year, we improved [on the state’s school accountability rankings] from a F to a C. We improved from a C to A, the next year, and we’ve kept that A ever since.

Executive coaching helps set culture

Executive coaching on the habits is provided to teachers and principals in six to twelve sessions lasting an hour to 90 minutes each.

It’s not only instruction for children. Because you can’t sit there and reinforce something with kids and not pick it up yourself, Patton said, teachers are developing better habits in their own personal lives, such as being proactive and starting with the goal in mind.

Building a “culture of leadership and responsibility” in schools, according to Patton and Mendicino, requires administrators and teachers to get training, support, and even one-on-one coaching to help them develop better academic habits.

Mendicino gave the example of how her instructors have concentrated on one habit—”thinking win-win”—to encourage pupils to resume cooperative learning after years of education that was first virtual and then socially distant. 

They sat 6 feet apart for a very long time. Both they and their professors were wearing masks. Mendicino remarked that it was a rather solitary method of instructing students. One of Covey’s original “habits,” “thinking win-win,” entails encouraging students to prioritize collaboration over competition while working on a team and to seek for win-win solutions to interpersonal conflicts.

“Thinking win-win” has been really important for our children because we’ve had to essentially teach them how to collaborate,” she added. We’ve thus had to go back to teaching kids how to communicate to one other: how to listen, how to try to grasp what their peers are saying, how to process it, and then react based on the [peer’s] emotional viewpoint, the context, and their background understanding—and do it in a way that’s respectful.

According to Patton, setting an example for kids in terms of healthy study habits also requires being open about your personal challenges throughout the epidemic. Patton, who calls herself a “organizational freak,” makes a point of discussing with students how stress and a lack of time in the previous two years have damaged her own capacity to keep organized and how she finds tiny methods to improve.

“Over the past two years, [my email] has been a constant disaster. Digging through it costs me five minutes every day, Patton said. You can be sure that our children are overwhelmed during these times if I am stressed as an adult.


So there you have it—the seven study habits that I firmly believe will help you succeed in school.

How many of these routines already do you have?

And now for one more, crucial tip:

I think that of these seven study habits, habit number five—studying smartly—can have the largest immediate influence on the majority of pupils.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that adopting more efficient study strategies and revision procedures has a significant beneficial influence on the grades attained.

Thankfully, we have everything you require to begin your path towards being a great student! To get you started right away, read our articles on how to study well, the best memorization tricks, and my personal list of the best study advice ever.

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