9 Things Successful People Do Differently

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9 Things by Heidi Grant Halvorson.jpg
Author Heidi Grant Halvorson
Language English
Publisher Harvard Business Review
Publication Date December 4, 2012
Pages 112
ISBN 1422193403

9 Things Successful People Do Differently is a 2012 book by Heidi Grant Halvorson. In the book, Halvorson outlines a research-based series of habits and behaviors that "successful people" are more likely to consistently follow.

The Nine Things[edit]

  1. Get Specific: "When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible."[1]
  2. Seize the Moment to Act on Your Goals: "[Decide] when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance."[2]
  3. Know Exactly How Far You Have Left to Go: "Check your progress frequently—weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal."[3]
  4. Be a Realistic Optimist: "Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill prepared for the journey ahead and significantly increases the odds of failure."[4]
  5. Focus on Getting Better, Rather Than Being Good: "People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride and appreciate the journey as much as the destination."[5]
  6. Have Grit: "Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals and to persist in the face of difficulty."[6]
  7. Build Your Willpower Muscle: "[Take] on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do."[7]
  8. Don't Tempt Fate: "No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it, you will temporarily run out of steam."[8]
  9. Focus on What You Will Do, Not What You Won't Do: "Research on thought supperssion... has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind... If you want to change your ways, ask yourself, what will I do instead?"[9]


  1. p. 1
  2. p. 4
  3. p. 8
  4. p. 11
  5. p. 15
  6. p. 19
  7. p. 23
  8. p. 26
  9. p. 29