Human behaviour is complex and human beings are difficult to persuade. Technology has developed into a crucial tool to influence human behaviour. Computers have increased in power and mobility and have become ubiquitous in people’s daily lives. Persuasive technology involves computers being designed explicitly for influencing behaviour. Social networking sites are good examples of how users can be conditioned to habitually check for updates each day. This habit-forming technology can be repurposed to be useful for education. Non-academically inclined university students often have poor study habits. It is possible to design and implement persuasive systems to influence these students to improve their study habits, which is likely to result in improved learning outcomes for them. However, for a persuasive system to be effective, it needs to target a specific habit. In order to help identify which habits to target, this research provides insights into which habits have the most significant impact on academic performance. Three models were constructed outlining the most important habits for three dimensions of academic performance. It was found that each model had unique habit predictors, except for a small overlap. Generally, study habits related to the management of resources, value placed by the individual student on learning tasks and expectations of learning were found to be the most impactful. These models allow designers to more confidently build educational persuasive systems, by providing evidence-based selection of target habits.