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12 things high achievers always do to achieve their goals

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Everyone knows that to achieve a goal, you first need to have one.

But simply having one isn’t enough – high achievers know this.

That’s why, more often than not, they’re the ones who go on to climb the ranks of their company, become successful, and make a meaningful impact on those around them.

What makes them so different? It’s simple: it’s their system.

As James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, writes, winners and losers both have the same goals; it’s their approach to achieving them that makes all the difference.

The best part is that you can learn some of the tactics high achievers employ to achieve their own goals.

Below are 12 of the crucial things that high achievers always do that separate them from the rest.

1. They Shut Out Distraction

In our daily lives, there always seems to be something that catches our attention.

We go about our days and stumble on an interesting video about animals on our social media feed, or we hop onto a new trend because we don’t want to feel left out – despite the trend not being close to something we identify with.

But high achievers are different.

High achievers sometimes take dire measures just to generate the focus they need to deeply concentrate on their work.

Bill Gates, for instance, has his own “Think Weeks.”

Even though he’s the head of one of the largest companies in the world, he spends a week twice a year off in a cabin by himself.

He spends his time reading, writing, and learning, in solitude. It’s being away from distractions that allows him to focus and make better decisions for the company.

2. They Remember Their Why

It’s easy to get caught up in doing something because we think it’s what’s going to make people like us the most.

We might pursue a master’s degree because we seek validation, not for more learning.

We work extra hours to show off to people (and to ourselves) how dedicated we are.

These things tend to cloud our reason.

We get lost and forget why we’re even putting so much effort into something – and one of the hardest things to do is continue on a path for an unclear purpose.

That’s why high achievers tend to have personal missions for themselves.

They undertake all the load and stress because they know what kind of life they aim to have and what success looks like to them.

They may also set reminders for themselves about their why, such as changing their phone lockscreen or putting posters around their room reminding them of why they’re bothering to put up with the stress in the first place.

3. They Show Up Every Day

One of the most important elements of success is being consistent.

No one can expect to earn more money if they aren’t trying to save as much as they can every day.

You won’t get better at your sport if you only train when you feel like it.

While motivation and inspiration to get to work might weaken and intensify, high achievers continue trying to become better despite what they’re feeling.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian, once mentioned in an interview that, in fact, those days when you don’t feel like going through the training is when you improve and grow the most.

While showing up every day is a great quality, how do you make sure you’re focusing on the right things to achieve your true potential in life?

According to life coach and best-selling author Jeanette Brown, transforming your life takes perseverance, a shift in mindset, and effective goal setting.

And while this might sound like a mighty task to undertake, thanks to Jeanette’s new Life Journal course, it’s been easier to do than I could have ever imagined.

What makes this course different from all the other personal development programs out there?

It all comes down to one thing:

Jeanette isn’t interested in being your life coach. Instead, she empowers YOU to take the reins in creating the life you’ve always dreamt of having.

Click here to learn more about Life Journal.

4. They Do Deliberate Practice

Deliberate practice is the act of doing an activity with the objective to become better.

While it may not always be physically draining, it certainly is mentally.

Those who do deliberate practice always look at their weak points and feedback to learn how to improve.

Often, people might get insecure knowing how bad they perform in an activity, but high achievers understand that’s part of the growing process.

5. They Persevere Through Failure

One of the qualities that psychologist and author Angela Duckworth found in those that become successful is something she calls “grit.” It’s the ability to keep moving forward despite everything.

Failure is a part of life.

As cliche as it sounds, it’s always true.

Learning to move past failure is one of the biggest differentiators between the high achievers and the low achievers.

High achievers don’t give in to failure. They might cry, feel sullen, get discouraged, but always keep pushing forward.

6. They Divide And Conquer

High achievers understand that achieving success and their goals can’t be done by themselves.

If they head a team, they make it clear what their goals are and make the best use of each person’s strength to achieve that goal.

As leaders, they also tend to get to know each one of their members as much as they can to form stronger relationships for the benefit of the entire team.

7. They Make Their Own Luck

While other people stand by on the sides waiting for the mythical perfect moment to arrive, high achievers get started.

If they say serendipity is opportunity meeting preparedness, high achievers always try to be as prepared as they can be.

They have no control of whether or not an opportunity arises, so they just want to be as ready as they can be.

8. They Keep Their Eye on their Goal

High achievers know what they’re aiming for.

They aren’t jumping from one book about marketing to another course to learn about accounting then volunteering to create posters and write press releases for a non-profit; they know what they’re going for with their lives and they exert all their focus into doing it.

They also don’t compare themselves to others; they keep their eye on their goal, not other people’s goals.

9. They Continue to Learning

When someone is a beginner and begins learning more and more things, there’s a tendency for them to make the false assumption that they’re more skilled than most.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect, where the more you think you know, the less you actually do. Falling for this effect can stifle your growth.

That’s why high achievers always keep themselves in check by remaining a student. They’re always trying to improve and be better.

10. They Admit When They’re Wrong

In his book Think Again, author Adam Grant proposes that those who are open-minded and more willing to adopt new strategies are more likely to succeed than the stubborn who continue on a failing path.

High achievers are always looking for ways to improve themselves and their performance.

If they want to learn to sing better and realize that the technique they’ve been using has been too hard on their throats and lungs, they’re willing to innovate rather than stick to what they’re used to.

11. They’re Organized

High achievers wouldn’t be able to meet their goals if they don’t have a clear system for actually achieving it. For that to happen, they’re going to need to be organized.

Some stick to a time blocking method of time management, where they block out periods of time in their day to dedicate to certain tasks.

Others might simply have a list of to-dos that have a few priorities.

While the systems change depending on the person, what’s most common is that high achievers more or less have their bearings on their days.

They can be as systematic as planning out their entire year, or be as small as planning week by week.

What they seldom do is start a new day blind.

12. They Work Smarter Than Others

While working hard is important, knowing what to work hard on might be more so.

Working 10 – 12 hour shifts at a job that doesn’t provide opportunities for growth might be similar to being the fastest chef to prepare food while the Titanic sinks; no matter how hard you’re working, if you aren’t going anywhere, then it will have been a waste.

High achievers understand this.

They question traditional modes of thinking – that more hours logged guarantees an increase in the quality of life. Instead, they’re more deliberate about what they want to work hard on.

They ask, What can give me the greatest leverage?

It could be spending more time learning while others dare to start without knowing all the facts.

It could be spending years developing a revolutionary app while others fall for get-rich-quick schemes.

Achieving Goals Like a High Achiever

Understanding and remembering why you’re doing something will provide you with the foundation you need to achieve what you want. It’s what you return to when doubt begins to creep into your mind.

While you see other people earning more and more money than you at a faster rate, understanding why you’re doing something can help you avoid feeling discouraged or even give up on your dream entirely.

If you see someone losing more weight than you and gaining more muscle, it’s easy to think that you’re simply being weak and that you’re never going to achieve their level of success.

But if you return to your why – maybe you want to live a healthier lifestyle – you’ll have the confidence to keep going; it reminds you that you’re both going on your own different personal paths in life.

Putting yourself first

Hey, Lachlan from Hack Spirit here.

What’s your number one goal at the moment?

Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?

To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?

Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?

Whatever it is, you’re not going to get there, unless you’ve got a plan.

And even then…plans fail.

But I didn’t write this to you to be the voice of doom and gloom…

No, I’m writing this because I want to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.

I’ve recently been taking part in a workshop called Life Journal created by teacher and career coach Jeanette Brown.

Covering all the basics and more on what’s needed to reach your goals, Jeannette tackles everything from creating habits and new behavior patterns to putting your plans into action.

She doesn’t mess around – this workshop will require effort on your part but that’s the beauty of it – Jeanette has carefully designed it to put YOU in the driving seat of your life.

Click here to find out more about Life Journal.

So…think back to that important goal I asked about at the start of this message.

How much do you want it?

Are you willing to put the effort in to get there?

If so, check out the workshop here.

If you do take part, I’d love to hear how your Life Journey goes!

All the best,
Lachlan

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Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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