Some people manage to attain their life goals, and some don’t.
That may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true.
Some of the reasons that people don’t succeed are beyond their control.
But often, it’s issues such as poor time management, procrastination, and self-sabotage that prevent them from achieving their goals.
Below are 14 habits of highly driven people who manage to make their dreams a reality.
Consider them carefully, and then decide whether you could benefit from implementing or improving them in your own life.
1. They set a clear goal to strive toward.
Highly driven, ambitious people all have this one thing in common: a clearly defined goal that they want to achieve.
Some may have more than one goal, but there is likely one major focus and several minor ones.
Their main goal, their main ambition in life is one that’s incredibly important to them, but it is also realistic. If you’re 60 years old and have already had a hip replaced, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to climb Mt. Everest.
But you might be able to do some weight training and cardio and run a 10km race.
2. They have a solid sense of purpose.
The most highly successful people are those who are striving toward an ambition of their own, rather than someone else’s dream.
Some people are pushed to achieve various things by parents who want to live vicariously through them. These people may achieve said ambitions, but if their hearts weren’t truly in it, they’ll have little sense of fulfillment in the end.
They may even abandon whatever it was they achieved because it wasn’t their dream to begin with.
The person who received their medical degree by age 30 might have a nervous breakdown shortly after and choose to become a baker or tailor instead, because that’s what they wanted to do in the first place.
And you know what? They’ll be better off as a baker or tailor than they would ever have been as a doctor because that was their ambition; that was their dream.
Highly ambitious people who realize their dreams and become great successes are those who don’t allow themselves to be influenced by others.
Instead, they stick to their own goals and pursue them diligently until they achieve them.
3. They manage their time effectively.
A solid schedule is essential when pursuing and realizing one’s ambitions.
Highly driven people prioritize tasks and responsibilities that will establish the foundation upon which they can build, and they estimate how much time it’ll take to complete them.
They then sort out their schedules and critical paths to achieve their ambitions by their chosen end dates.
They don’t allow themselves to fall down rabbit holes by scrolling social media accounts, nor do they procrastinate when it comes to getting work done.
Everything they do is efficient and orderly, with their chosen goal as their North Star.
4. They have impeccable organizational skills.
It’s important to keep things well organized. Little inconveniences can wreak havoc on the best of intentions, so ideally one will take the necessary steps to get things done as efficiently as possible.
For example, if you know that you need to be out the door early in the morning, it’s best to sort out everything you need the night before. Lay out the following day’s clothes, have meals prepped, phone set to charge, and your wallet and keys together.
Leave everything in its proper place so that you’re not scurrying around in the early morning like a headless chicken.
This same efficiency applies to paperwork, computer files, work supplies, and anything else you can think of. Keep things tidy and organized, and you’ll be well on your way to success.
5. They call on intense self-discipline.
It takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication to adhere to established schedules.
A person who knows how much they need to get done on any given day will need to show discipline to stick to it if they are to succeed.
It’s easy to turn the alarm off and sleep until noon instead of heading to the gym at 5am or putting in several hours’ worth of work on a project.
But that isn’t going to get the job done.
It’ll derail the carefully constructed schedule that’s meant to keep things on track.
Highly driven people strive for excellence in what they do, so they aren’t going to slack on self-control.
If a person is training for a swimming race, for example, they’re not going to gorge on pizza four nights a week and get drunk at the pub every weekend. They know they need to be at peak performance, so they’ll ignore temporary cravings and desires and place greater focus on the end goal instead.
6. They try to maintain a positive mindset.
It’s easy to be driven toward an ambition when you feel positive and cheerful, but no one feels like that all the time.
Those who are dedicated to realizing their ambitions work through the doldrums by continually coming back to a positive, self-encouraging mindset.
They don’t allow themselves to play victim or wallow in misery. They shake themselves out of whatever’s weighing them down via positivity and enthusiasm.
A common habit of highly driven people is to have a collection of positive quotes and affirmations that they either repeat regularly or have posted around their home or office to keep their spirits up.
They might also have dedicated “pick me up” music playlists, and they may revisit movies, classic philosophy, or TV series that uplift and inspire them.
They choose not to succumb to the influence of negative emotions but challenge them instead.
7. They take care of themselves and balance their life out.
The most successful, highly driven people are often those who have mastered the concept of work-life balance.
They understand that you can’t drive any vehicle at top speed for days—or weeks—at a time without refilling the tank, and that goes for their minds and bodies too.
They place a high priority on nurturing and replenishing themselves so that they’re able to keep moving toward achieving their goals.
When they’re out of balance, they are quick to reflect on whether their ambitions are healthy or whether they’re causing them (or others) physical and/or psychological distress. They then adjust as necessary.
8. They put in consistent effort.
Consistency is key to success, and highly driven people tend to be those who put in daily effort, or as close to that as they’re capable of maintaining.
A person who wants to write a novel may be consistent in writing 500–1000 words a day.
What they write may be terrible, and they might end up deleting all of it, but they’ll still maintain the practice of doing so for the sake of consistency.
Anyone who makes this kind of regular, scheduled effort sees massive returns on their investment, regardless of the ambitions they’re pursuing.
9. They remain resilient in the face of challenges.
When life throws obstacles in your path that derail the progress you’ve been making, it can feel devastating.
Personal difficulties can range from health challenges to devastating losses, all of which require time and care to heal from.
Those who are driven are also resilient. They have developed several coping skills to withstand the pressures associated with these obstacles.
They have enough willpower to bounce back from whatever they’ve gone through so that they can keep moving forward in their ambitions.
10. They foster strong relationships.
Most successful, ambitious, and highly driven people are incredibly discerning about their social circles.
Rather than wasting their time on sycophants and shallow acquaintances, they foster relationships with people they respect.
They’ll often have different layers and echelons of acquaintanceship, ranging from peers and mentors to close friends and partners, but everyone they allow close to them will be immensely valuable to them.
These are people they know they can trust and are also ideal when it comes to mutual benefit.
Mentors are great for offering guidance, especially if they have a lot of expertise in the field that the individual is striving toward.
Trustworthy friends are pillars of support when needed, and an amazing partner will be equal parts cheerleader and “home base”; a bastion of calm supportiveness in the midst of chaos.
11. They are not only open to constructive criticism or feedback—they request it.
Many people wrongly believe that any kind of criticism is negative or hateful. They’re only comfortable with praise and take feedback about potential avenues for improvement as personal attacks.
In contrast, highly driven people want to excel in everything they do, and that can only happen when people are honest with them about their shortcomings.
Even the most skilled experts and masters are still on their own learning paths, and they know full well that there’s always room for improvement.
Those who can see our blind spots and offer advice on how to hone them are worth far more than “yes men” who’ll do nothing but tell us how amazing we are.
It’s the situations that throw you out of your comfort zone and kick your butt on a sustained basis that often lead to the “level up” we all talk about but few people ever achieve.
Driven, successful people seek out the best teachers at whatever they want to study. They accept that they won’t always get things right the first time, but that they’ll improve faster with a great master.
12. They learn from their mistakes.
Highly driven people make a lot of mistakes, and that’s a good thing.
Every error or misstep is a beneficial learning experience, and excellence only happens after you screw up a LOT.
For example, a bodybuilder might learn the hard way that they need healthier and more effective ways to push themselves to the limit without injuring themselves. By doing so, they might come up with systems that benefit themselves as well as others.
13. They are continuously learning.
Most people who have realized their ambitions and excelled in doing so never stopped learning about their chosen path or passion.
Innovations and advances happen on a constant basis, and we risk stagnating in our skillsets if we don’t adapt and learn along with them.
Whatever field they’re in, or whatever they’re passionate about, driven people are constantly learning so that they can improve their techniques and broaden their abilities.
14. They embrace and flow with changes.
No matter how hard we try to anticipate issues and plan for them accordingly, fate will inevitably throw a wrench into the works.
Those contingency plans you made may have to be tossed aside so that you can figure out an alternate approach, or you may have to regroup and try again from a completely different angle.
This is where flexibility comes in handy. Instead of being paralyzed by unexpected changes, highly driven people flow with them.
They’ll aim for new ideas and strategies and may end up with a far better plan than the one that got derailed by the unexpected.
The key here is that they keep their “eye on the prize,” so to speak, and simply adjust their trajectory toward achieving their goal.
If they can’t walk, they’ll drive. And if they can’t drive, they’ll bike. Or walk. Or ride a mule. Or sit on a skateboard and pull themselves along with a stick.
No matter what obstacles arise, they’ll simply change tack and keep moving onward.
Now that you’ve read through this list, can you see gaps in your own habits?
Hopefully, this article will help you fine-tune your goals and create a solid framework for achieving them.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with positivity, consistency, effective time management, and above all, clarity of purpose.
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