21 Habits to Achieve Your Goals

Here are 21 Real Life Habits for Success to Achieve Your Goals:


It is possible to achieve your goals just like Henry Ford, Leonardo da Vinci, Helen Keller, and Amelia Earhart have. Perhaps, you have goals of taking an exotic vacation, or to buy a new car or a house. Additionally, you may be saving for retirement, growing a business, or starting a new career? Equally important, you might want to gain weight, lose weight, run a marathon, or get in better shape. In addition, you want to provide your children with an excellent education or develop more meaningful relationships with friends and family members. Whatever you want to achieve, you are more than capable of doing it or making it happen! 


Are you fed up with falling short of your heart’s desires and ready to achieve your goals?

The purpose of goal-setting is to help you stay motivated, overcome challenges, break through barriers, and achieve a higher quality of life. Do you know how to achieve your goals? Here are 21 real-life habits to achieve your goals. The ability to achieve is within each of us. 



1. Experience the power of written goals.

If you rubbed Aladdin’s Lamp, what wish would you ask for? Imagine that you can have anything, be anything, or do anything, what would it be? Additionally, if you knew you could not fail, what would you succeed at? Above all, if Your goal is not in writing, it doesn’t exist! Less than five percent of the population set their personal goals in writing. Written goals produce better results than if goals are vaguely floating through your mind, this becomes your action plan for success. Written goals are powerful roadmaps that can more easily lead you to the destination of your choice. Define what you want in writing, and make sure that it is a realistic goal by giving thought and attention to all aspects of life, such as health, business, relationship, and recreation. These are smart goals that will motivate you. Review them often!

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” –Elbert Hubbard.

2. Learn to deal with criticism.

On your journey, you’ll undoubtedly encounter all kinds of criticism. People may say or write things on social media about you that are not very pleasant to hear. Like water off a duck’s back, you’ll need to find ways to cope with criticism effectively. If not, you’ll drown in what people are thinking and saying. All accomplished people have had to endure criticism. If they can move past the negativity, so can you! You will have to make some effort to ignore what people say. Think about it. Wilbur and Orville Wright decided to do what others thought impossible. Don’t forget Columbus was going to sail off the end of the earth, and flying in outer space used to be science fiction. The world is full of people who discourage possibility thinking. When someone tells you that what you are doing is impossible or criticizes you unfairly, use it to fuel your fire. Criticism should not hinder you from achieving your goals.

“Definiteness of purpose can, and should, so completely occupy the mind that one has no time or space in the mind for thoughts of failure.” –Napoleon Hill

3. Use dates and timelines for your goals and action steps.

While developing your list of goals, make sure to attach timelines for achieving your goals. Transfer your goals into action steps that can be placed onto your daily task list based on priority. Small steps and milestones done over a period of time will lead to the achievement of huge long-term goals and personal growth. So, pick your dates and timelines to complete big goals and action items. Keep in mind that delays are not denials. It would be nice if all of our goals were completed on time. Many people give up when they are only steps away from their specific goal. We need to work vigilantly toward completion dates but avoid wallowing in discouraging thoughts if the target date is not met. If this happens simply set a new goal, evaluate your delay, and then keep chipping away at the stone.

“Have faith in your dreams and someday. Your rainbow will come shining through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing. The dream that you wish will come true.” Cinderella

4. Place an empowering belief behind every goal.

If you have a life goal to get fit but believe exercise takes time away from your family, what is the probability you will exercise? Little to none! If you believe exercise means more quality time with family, you’re more likely to exercise. There is always enough time to prioritize a healthy lifestyle. When you believe something true, you behave in a manner consistent with that belief. In order for an Olympic athlete to win a Gold Medal, she must first believe that she is going to win the Gold and become time-bound to make it happen. The beauty is you can choose your beliefs! A great way to implement this habit is to make a to-do list of beliefs that give your life meaning and practice time management. You choose your beliefs and put in the hard work; believing that you will achieve your goals will motivate you to take action.

Brainstorm the types of beliefs successful people possess. Maybe they believe that they have the resources to succeed at any undertaking, or they believe that anything is possible when you think and act smart. Choose the top three empowering beliefs and begin to adopt them as your own. For your own well-being, you also have to eliminate disempowering beliefs. People who believe that they are terrible at remembering names will become terrible at remembering names. It’s that simple. If you are not achieving what you want, it is quite possible you are operating with a disempowering belief. You must comb through your mind and eliminate any belief that is not consistent with what you want to accomplish.

“In the providence of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true.” –John Lilly

5. Avoid engaging in self-punishment.

Constantly beating yourself up over mistakes and misfortunes will destroy you. Telling yourself that you are no good or that you are not worthy, or that you are stupid will only reinforce that type of behavior and decrease your sense of purpose. If you didn’t achieve your goals on time, don’t crack yourself over the head. Implement the action steps and move on.

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”-Buddhist Proverb

6. Consistently ask for what you want. 

The only way to get what you want out of life is by asking! This naturally begins at birth and follows us to the grave. As life progresses, it seems most people tend to decrease their initiative to ask for what they want. The result is getting less than what they want. If you have fallen out of the habit of asking, start slowly. Make simple requests to notice that you can and do get what you want by asking in the first place. Is it going to work every time? Of course not, but will it dramatically increase your probability of getting to the next level and achieving your goals? Yes!

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” –Henry Ford

7. Elicit the help of others by showing your commitment.

Would you help someone if you thought that your time and energy would be wasted? If you want help from others, you must be prepared to show them, through action, that you are committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed. Multitudes of people will help you manifest your vision when they see you vigorously and persistently taking action. When you are valiantly committed to your purpose, you will attract, like a powerful magnet, the people needed to make it a reality. Another great way to use this habit is to establish a relationship with a mentor or a coach. 

People who are successful generally want others to succeed as well. They typically strive to meet challenging goals for themselves. It’s extremely important to seek help from these people since we can learn from their experiences. You can accelerate your progress and reach even bigger goals with their assistance. They can help you to avoid possible pitfalls to your eventual success. After you find a credible mentor, consult with your mentor on a regular basis. Make sure to report your activities and success to your mentor. Keep in mind that your mentor will continue to help you as long as you respect their time and knowledge and consistently progress in achieving your major goals.

“Whatever you give your attention to, is the thing that governs your life.” –Emmet Fox

8. Post your goals in a place where you can view them daily.

We get out of life what we most think about. That’s why it is crucial to post your goals in a location where you can view them on a regular basis. It reminds you of what is really important to you in life. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day distractions of life. Every user experience is different, but one incredible way to focus your power of thought is to place your goals in your office on the wall, in your garage on large poster paper, or on 3×5 cards you can put in your car or in your calendar organizer, post them as your screen saver. Reminding yourself of what you want is one of the best ways to get what you want and differentiate your short-term goals from the big goal. Understanding the types of goals you want can help you create a timeline from your first goal to the finish line! Cut up magazine pictures to pin up photos of family and friends, and use both the written word and visual imagery to strengthen and focus the most important physical resource you have, your brain!

“If you have enough whys, you will most certainly find a way how.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

9. Write a list of reasons why you want to achieve your goals.

Understanding the benefits, you will receive from attaining your goal helps motivate you toward achieving your goals. To create the ongoing motivation that’s needed to get you past the challenges you will face, you need to have strong reasons why you want to do what you want to do. The question is: What will you get once you have reached your goal? What types of new things will you be able to enjoy as a result of the work and effort you’ve put forth?

“One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” –Helen Keller

10. Realize that the word “No” leads to a big “Yes.”

Rejection sucks, but that’s no reason to give up. Rejection is part of life. It’s good that Edison didn’t give up when he was inventing. It’s been said that he tried 10,000 experiments before producing incandescent light. He then had to work hard to get the public to accept his invention. No matter where you are in life, you have to learn to deal with rejection in a way that helps you take more action to get what you want.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.” –John Milton

11. Reward yourself upon the completion of a goal.

The most powerful reinforcement is self-reinforcement. Every time you do something that moves you in the direction you want to go, you have to reinforce that behavior. Give yourself a pat on the back, or tell yourself what a great job you are doing. Big or small, whenever you do something right, praise yourself, and reward yourself. Remember to reward yourself in the moment as well as delayed re-enforcement. burnout is real; every goal deserves praise. Not just the bigger goals. Images of enjoying a tropical vacation, getting a message, relaxing over a romantic dinner, or buying a new car, house, or boat may come to your mind when thinking of how to reward yourself after the discipline and effort you’ve put in to achieve your goals. Make a list of things you can reward yourself with as a result of your dedication and determination. You deserve the best, so why not hustle and work diligently in order to enjoy the many benefits you’ve earned? You have dozens of successes throughout a given day, so remember to be good to yourself!

“The best part of the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” –Abraham Lincoln

12. Break goals into daily tasks.

The way to eat a dinosaur is one bite at a time. The only way to climb a mountain is one step at a time. A great question is, “What can I do right now, in five minutes, to help me achieve my goals?” Search for small pockets of time you can use to accomplish your goals. Imagine what learning one new word each day would do to your vocabulary or how making one extra phone call per day would increase your sales. Break it down to the point of ridiculous. This will help to get the ball rolling and give you the momentum to keep going. Someday does not exist. Today is the only reality. Your life five years from today will be nothing more than the accumulation of all those days. And how you spend each one affects all others. Focus on breaking your goals down into manageable daily tasks. Use a calendar organizer to track the progress of your planning, tasking, and achieving. This habit helps you understand that those who take on too much accomplish little.

“Character building begins in our infancy, and continues until death.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

13. Define obstacles that keep you from your goals.

If you practice visualizing obstacles and challenges as part of life, they will lose their power over you. Write out a list of obstacles that you might face when working on the completion of a goal. Next to the obstacle, write a few possible solutions to overcome it and achieve your goals. Use these premeditated solutions when you come face-to-face with your dragon. In football, your goal is to score a touchdown, and your obstacle is the other team. Professional sports teams study video footage of their opposing team in order to gain insight on how to better overcome their obstacle. What potential challenges or obstacles stand between your first goal and your intended goal, and what can you do to overcome them? Practice overcoming the obstacles in advance and then perform, like a sports team does, when the real game is on. 

14. Dedicate one week to giving 100% in every area of your life. 

Take a one-week calendar and schedule your fitness time, family time, work time, spiritual time, and leisure time. Strictly adhere to the allotted time schedules knowing you are giving attention to each area of life. Focus on giving all your attention and energy to each area during its scheduled time. In other words, don’t spend time thinking of work when you are in a family time appointment. This is easier said than done, but it is possible for you. This habit gives you the opportunity to truly experience the magnificence that each area of your life has to offer.

“I not only use all the brains I have, but all that I can borrow.” –Woodrow Wilson


15. Emulate your three greatest role models.

From the cradle to the grave, we model the behavior of other people. We learn to smile, walk and talk by watching people. Most rock musicians became music lovers after seeing Elvis Presley or The Beatles. The key is to consciously choose people you would like to model. Write a list of people you admire or that you want to emulate. Choose the top three and begin to adopt the characteristics you appreciate.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” –Thomas Edison


16. Play the numbers game.

Sales are down when the sales department doesn’t talk to enough prospects. When sales are down by 50 percent, it would be a good idea to prospect twice as many people. If your manuscript is rejected, send it to another publisher until it is accepted. Whatever it is that you want to achieve, keep on prospecting, swinging, shooting, practicing, and playing—and you’ll win.

17. Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. 

Communication research demonstrates the average person communicates or carries on an internal dialogue at the rate of 500 to 600 words per minute. Some studies also indicate that 80 percent is negative or pessimistic in nature. We must learn to identify, challenge, remove and replace negative messages. A fantastic way to do this is to replace negative messages with positive ones. Write out a full page of affirmations for daily use. For example, when you hear yourself saying, “I’ll goof up this speech because I’m so nervous,” instead say, “I’ll be able to do this. I may be a little nervous, but I’ll do just fine.” 

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Keep in mind to state your affirmative thoughts and words in the present tense. Everyone remembers the Little Engine steaming its way to the top of the mountain Everyone remembers the Little Engine steaming its way to the top of the mountain. “I think I can…I think I can…I know I can…”. The story illustrates how affirming yourself in any given situation has a dramatic and powerful effect on what you can and can’t do. When using an affirmation, remember to phrase it “as if” it already exists. Say, “I earn $75,000 a year,” rather than, “I will earn $75,000 a year.” Stating affirmations in the present tense allows you to become that person today, not someday.

“All that is needed to make a happy life is within yourself, in your way of thinking.” –Marcus Aurelius


18. Visualize the achievement of your goals.

Every great achiever will testify that they saw their goal in their mind’s eye before accomplishing it. Program your brain with visual imagery. Create a picture in your mind of you achieving the goal. What does it look like? Who is there? What are you wearing? You can run your visual image before you retire at night or upon waking. The more you do it, the higher the probability it will come true. You have to create your own mental movie. Become the director, the actor, and the audience of your own movie. You can create a mental movie in which you see yourself eating less at meal times, taking smaller bites and chewing slowly, and seeing yourself only eating wholesome foods. You can use a mental movie to create and reinforce any desired behavior. Play your movie over and over until your new behavior emerges.

“What gets measured gets managed.” –Peter Drucker


19. Use the power of measurement.

Be sure to measure and get specific about your goals. Don’t be general in your approach. In other words, avoid having a goal of losing weight. Instead, have an effective goal of weighing a certain amount. Saving money is not measurable and specific enough, either. Exactly how much money do you want to save? Measure your progress using timelines or pie charts, or whatever means necessary to know where you are in achieving your goal. Avoid falling into the trap of writing down lukewarm or flimsy goals. Be specific and measure your success.

“From a man’s face I can read character; if I can see him walk, I know his thoughts.” –Petronius


20. Use your body to control your frame of mind.

What does Tiger Woods do when he hits a great shot? He does the arm pump! Kinesthetic communication involves how movement and body position send messages to our brains. Our brain absorbs information via how we use our bodies—touching, games, group interaction, and body posture. When you want to feel confident, you need to stand up straight, throw your shoulders back, breathe deeply, and look slightly upward. The same is true if you want to be enthusiastic; simply adopt excited and enthusiastic physiology. You can use your body to feel happy or sad, love or hate, energetic or lethargic. You have the power to feel any way you like simply by adopting the proper physiology. Come up with a body movement that supports the achievement of your goal. Some powerful body movements are: doing a victory dance, a high five, a hug, deep breathing, smiling, an arm pump, a firm handshake, two arms in the air, hands clasped in prayer, and clapping.

“When the occasion is piled high with difficulty, that’s when we must rise with the occasion.” –Abraham Lincoln


21. Step outside of your comfort zone.

We like to do the same things over and over because we can predict the outcome; we can remain comfortable. However, attaining any worthwhile goal requires expanding your current comfort zone. Make more sales calls in a single day than you’ve done previously, ask that person for a date, push yourself to exercise three times a week, give a speech, attend a social engagement, introduce yourself to at least ten people at the next business mixer, whatever it is, step outside your box! Today, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.



Now you know how to achieve your goals and lead a more successful life!

Best of success to you!


Listen to the Achieve Your Goals audiobook.


Jeffrey Benjamin founded Breakthrough Training™ in Reno, Nevada, providing leadership development, effective communication skills, and customer service training seminars.

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