15 Small Things Anyone Can Do To Achieve Life Goals

If you've ever wondered why people like Mark Cuban, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Britney Spears, Steve Jobs, or even the owner of a corner grocery store are so successful, here's a hint: Indisputably, they have something.

In 1989, Stephen R. Covey, popularized the concepts of "self-help" with the publication of his blockbuster, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change." It went on to sell millions of copies worldwide and continues to top the list of bestsellers in its genre. Covey shared a list of "timeless" traits every successful person -- or anyone seeking to achieve goals in life -- should have to reach their aims.

Covey didn't offer snake oil, speak about the "Secret" or "Power of Intention." Nor did he boast having overnight success simply by mastering his concepts with a working knowledge. Rather, he said reaching your life's goals begin with the end in mind -- and discipline.

We've assembled 15 small things you can do (not necessarily in order) to jumpstart your life and achieve your goals. And yes, some of them are taken from Covey's playbook.

1. Goals without "motivation" are prescriptions for failure


First off, no degree of goal setting will work unless you are driven by the thought of achievement. It does you no good if you are merely undertaking something because you're compelled by greed, envy or the pressure to measure up to something or someone. And if you're only embarking out on your new journey by boredom, forget about it. In short, you must be motivated by something intrinsic to you.

2. Be "smart" about it


In 1954, Peter Drucker wrote, "The Practice of Management," where he expounded on the concepts of Manage by Results (MBR) and Manage by Objectives (MBO). He popularized Smart Goals or Smart Criteria which are based on this pneumonic aid.

S – Specific (or Significant).

M – Measurable (or Meaningful).

A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).

R – Relevant (or Rewarding).

T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

3. Positivity is power


Now that you're on a mission to kick butt and take names, don't fall into the trap of being reactive to everything in your space. As Covey says in one of his "7 Habits," it is best to "be proactive." I'd go further by saying, be positive. Here, people put on blinders to things that in their "circle of concern" for their "circle of influence." Because humans have cognition, we can direct our thoughts and drives. Instead of saying, "She's always criticizing me," say, "I'm healthy, beautiful, and caring."

4. Envision the end and start there


This timeless technique means that you should "begin with the end in mind." Olympians often say they dream of stepping on the medal podium or crossing the finish line first. Subconsciously, the body does what the brain practices or embodies. Therefore, look at your endgame, feel it, and embrace the fulfillment that accompanies the goal. Then, following the steps along the pre-paved way until you get there. As Bruce Lee says, "Empty your mind...be like water, my friend."

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