When we look at people who have made a name for themselves and have accumulated an abundance of wealth, we should ask ourselves...

"What are they doing differently that makes them so rich?"

Some people might say that they were born with certain talents. This may be true, but that's really just one small piece of the puzzle.

In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

So now the question you should be asking yourself is, "How can I start to do what successful people are doing?".

And the answer is, start applying these 9 things to your life and take the first step in becoming a successful person as well.

1.) Get Specific

When you're setting goals for yourself , try to be as specific as possible. "Lose 5 pounds" is a better goal than "lose some weight," because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there and actually accomplish it.

Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just telling yourself that you'll "eat less" or "sleep more" is too vague. You have to be clear and precise. "I'll eat organic foods and be in bed by 10pm on weeknights" leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals.

2.) Act On Your Goals

Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we set for ourselves, it's not surprising that we miss out on opportunities to act on our goals because we fail to notice them.

Did you really have no time to work out today? Was that donut your only food choice? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

Decide when and where you will take each action you want to take in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., "If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I'll work out for 30 minutes before work.") Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3.) Know exactly how far you have left to go.

Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress. If you don't know how well you are doing, you can't adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently -- weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4.)Be a realistic optimist.

When setting a goal, engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation.

But whatever you do, don't underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal.

Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly significantly increases the odds of your failure.

5.) Focus on growing, rather than being good.

Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our attitudes are fixed -- that no matter what we do, we won't improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in this fixed ability is completely wrong -- abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential!

successful people

6.) Have grit.

Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs.

The good news is, if you aren't particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don't have the innate abilities successful people have. That's not true and if that describes your way of thinking... well, there's no way to put this nicely - you are wrong!

As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, and also strengthen your will-power!

7.) Building your willpower muscle.

As mentioned before, your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body -- when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time! But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Stop procrastinating, do 100 sit-ups a day, don't eat any GMO's, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. Just force yourself to never give up or give in.

Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control.

8.) Don't tempt fate.

No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it's important to always respect the fact that it is limited.

Don't try to take on two challenging tasks at once unless its fairly reasonable, (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). Many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where they're continually tempted. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9.) Focus on what you will do, not what you won't do.

Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or build an online business? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves.

Research on thought suppression has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same is true about your behaviors. By trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want change your ways, ask yourself, "What will I do instead?". For example, if you are trying to create a better lifestyle and earn more money, you might make a plan like "If I want to become prosperous, then I'll have to be constantly learning, developing empowering beliefs and creating new habit patterns." By training your mind to focus on what's better for yourself, you replace your bad habits and old thinking patterns until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope you were able to identify your mistakes, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on.

Remember, successful people do things in a certain type of way.

By starting to do things in this certain way, success is guaranteed!

Author's Bio: 

DJ Barrett is a young entrepreneur on a mission to empower all working class citizens and to help create a master class society where all can create the life they want.
Visit DJ's website: http://www.BarrettBusinessSuccess.com