Highly excellent people seem to have it all figured out, don’t they? There’s stress and chaos going on all around them, but they barely break a sweat. They just go about their excellency and leave the rest of us who aren’t feeling very…well, excellent…to wonder what we’re doing wrong. What can we do to upgrade our lives and become highly excellent people? What are they doing that’s so different from what we’re doing?

As it turns out, a lot. Here’s a breakdown of what highly excellent people have in common so you can get in on the action too:

1. They focus on quality over quantity.

Their priorities are top of mind and never waver. Instead of being bogged down by details and expectations, they keep their stress levels in check by accomplishing what’s most important to them first, and then dedicating the time that’s left to the little extras.

2. They put their health/well-being first.

Highly excellent people know they can’t accomplish anything of any quality when they feel like sh…crap. They always put their health and well-being first: They exercise regularly, eat healthy, and always make time for leisurely activities and hobbies they consider relaxing.

3. They know their strengths and weaknesses.

We all have strengths and weaknesses, but instead of suppressing their weaknesses and struggling to overcome them, highly excellent people accept and work with their shortcomings (after all, the harder you try to deny something about yourself, the stronger it becomes). From personal experience, it’s also a great way to keep your self-esteem intact. Nobody can accept who you are in your entirety until you do.

4. They trust their instincts.

Highly excellent people are a sucker for their instincts. They don’t cater to what others expect of them – their compass always points toward what they expect from themselves.

5. They have high standards.

Not only do they have high standards, they don’t allow the concept of high standards to intimidate them. They understand nothing’s perfect, but find deep satisfaction in doing things to the best of their ability. They know it’s a lot easier to do things right the first time than to have to redo them later.

6. They have a plan.

Highly excellent people know exactly what they want, both professionally and personally. They have a very clear picture of what their life will look like if they keep striving and keep moving ahead. They also don’t settle for anything less than what they want.

7. They don’t sacrifice their creativity.

By that I mean, they don’t let the concept of potentially living out of a shopping cart intimidate them. Sure, they might go through the occasional financial drought where all that’s on the menu is peanut butter sandwiches, but at least they feel alive. They don’t take on jobs they don’t believe in for the sake of making money – they use the threat of having to do so as fuel and work harder on their big picture.

8. They set realistic goals.

They don’t create to-do lists that not even a robot could complete in a timely manner. When they set their goals, they always factor in time for, you know, eating, sleeping, even going to the bathroom. They appreciate showering too.

9. They singletask.

Highly excellent people know multitasking is a crock. See #1.

10. They constantly adjust their course.

Success doesn’t happen in a straight line. It’s more like steering a car: You keep the car straight by moving the steering wheel from side-to-side to stay on track. This is how highly excellent people tackle their goals: They constantly evolve, integrate new strategies, and reevaluate after each step.

11. They automate what will never change.

Laundry, drag. Dishes, barf. Emails, puh-lease! This is where many of us trip over ourselves as highly excellent people breeze right past us. Instead of becoming annoyed and disrupted by the ongoing details of maintaining their lifestyle, they use them to their advantage by creating creativity pillars.

What they want to accomplish isn’t easy. Their day is filled with uncertainty, but the above ongoing tasks are certain. They will always be there. Highly excellent people have automated these habits so they can get them done quickly while using the least amount of energy possible. Genius, no?

12. They do what they love.

I mean, really, what else is there?

13. They work smart.

They work in short bursts of 30 to 90 minutes, with short breaks in between to regroup and rest before moving on to the next task. Some days they’ll only work for four hours, while others they’ll work eight. It all depends on what needs to be done that day. They do what it takes to make it happen, but without burning themselves out in the process.

14. They trust in their talent.

No matter who tries (whether intentionally or not) to disrupt their thought process or plant seeds of doubt, highly excellent people know without a doubt that they’re doing exactly what they want to be doing exactly when they want to be doing it. Can their critics say the same?

What do you admire most about highly excellent people? Let us know in the comments.

Ready to get started? How to Set Goals: 10 Steps to Stay Focused

Featured photo credit: Viewminder via photopin cc

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