Success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” So it goes with saying that highly successful people are better at accomplishing their goals.

If you want to find success in your life it’s important to understand what successful people do … and the things they don’t do. Here are 20 things they avoid:

They don’t define success with money.

Successful people aren’t necessarily wealthy … but they’re usually happy. Happiness defines their success more than money.

They don’t make important decisions on a whim.

Successful people think before they act, especially when it comes to important decisions.

They don’t underestimate the importance of planning.

People who are successful keep at least one journal to plan their schedule and track their progress. Many people even keep two journals: one for personal planning and one for scheduling/work.

They don’t go to sleep until their to-do list is done.

Highly successful people always finish what’s on their to-do list. And it makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

They don’t make their to-do list overwhelmingly large.

Keeping a to-do list is essential, but so is keeping your list of tasks manageable. Successful people don’t bite off more than they can chew. They keep their to-do list small and scalable.

They don’t set unrealistic goals.

People who accomplish great things in life set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-driven (SMART) goals. “I want to lose weight,” is not a good goal. “I will lose 10 pounds by the end of this year,” is.

They don’t work for hours on end.

Successful people work in small increments and take frequent breaks. This helps them get more done in less time.

They don’t sleep the day away.

Early risers get more done, plain and simple. The hours you have in each day are limited. Successful people go to bed at the same time every night and get up early, refreshed and ready to conquer their day.

They don’t put others before their family.

Successful folks put family first. Work is important, but never as important as experiencing life with the people you love most.

They don’t work harder, they work smarter.

Successful people don’t necessarily work harder. They do work smarter though. They focus 80 percent of their efforts on the 20 percent of work that will give them the greatest return (this is called the Pareto principle).

They don’t always get what they want.

Let’s face it: life doesn’t always give you what you want. The difference between people who find success and those who don’t is successful people are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good.

They don’t go a day without giving thanks.

Successful people make it a point to write down the things they’re thankful for every day.

They don’t walk past the homeless guy in the street without giving him some of their money or time.

“Success” is also defined by how much you give back. That’s why truly successful people will always stop to help someone in need and give their time or money freely.

They don’t drink too much.

Yes, successful folks like to unwind with a couple of drinks and socialize with friends. But they stay in control and don’t drink themselves into making bad decisions.

They don’t let themselves go.

You’ll also find that successful people are usually healthier. They take care of their bodies and minds and make the time to eat healthy and exercise frequently.

They don’t let bad habits control them.

Highly successful people find ways to turn bad habits into good ones.

They don’t know everything … and that’s okay with them.

Another measure of a successful person is this: they’re thirsty for knowledge. They know what they know, and more importantly, they know what they don’t know.

They don’t care what other people think about them.

Highly successful people ignore the naysayers and the pessimists. They surround themselves with people who are going to make them better.

They don’t back down from adversity.

Another trait of successful people is that they choose to see challenges and moments of adversity as opportunities to grow.

They don’t stop.

Highly successful people are relentless in their pursuit of a happier, healthier life. They go to great lengths to achieve success … but don’t stop there. Successful people constantly find ways to continue to improve themselves. They believe success is a choice, and they choose to focus their time and energy on the things that will lead them to that success.

Everyone has dreams but not everyone possesses the power, knowledge and ability to make their dreams a reality. 10 Things Successful People do to Reach their Dreams

Featured photo credit: Rock climber balances on the summit after a successful and challenging ascent.via Shutterstock

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