In any competitive arena, there are certain habits that will get you closer to your goals than others. Figuring out what they are, naturally, is the first key to success. The second is applying them to what you do in your own everyday life.

The 5 gold-medal habits that follow will go a long way to ensure the success and career and life that all of us want.

1. Be early

Although being early is good for professional purposes, such as seeming prepared and responsible at your workplace, it's also good for personal reasons as well. When you arrive early, you're able to take more headspace for yourself. You can then find time to prepare and reflect on in a way that otherwise wouldn't be possible if you're running late from home to work and go-go-go the rest of the day.

2. Give thanks

Keeping ourselves aware of how lucky we are is always a good way to do better work. When we are grateful, we feel that there is a purpose to what we should do. Be thankful of the things that you appreciate about your job--for example, the fact that you have great coworkers, or even just that you are able to do something you love.

3. Manage time with planning

Map out what your day is going to look like so that you don't get lost in the swing of things. Humans are visual creatures and, subsequently, easily distracted. So, don't get lost in the fray of things. If you keep a game plan on hand, you'll know what's most important to finish--and what can be pushed off until tomorrow.

4. Keep track of your progress

Mentally checking in every now and then is vital for not feeling stagnant. If we feel like we're not improving, it's easy to get falsely discouraged--even when we are doing really well. Compare your current work with where you began in moments when you feel complacent. The strides you've already taken will encourage you to take even more.

5. Mean everything you do

This habit is as simple as it sounds. People value work that comes from an honest, genuine place. Show them those kinds of results. Success will undoubtedly follow.