In his best-selling book Automatic Wealth, Michael Masterson devoted an entire chapter to the importance of developing wealthy habits. One of the things he said: “There is no one way to become rich. But there are a number of habits that some people develop that give them an almost supernatural ability to earn money and build wealth.” He then went on to discuss eight things that successful wealth builders do – eight habits that they have in common.

You’ve probably observed that people who are highly successful at any skill – not only wealth building – achieve their results by doing “certain things in a certain way.” Add to this the scientific fact that “like causes produce like effects” – and one thing becomes clear: If you and I consistently employ the same thought processes and actions as these highly successful individuals, we will produce similar results.

This is why success is an absolute science. If you apply the principles (thoughts and actions) of peak performers, you will accelerate your results far beyond your current level of achievement. Put it to the test.

In his book Psychocybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz talks about our daily actions being a direct result of our habits. Since your actions are the cause of your results, it is fair to assume that your habits are what ultimately create the results you obtain. Habits are the things you and I do naturally and automatically, without thinking. Most of these habits were formed at a very early age and are now collected in your unconscious mind. According to Maltz, if you want to change your results, you must begin to form new habits.

Your current thinking regarding your abilities, your product, and your industry is habitual. It is buried in your unconscious mind, and it drives your behavior on a daily basis. Many times, this mindset is limiting, because it has as its foundation things said by a parent, teacher, coach, etc. that were intended to protect us from disappointment … but are actually disempowering. Things like: “Be realistic,” “Don’t expect too much,” and “Life is hard.”

To reverse this negative mindset and build the habits of a top performer, start by taking these four first steps:

1. Set a clear and measurable goal.

Make it a goal that you are excited about accomplishing. The human spirit will not invest itself in mediocrity – so if you want to succeed in overcoming limiting habits, your goal must create passion in you!

When you set your goal, keep two other important things in mind: It must be specific … and it must be measurable. Instead of “I want to make more money,” write, “I am earning a minimum of $70,000 per year.” This way, you will know exactly when you have accomplished the goal.

2. Write your goal in the present tense.

Notice that in the above example, the goal is in the present tense: “I am earning a minimum of $70,000 per year.” There’s a reason for doing this. It will cause you to fully associate with the achievement of your goal. Your unconscious mind is totally deductive, and, therefore it accepts anything that your conscious mind gives it without question. Consequently, correct phrasing is imperative. Instead of “I want to earn $70,000 per year,” write your goal as if you have already achieved it.

3. Write your goal every single day, carry it with you everywhere you go, and read it as often as possible.

Remember, you are developing habits of the highly successful – ways of thinking and acting that are new to you. So don’t think that this step is redundant. Realize that it has taken years to develop your current limiting mindset – and it will take concentrated effort to replace it.

4. Take action and make daily decisions with your goal in mind.

For example, you might ask yourself the question: “What decision would I make right now or what action would I take right now as a $70,000 income earner?” Answer the question – and act! If you act based upon your current status, you will continue to create your current results.

Any time you experience frustration with these action steps, realize that it is caused by your old mental “programming” trying to push you back into old behaviors. Don’t give in! The mark of a master achiever is a person who has the ability to give himself a command – and follow it.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”– William James

[Ed. Note: James Arthur Ray, a leading expert on the psychology of success, has devoted his life to helping ordinary people lead extraordinary lives. Recently, James put together an enormous package titled “Focusing on the Science of Success.” If you are ready to transform your life, here’s how you can try out this program for 30 days.