Set yourself up for success. Plan your future. Tell your mountains to crumble or walk around them. Either way, take the first step today. First you have to learn about yourself and know what you want. What are your interests, what do you enjoy doing, what are you good at, and what skills do you have? Figuring these things out can then help you find direction and a path to take, as well as helping you understand your passion and purpose, the means to know where you’re going, and how to get there.
You can set yourself up for success by devoting your time, energy, and effort to your livelihood and what is most meaningful to you. It’s just a matter of knowing how to reach this point and what benchmarks to accomplish along the way. Below are 4 simple steps to help you feel confident about the decisions you make and direction you take.
1) Discover your Values
What are your values, morals, and principles? Before making important decisions and setting goals it’s helpful to consider what’s most important to you. This provides a clear framework for making decisions, as those things that don’t match up with your values can be discarded from the very beginning. This will narrow down your options and make your decision much more clear and definite. It’s also important to consider your values in the context of your passions. You want to stay true to your values and morals while at the same time discovering what you truly desire to do. This is important in the long-run as you will:
- Feel more ownership over what you’re doing
- Be more motivated and focused
- Have greater dedication and commitment
- Have a positive outlook and expectation
- Experience more pleasure doing what you love
2) Set your Trajectory
Now that values and passions are established, it’s time to set some concrete goals that will assist you in getting to where you want to go. What are your major goals and aspirations for the future? Write out what you want to achieve in different areas of your life. What do you want, professionally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and in your relationships? Dreams are only dreams until plans are established to begin making them a reality, so it’s essential to write out goals and clearly define what you want. You don’t want to be like a ship lost at sea without an steering wheel or rudder. Anyone who has achieved remarkable things will tell you that setting goals and having direction was a required step. Feel free to think big and really consider your loftiest dreams. There are no limits on this aspect of setting goals, just remember to consider how your values relate to the goals you are pursuing.
3) Develop your Strategy
How do you plan to attain your goals? This will require answering a few questions about your current situation. First, it becomes important to consider how the different goals within each domain relate to one another. Make sure that your financial and professional goals don’t take away from the relationship and spiritual goals in your life. It’s important to consider how all of these interact in order to have long-term balance. Next you will need to consider what assets you currently have and what you need to obtain to make these goals a reality. As well, consider what obstacles you may encounter along the way that could become the excuses for not accomplishing your goal.
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” ~ Joel Osteen
What resources do you have currently to help you achieve your goals? What resources will you need to obtain to reach your goals? What obstacles could get in the way of pursuing your goal and how can you prepare for these? Lastly, create a plan to obtain needed resources by setting and taking action toward your goals. What can you do now in order to start seeing progress? Set yourself some short-term goals that can be reached in about 3 months. Further, establish your daily to-do list in order to make some progress each day. This can be a little as 15 minutes of work a day, but it’s crucial to begin now. Don’t get side-tracked by the overwhelming big picture. Get started and work for 15-30 minutes every day.
4) Stay Focused
Focus is a trait and skill that all successful people have in common. Focus involves taking charge of your life despite distractions, fears, and set-backs. With steadfast focus your goals stay in the forefront and you do what is needed to reach them. People who are focused approach goals with passion and an almost obsessive interest that allows them to consistently see progress. This doesn’t mean neglecting other important areas of life, but it does mean focusing on the right things and not getting side-tracked by irrelevant ideas and issues. For instance:
- Focus on doing the job right, not on your ego or personal status
- Focus on what is required now and what you can do now, not on past mistakes or future worries
- Focus on being exceptional and doing your best, not on being perfect
- Focus on how you can fix a problem, not on why something didn’t go right
- Focus on your self-worth and strengths, not on what you can’t do well
No matter your definition of success, it is essential to learn how to take control of life and make changes when necessary. When you truly desire something and are willing to put in the necessary effort you are on the right track. Set up a realistic plan that provides the means to help you stay focused and stick with it even through the difficult times. Keep faith that the desired outcome will occur and don’t let others tell you otherwise.