The concept “to achieve success” cannot be specifically defined for the masses because success can be defined quite differently by each individual. Therefore, in order to achieve success, it is first necessary to come to terms with your own personal definition of success. Each individual’s own definition of success will be influenced by several key factors:
- Success is subject to individual interpretation based on upbringing, past experiences, role models, personal motivations and goals. For some it might be to own a home in an upscale neighbourhood, while for others it might be a career in the army. Carefully contemplate your definition of success based on your values.
- Your view of success will change at various times throughout your life. For example, what might be deemed successful in college or on your first job is very different from successfully raising a family or comfortably retiring in the Caribbean. Your definition of success will continue to change, so don’t make the error of pursuing an outdated version of it.
- When you achieve success, it is sometimes measurable and sometimes not. Accumulating a certain amount of wealth is one measure, but a successful marriage may be far more meaningful to many people and can only be measured by how the two partners feel about each other as the years go by.
- Very few people achieve success accidentally. Most people who achieve success first defined it then planned for it; they set a goal to achieve it.
Once you have defined what it means to achieve success for yourself, your next step is to set goals that will lead you to your definition of success. You must create realistic, viable plans to achieve those goals. Follow your plans, be flexible, and enjoy the process. It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses.
Here are five simple steps to help you define and achieve success:
Achieve Success Step 1: Identify Your Goal
Clearly determine what the goal is. Be specific.
- Bad: “To lose weight”
- Good: “To lose 10 pounds in a healthy way”
Achieve Success Step 2: Identify Your Obstacles
List all the obstacles standing between you (or your team) and the goal. Identify resources, assistance, information or anything else that might be needed to reach the goal. As your writing, don’t get discouraged by the obstacles– they’re absolutely necessary to help you with the next step in completing your plan.
Achieve Success Step 3: List Tasks to Overcome Each Obstacle
Taking each obstacle one at a time, write one or more ways the obstacle could be overcome. These are tasks (or action items) that will comprise your to-do list. Expect to have several tasks per obstacle.
Achieve Success Step 4: Assign Task Deadlines and Set up Task Reminders or Other Alerts
Assign a start and completion date to each task in the plan. It’s ok to be working on several different tasks at the same time, but don’t overdo it. Be realistic. Assign a reminder or alert to each task in the plan to keep you on track.
Achieve Success Step 5: Follow Your Success Plan
Complete each task in succession. Make sure that you use a reminder system to keep you on track.
Additional Suggestions to Achieve Success:
- If your success plan is too long or complicated, try breaking it into several smaller, more manageable plans.
- Don’t rely on luck or things outside your control as part of your success plan.
- Be flexible–expect your success plan to change before you complete it. Circumstances change, unexpected events occur, and your plan should be updated to adapt to changes. Use planning software to help construct your plan and modify it regularly.
- Seek the input of others who have expertise in the area or who have completed a similar goal.
- Reward yourself for partial success as significant milestones are accomplished.