We all share one goal in life, and that is to be successful. This is a relative objective, of course, since everyone defines success differently. For some, money drives success—the more money they make, the happier they feel. For others, it could be achieving celebrity status, climbing the corporate ladder, or being the top salesperson at their company.
Regardless of what success looks like to you, realizing your dreams requires you to fragmentize your larger goal of being successful into more tangible milestones. In other words, setting smaller goals to bring about your larger goals. These are the benchmarks that let you know whether you are on the right track; they give you a sense of direction, focus, and purpose while also holding you accountable.
If you have ever tried to sit down and plan out tangible goals for yourself, you know how challenging and frustrating it can sometimes be—but this is the easiest part. Achieving our goals is the hard part, and more often than not that is because we allow fear and doubt to impede us from taking action.
How can we set ourselves up for success? Try these four practices.
1. Set goals that will motivate you
Never set a goal for yourself that does not mean something to you. It is tempting to choose goals that sound “good” or that you have heard other successful entrepreneurs talk about in interviews, but you need to set goals that add value to your personal journey. Think about what goals have the most urgency in your life right now and write them down. If it helps, you can even write out why these particular goals are valuable to you as a reminder when the journey gets tough. If you are not motivated by your goals, you are less likely to put in the work.
2. Stop worrying about failure
When planning for the future, it is normal to feel excited and fearful at the same time. What if I fail? What if I never achieve the goals I set for myself? What if I am never successful? These thoughts are natural, but they are pointless and destructive. Worrying about failure will actualize failure; instead, focus on your plan to achieve your goals and take it one day at a time.
3. Celebrate your successes, big or small
Being able to finally check a goal off your list is monumental—so celebrate it! But hitting these significant milestones is not the only time to revere your successes. Even making one small decision that gets you a little bit closer to meeting a more substantial goal should be celebrated. Acknowledging your achievements makes the journey less intimidating and, at the same time, more enjoyable.
4. Let go of what is holding you back
This could be anything—psychological barriers, a relationship with a friend, something from your past. This may be the hardest approach out of all of them, but that is also what makes it the most important. Successful people consciously choose to only let in what is consistent with the life they want to live, even if that means making some difficult decisions along the way.
Anything worth having is worth working for. If you put in the mental and physical work, success is within your reach.