- Create a vision and specific goals.
- Analyze your unique strengths and talents.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Create a plan of action
- Develop a positive mindset.
- Take persistent action.
- Learn from failure.
- Surround yourself with positive influences.
- Take care of yourself.
- Stay organized.
- Learn from others.
- Never give up.
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For some people, being successful in life means achieving financial prosperity, while for others it might mean finding happiness and fulfillment. Regardless of how you define success, these 12 key strategies can help you achieve your goals and become more successful in life:
- Create a vision and specific goals: The first step to achieving success in life is to set clear and specific goals. Without a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, it can be difficult to stay motivated and on track.
Many people find it helpful to begin with an open-ended vision of their desired future. Just get out a sheet of paper and write down everything you would like to accomplish in the rest of your life. Dream big and don’t worry if it involves things you’ve never done.
Then when setting goals, it is important to make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will give you a clear target to aim for and help you stay focused on what you want to achieve. Research has found that writing your goals initially with pen or pencil and paper makes them more effective and allows you to think more creatively. You can transfer them to a smartphone or desktop app after you feel satisfied with your list.
- Analyze your unique strengths and talents: Be sure your goals are a good fit for your personality, strengths and character. Use free online assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (we like the version called TypeFinder on Truity.com – affiliate link). Other people like the Big 5 Personality Test. Find out about your character strengths with the free test at VIAcharacter.org. Learn about your business-related strengths at CliftonStrengths.com (not free but very valuable). Think about which goals are a good fit for your strengths and personality, and make adjustments as necessary.
- Focus on what you can control: As the Greek Stoics taught, you can only control what you do – your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions. They are the real keys to success. You cannot change other people or events, although you might influence them. The more you focus on goals where you can control what happens, the more successful you will be.
- Create a plan of action: Once you have set and sharpened your goals, the next step is to create a plan of action. This involves breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and then creating a schedule to complete them. Some people prefer to break big goals into projects, with specific outcomes and end points (again make them SMART), then set tasks to achieve each project. This will help you stay organized and focused, and make it easier to track your progress. Consider using free or inexpensive project management or note-taking apps available for all smartphone and desktop platforms.
One good way to develop an action plan is to use the 5W2H formula of news reporting:
- Who is going to do it? (Presumably this will be you, but you may need others’ help).
- What are they going to do?
- When are they going to do it?
- Where are they going to do it?
- Why are they going to do it? (Keep asking why-why-why to get to root purposes.)
- How are they going to do it?
- How much is it going to cost in time, money and other resources?
Another way to develop an action plan is to do a search like “how do I do (this task)” or use one of the new Artificial Intelligence tools like ChatGPT or Notion AI to get more complete answers.
5. Develop a positive mindset: Having a positive mindset is crucial for achieving success. This means having a belief in yourself and your abilities, and having the confidence to overcome obstacles and challenges. A positive mindset will help you stay motivated and optimistic, even when things get tough. Always think positively about your goals to be successful in life. Never allow negative thoughts to prevail in your mind. Strengthen your mind with meditation and learn how to program your unconscious mind with positive affirmations.
6. Take persistent action: To achieve success, you need to take persistent action towards your goals. This means putting in the work, every day if possible, and making progress, even when you don’t feel like it. Consistency is key, and it’s important to remember that progress is often slow and steady. Be patient, but take some action to move you toward your key goals every day. Avoid wasting time watching TV or scrolling through social media. Be aware of how you use your time every day so you can always find time to take action toward your success goals.
Former President Calvin Coolidge is remembered for this relevant quote about persistence: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
7. Learn from failure: Failure is a natural part of the process of achieving success. Instead of getting discouraged, use failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Reflect on what went wrong and what you can do differently next time. Failure is a valuable teacher and it can help you become more resilient and persistent in the face of adversity. Movie producer Woody Allen once said, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
8. Surround yourself with positive influences: The people you surround yourself with can have a big impact on your success. As much as possible, surround yourself with positive, supportive people who will encourage and motivate you to achieve your goals. Seek out mentorship and guidance from people who have achieved the success you desire. This can be done in person or online. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
9. Take care of yourself: Taking care of yourself is crucial for achieving success. This means getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. If you are a person of faith, maintain an ongoing relationship with your Divine Power. Taking care of yourself will help you stay focused, energized, and motivated to be successful in life.
10. Stay organized: Being organized is important for achieving success. This means keeping track of your projects, schedule, deadlines, and tasks. Staying organized will help you stay on top of things, and make it easier to manage your time and stay productive. A number of free apps are available to help you stay organized, or you may prefer a paper notebook as some people do.
11. Learn from others: One of the best ways to achieve success is to learn from others who have already achieved it. Read books, attend seminars, and seek out mentorship from people who have achieved success in your field. You can learn a lot from the experiences and wisdom of others. The author of this blog post recommends that you read his new book “How To Be Successful In Life: Discover and Use Your Unique Success Power for Maximum Results” available in all formats on amazon here.
12. Never give up: Achieving success in life is a long-term process that requires persistence and determination. It’s important to remember that success is not a destination, but a journey. Even when things get tough, never give up on your goals. Remember that every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow, and that success is always within reach. Periodically review your goals and adjust them as needed for changing circumstances. But don’t give up on your overall pursuit for success in life. Remember the famous words of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II: “Never, never, never give up.” Stay strong and keep moving forward.
In conclusion, “how to be successful in life” can mean different things to different people. The keys to achieving success in life are to create a vision and specific goals, develop a positive mindset, take persistent action, learn from failure, surround yourself with positive influences, take care of yourself, stay organized, learn from others, and never give up.