Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Five Steps to Success

People dream about it, aspire to it, work for it, envy it, sacrifice for it, exemplify it, achieve it and even lost it. One thing is for sure – everyone wants it.

Why aren’t more people successful? Why is success elusive for so many? The primary obstacle is how people view success. Unfortunately, most people see success as a matter of chance or a mere consequence of luck. This is evidenced by the popularity of such practices as psychics, horoscopes, fortune tellers, lotteries, gambling, etc.

Success is actually completely logical and predictable. This is because success is natural result of certain actions. Success is like gravity. If you hold up a rock and let go, it will drop. Likewise, if you do certain things, you will succeed. We have identified five steps to success. If you will follow these steps faithfully, you will succeed. In this month’s column, I will outline the first step to success. I will then lay out the other four steps over the next four columns.

Know Your Goals
The first key to success is to know what you want. If there’s one thing that stops people from being more successful, it’s lack of defined goals. When you have clear goals, you’re constantly thinking about what you want. You then begin to generate creative ideas on how you can attain your goals. This leads to goal awareness. Goal awareness allows you to see every opportunity to move closer to your goal. We all have countless opportunities right next to us. What seems like luck or chance to most people is simply the ability to recognize and act upon opportunities as they become available.

“Success is actually completely logical and predictable. This is because success is a natural result of certain actions.”

How do you define your goals? It’s actually a fairly simple process.

First, write down everything you’ve ever wanted. List everything. Include things you want to have, places you want to go, activities you want to do, qualities you want to possess, etc. The important thing is to write down everything. Don’t decide or judge if you’re worthy or capable of achieving your desires – just list them.

Second, Pick at least three but no more than 10 of the dreams you want to work on now.

Third, write each dream as a S.M.A.R.T. goal. SMART is an acronym for an effective goal. This means your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible.

• Specific means you know exactly what you want. Do you want a new car? What kind? A Ford? A Toyota? A BMW? What make? What color? What accessories? The more specific you can be the better.

• Measurable means you always know exactly where you stand in relation to your goal. Do you want to lose weight? How much? By when?

• Attainable means it’s possible. Setting a goal to be 10 feet tall is probably not an attainable goal.

• Realistic means it’s possible for you. In other words, you need to set goals based on where you are now. If you’ve never played golf, it’s probably unrealistic to set a goal to win the Masters.

• To make your goal tangible, you must make it vivid. Know what it smells like, tastes like, sounds like, feels like, looks like and feels like emotionally.

Fourth, say your goals out loud at least twice a day, every day. The more you focus and internalize your goals, the more goal awareness you develop.

Fifth, physically write out your goals every day. The act of writing puts action into your goals. Once your goals are put into action, they develop their own momentum. The hardest part of achieving your goals is just getting started.

For the next 30 days, practice these principles every day. You will be amazed at the progress you make on your goals. Remember, success is certain.

By Randy Slechta, President of Leadership Management International, Inc. a global leadership and organizational development company

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