Ever wonder how people become successful? They seem to have accomplished so much. What is their trick?
Here are eight tips that will help you in your quest for success.
1. Visualize Your Ideal Future
Setting goals can be abstract, and as humans, the more intangible something, the harder it is for us to focus on it. Instead of writing down goals like "retire at 50", try and visualize what you want your future to hold, and plan it out in as much detail as possible. “Retire at 50" might be "Build a successful engineering firm. Retire at 50 but still sit on the board. Pay off your home in Traverse City and have a second vacation home in Florida. Be able to fund all children's college accounts in full," etc.
Once you identify the specifics of your ideal future, you’ll gain the clarity you need. The goal-setting process becomes the framework for creating the future you want.
2. Work Backwards From Your Goal
How will you achieve your goals if you don’t know what you want? Spend some time and determine what you really want from life. Then simply work backward from there. Try setting quarterly or 90-day goals, evaluating them regularly as you move forward. Concrete goals are much easier to tackle than conceptual what-ifs. It’s a good idea to have a mix of financial, strategic, relationship, and personal goals.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable
Staying accountable to yourself is incredibly important but equally difficult. Working with a business coach, a life coach, or even sharing your goals with others can motivate you to continue on your path and work hard to achieve the desired outcome. Consider surrounding yourself with others who will support you and share what you hope to do with them. This will help you push yourself and develop new ideas since you’ll be surrounded by people you respect.
4. Set Clear Deadlines
Make sure that you set clear measurements with realistic deadlines when setting your goals. When the goal is attainable, you will feel more properly and emotionally invested in the outcome. It should feel challenging yet also achievable.
5. Write Down Your Goals
Studies show that we become 42% more likely to achieve our goals and dreams simply by writing them down regularly. There is a personal commitment when you put pen to paper and physically write your goals. Once embedded in your mind, you subconsciously look at every opportunity to achieve that goal. Also, if something is written down, you can look back for motivation when you need it. Written objectives will help you stay focused and accountable.
6. Divide Your Goals Into Smaller Action Items
Every successful person knows that you must divide your goals into action items. Setting a high-level goal helps you picture the result, but small sub-goals are easier to accomplish. Think of your goals as a pyramid. Your main, over-arching goal is at the top, with a series of small steps that you’ll need to take to attain the main goal.
Breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable items feels more doable from a psychological standpoint, and you'll feel empowered every time you hit another milestone. This will motivate you to keep going.
7. Own Your Future
As the saying goes, "A dream without a plan is just a wish." Keep in mind that you are responsible for your future, and only you can change and work toward a better outcome. It’s important to work in the present but still have a strong plan for the future.
8. Use Your Goals in Every Aspect of Your Life
Goal setting is important to your business. Truly successful people also set goals for their personal lives. Answering these questions might help clarify what you’re hoping to accomplish.
- Why are these goals important?
- How will you achieve each one?
- How will they make a difference in your life?
- What is the ideal outcome?
The answers to these questions will help you as you work toward a stronger future and the steps necessary to achieve your dreams.
Erickson Braund is the Founder and Chief Financial Officer at Black Walnut Wealth Management. He is a Certified Financial Planner®️ professional and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®️. Eric brings over 20 years of experience working with high net-worth individuals and families, helping them achieve their goals of protecting and growing their wealth for retirement and for generations to come. Because Eric is a CFP®️ professional, he adheres to high ethical standards and engages in at least 30 hours of approved continuing education in the financial industry each year.
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