5 Simple Steps to Success

This is the question I've been looking at for the last few days:

"What will it take to get from where you are, to where you want to be?"

The interesting thing is, someone is already there. And someone is closer to being there than you are. And someone is not near as close to making it there as you are.

We are all at a different place in our goals, and working toward them in different ways and at different paces.

Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

I usually advise people to only compare their success or failure against their own progress. Not against the progress (or success) of others. That said, it pays to get to know people who have gone before you on the same path and learn about their "steps to success". How did they get there? What did it take, and how long did it take? The answer will likely be different in every success story, but there is always something to learn from those who have achieved what we hope to achieve ourselves...

Analyze Your Own History of Success & Failure

In addition to learning from others, one of the things that has worked best for me is to learn from my own mistakes & achievements. What have I accomplished in my life, and how did I do that? What have I failed miserably at - and why?

Our own "steps to success" often lie right there in those answers.

Where I Am -vs- Where I Want To Be

I'm in a unique position. Unique to me anyway. As I was analyzing this question I realized that I can easily achieve ALL of my current goals in 12-18 months, tops.

It wasn't always that way, of course. I can remember a time when my goals and ideas seemed IMPOSSIBLE from where I was sitting. Unrealistic, even.

And gosh, I remember it well...

I won't bore you with the gory details of my house being a wreck, bouncing checks, having zero credit, struggling to put food on the table, etc, etc, etc. But I will tell you that it was HARD. I can remember sitting in in the middle of all that - with two young children, even - wondering how in the world I would ever get out of the hole (much less get ahead), have a home of my own - or just get my life together, period.

It seemed to me that most people had it so much easier than I did.

Part of that was true. SOME people did have it easier than I did. Some had it much harder. And as I examined those who seemed to have it so easy, I began to realize they had their own troubles.

No one is exactly where they want to be at any given time. We are all moving, sometimes forward and sometimes not. We all want more, better, bigger... We are all at our own place on those steps to success.

How I Got From There To Here

As I was giving this question some thought, I looked back over my own path. Getting from there, to where I am in my life now, seems like it took an eternity.

Admittedly it did take me longer than it may have for others, given certain circumstances in my life (that I wouldn't take back for anything). Being a single mother, for example, or taking care of my grandmother for two years.

But really, it wasn't that long. And it wasn't that bad. And I DID do it.

I now have a successful business, financial security, a great credit score, my own beautiful home, wonderful friends, and two incredible children who are practically raised. I travel as much as I please, have a flexible schedule, and can afford all the simple luxuries I had to do without for so much of my life.

What more could I ask for? ...

Simple Steps to Success

As I said above, no one is exactly where they want to be. And that includes me. There are several things I would like to achieve. Many of which I wish I had already done by now. But hey - we are where we are, and that's where we have to start.

I mentioned being in a great position - where I can easily achieve all of my current goals in as little as 12-18 months. That realization alone was HUGE. My goals no longer seemed so far out, or near impossible.

And I didn't happen into that position by accident, or by luck. I got myself here - every single (grueling, doubting) step of the way.

As I continued pondering this question, I was forced to answer the obvious: exactly where do I want to be, and what do I want to achieve - specifically? It's easy to say I want to make more money, be less stressed, travel more, yada yada yada.

Most of the things we say we want are entirely too general, with no "HOW" tied in and no specific milestones to work toward. And without milestones or specific goals, how in the world will you even know that you achieved your success??

Earlier this morning I was reading Leo Babauta's ZenHabits blog. In the last 6 years he has quit smoking, lost 70 pounds, quit his job and become a successful blogger and author. By the way, he has six children and a wife.

I'm not sure exactly how long it took him to achieve each of those goals (and many more I didn't mention), but in my opinion that's an awesome accomplishment in such a short time! Leo seriously inspires me...

Six months, six years - how long it takes doesn't really matter. The truth is, you can do absolutely nothing and stay exactly where you are (or just let life happen and end up wherever you do). Trust me, I've tested that. LOL.

Whatever your goal, if it matters enough to you, the timeline is irrelevant. If HERE is not a happy place, then THERE should be your ultimate all-consuming goal.

Maybe you want to be thinner or healthier. One year from now you can be just that, or you can still be wanting it. Maybe you want to be a published author, or a successful blogger. Again, one year from now you can find yourself exactly there. Or you can find yourself sitting in the exact same place, wanting the exact same thing.

Ask yourself: where do I want to be one year from now? What do I want my life to look like, specifically?

The difference between people who achieve goals, and people who don't, is simple: people who achieve goals are taking consistent and intentional steps toward them. They made their goals (or desires) a priority.

Obvious, right? Sure. We've all heard it before. And while it sounds great on paper (or on the screen), it's "easier said than done". Or is it?

How hard is it really to set aside a specific amount of time to work toward your greatest desires? We set aside time for all sorts of things, intentionally or unintentionally. Getting intentional is the key. Once you know *exactly* what you want to do, you have to make it a point to just DO it.

I took a long hard look at my schedule and my task list yesterday. There were plenty of things throughout my day that did not have a direct impact on my highest priorities. I made the decision to ditch two of them and do a high impact cardio workout instead. Those two things were important, mind you - but they didn't trump my desire to get in shape inside of the next year.

Nothing is going to happen overnight. Even if it did, you would miss out on the journey - and every single step to success (slow as it seems sometimes) is important in preparing you for that success. Looking back at myself 10 years ago, had you dropped everything I have now in my lap then... I wouldn't have even known what to do with it. I would have screwed it all up royally - I'm sure of it.

Make a decision today about what you want, get committed to it, and start taking the steps toward that goal. One step at a time. One day at a time. No matter how far away it seems from "HERE". (We're all "here". You're not alone.)

5 Simple Steps to Success

  • Decide exactly what you want to achieve.
  • Determine how long it will take you to achieve it.
  • Note what steps you need to take to get there.
  • Figure out what you can replace or let go of to make time for these steps.
  • DO the steps.

Everything you need to achieve your goals, is already inside of you. You have what it takes to do anything, and change anything you please. Decide what you want to change, what you want to achieve, and get out there and do it! One day at a time. ;-)

Go be a success story!

Best,

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Really great step suggestions that you marked out here. I know one thing that I started to do is really write out the idea or mission I'm trying to reach and build backwards from that going to the first step that I would need to complete. It did teach me a lot about action steps versus planning steps but I got a lot of the work done quicker.

  2. Annie Binns says:

    Okay Miss Lynn - you need a better category for a great post like this than "Coffee Break!" I look forward to the day when I ditch anything in exchange for working out... but it could happen! :-)

  3. Derek Baron says:

    Hey Lynn,

    Fantastic post - wouldn't expect anything less from you - you always bring it.

    Just a thought for a 6th step - Repeat!

    Thanks again for your insights as they have not only helped me begin to achieve my goals, but allowed me to help others do the same.

  4. This is really great stuff, Lynn. When will you be doing your own series of paid events where you teach this stuff to others in person? And for those who couldn't make it to the events, a video series along with support material would fly off the virtual shelves like hotcakes :)

    Yes, I WENT there!

  5. Bronx from says:

    Alway read biographies too. There are so many people out there who lived rich lives who have stories written about their pains, sufferings and successes. Gleam from them.

  6. Lynn, I wouldn't be bored with the "gory details" of when your house was a wreck, there were bounced checks, struggling to put food on the table, etc. Nobody online who's real successful ever talks about these kinds of things - I guess because it doesn't "sell" well. LOL. But it encourages other people who have struggled - that you have been there and look where you are now. And that it really takes TIME and WORK. That's not a popular subject, either. :) Great idea, Derek, about step 6 "repeat" and Bronx about reading biographies. Loved this post. Great practical, simple tips. Thank you.

  7. Hey Lynn,

    This is a nice post that speaks to all of us. I tend to expect a lot of myself and being impatient, I want it overnight. One thing I'm trying to do is take time and appreciate how far I've come. I really have accomplished a lot in the last 14 months.

    "Make a decision today about what you want, get committed to it, and start taking the steps toward that goal. One step at a time. One day at a time." - yes! :)

    Peggy

  8. Hi Lynn, Great inspiring post! So true - we get there if we really want and of it reallymatters to us

  9. Lynn, Thanks so much for an uplifting post that perfectly found its mark this morning! It helps to hear about the "pit" you dug out of (including all gory details)when so often what I hear is "Cheer up! You need to stay positive." I'd rather hear: "I know what you're going through. How can I help you stay focused on your goals even when it's difficult?" Thanks so much for the practical "been there, did that, you can do it, too" advice.

  10. A truly inspiring article! It's too rare of an occasion where I step back and take a look at my life. And this article forced me to do that. Thank you for that. Also, thanks for the heads-up on the ZenHabits blog. I had never been there before and it's an incredibly interesting site! Thanks!

  11. Determining the steps that you have to take to succeed is a bit easy but it's hard to figure out how long it'll take. And if some people find out that it'll take them a long time to achieve success in a particular thing, they may abandon it.

  12. I find it extremely helpful to have a longer-term mindset with my online business. I can fall into the desperation trap wanting results immediately instead of planning for the long term and creating higher value. Instead of taking shortcuts with a mindset of achieving something in a month, plan your business in years. This relieves the pressure of immediate success and instead you can slowly but surely build a sustainable business.

    Also, and I'm really trying to implement this into my online business, and it's enjoying the journey (yes, a cliche) of building the business. It really is a lot of fun if you let it be fun and try to stop obsessing about results. When I focus on writing the best article and meeting great people, it becomes fun. When I focus on "I need $X sales today and Y amount of traffic" it's much less fun and actually stressful.

  13. Gina Reedy says:

    I learned that setting a target is one of the most important things you can do with regards to goal setting. If you can't even see what you want... You can be basically blind! How can you reach a goal without even seeing where to begin? Determine that, focus on it, then do what you must in order to achieve it.

  14. It seems that I can't get past the old tried and true acronym, PIE. Plan,Implement,Evaluate. It's simple and effective, and I believe the Evaluation element, if done in a hard-nosed, no BS fashion can be invaluable for considering future activities. Whew!

    All the best,

    Jon

  15. Simple, but true and seriously motivational! Thanks for providing a much needed dose of inspiration in my day! :)

  16. While I was reading this, I keep thinking I have what I need - job, home - but I still want to do and get more. What hinders me from achieving other ventures is just me and my apprehension. And reading this made me think, 'Hey, I gotta move my ass!' :D

  17. Awesome write-up Lynn!

    I think that for many, they are not sure quite what to shoot for.

    I know that was my problem for a long time. It really takes a while to get your bearings and I think that for many, actually figuring out and setting the goals is the hangup.

    They simply do not know "what to shoot for" 12-18 months out.

    Once you do figure it out, persistence is required thereafter, but of course, I know YOU know that...;)

    Mark

  18. This is such an important post Lynn.

    At the beginning of this year, I had some health issues caused by weight (and other things, like getting older ;) )...and had no choice but to implement these 5 steps. I lost the weight, but because I HAD to.

    I should have WANTED to...but learned a hard lesson there and will move on :)

    I hope more people will WANT to implement these 5 steps in every area of their lives.

    Great post Lynn.

  19. Thanks Lynn, just what I needed to read today. I was just about to sit down and set a blogging schedule for this month but now I realize I need to get clear on the goal first, so I know what it is I'm trying to achieve. Awesome, inspiring post as always :)

  20. It is also important to think that your future has nothing to do with your past. Your own success is waiting for you and is made from scratch. It works for me. Of course, without a plan it impossible to achieve your goals. Regards!

  21. Very inspiring post, Lynn. Setting the goal and knowing where you want to be is very important in every part of your life. But having a goal without having a plan to reach that goal and not taking action on the plan is pointless. Sometimes it is hard to figure out the steps to reach the goal but I found that by working backward from the goal, breaking it into smaller goals and finally into daily steps, the goal can be reached. Like you did, I take care of an elderly family member, so I have to set aside time every day to work toward my goals that include exercise and working my business.

  22. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation. It's great that you have made a success out of your business!! Leo is very inspiring! I did an interview with him and posted it on my blog. I realize as you say and he did, it all comes down to YOU (meaning me)! Working online causes so many distractions, and it can be hard to stay focused. But minimalist is key here. Something many people have a hard time with - especially in the U.S.

  23. Thanks, Lynne. We all need a kick in the pants sometimes. It's so much easier to WWW (wallow, wish and whine) -- though it gets us nowhere we want to go. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  24. 5 steps that is straight to the point! Well, the last step is the hardest thing to do when you're not motivated and not that consistent with the goal. Goal and action, surely a way to success.

  25. What an encouraging post! Several times I found myself nodding my head and knowing that I can succeed. You made several points that I need to ponder for a bit to really take it all in. Thank you!

  26. The most important step in achieving success is the willingness of a person to start with making few steps towards success. It is important for to consider even one single step to achieve success in order for the person to accomplish every goal.

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