What do you want to achieve in life? J. P. Morgan, one of the most successful individuals to ever walk the planet, said this:
The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.
Learn as we unpack this statement and how it applies to YOU in getting the life you want.
In this article:
- Figure out Where You Want to Be
- Know Where You Are Today
- Take the First Step
- Think About Any Sub-Goals You May Have
- Create a Timeline for Each Goal
- Expect for Obstacles in Each Step
- Build the Right Environment for Your Journey
- Consistently Work on Your Goals
- Stay Motivated
- Keep Learning Along the Way
- Make Your Journey Exciting and Fun
- Track Your Progress
- Don’t Rely on Others
What Do You Want in Life? | Tips to Become Successful
1. Figure Out Where You Want to Be
The first thing you have to do to get what you want is to determine where you want to be.
If you’re anything like me, you probably want to be somewhere else. I’m not talking about your physical location but where you are in life right now.
You may want to take yourself somewhere else and be better than how you are today, but it has to be realistic and planned. Going aimlessly through life without a vision in mind won’t lead you anywhere.
Once you’ve figured out where you want to be, have concrete plans. For example, if you want a more flexible lifestyle, figure out how you can do this (e.g. Quit your job and start working for yourself).
2. Know Where You Are Today
If you’re going on a journey, you need to know two things:
- Where you’re going
- Where you started from
By knowing exactly where you’re coming from, you can also discover where you can be. In this way, you can figure out what routes are available to help you get to your destination.
3. Take the First Step
As Morgan said, deciding to not remain in the same place is the first step to getting to where you want to be. More often than not, this is actually the hardest step anyone will take because it means leaving behind your comfort zone and stepping into the unknown.
Keep your destination at the back of your head to remind you of your goal. Celebrate the numerous small steps you have to take to get there and don’t pressure yourself so you won’t get overwhelmed.
For example, if your goal is to live a freer, more flexible lifestyle by not being constrained by conventional employment, maybe your path to get there is by starting a business, such as a bookkeeping business.
Once you’ve decided where you want to go and how you’ll get there, try to stick to it no matter what. Don’t be afraid to take that first step, or you’ll end up getting stuck.
4. Think About Any Sub-Goals You May Have
If your destination is your goal, it’s unavoidable to have sub-goals you need to accomplish along the way. Additionally, these little things also make your goal seem less overwhelming and more manageable.
If you’re planning to enter the bookkeeping industry, your sub-goals might include:
- Taking online or offline courses to enhance your bookkeeping skills
- Figuring out which businesses or individuals to work with
- Determining if you want to work with an individual or with multiple clients
Having a list of sub-goals helps you better monitor your progress. This can also help motivate you since you’ll see how far along you are in your journey.
5. Create a Timeline for Each Goal
After you’ve mapped out the goals and sub-goals, create deadlines for each goal. Figure out how long each sub-goal takes and create a timeline for each.
Doing this keeps you motivated because timelines add a sense of urgency. It also allows you to be accountable since you have to finish a certain task at a certain time, which can help you prevent losing focus or deprioritizing it.
If you take an online bookkeeping course, for example, find out how long it generally takes to finish each section of the course. Compare this to how much time you can allocate for it.
From there, you’ll get an idea of how long it’ll take before you finish the entire course and start your journey as a bookkeeper.
6. Expect for Obstacles in Each Step
Your journey won’t be easy because of unexpected obstacles that may come your way. This is inevitable, so it’s important to think and prepare ahead.
In this way, you’ll have a plan on how to deal with them when they come up.
For example, if you failed to get the bookkeeping job in a certain company or with a certain client, what are your backup plans? How will you convince the next company or client to hire you?
7. Build the Right Environment for Your Journey
The environment you’re in also has an impact on your success. Make sure you’re in an environment, which includes the people around you, that can push you to improve yourself and reach for your goal.
For example, if you’re taking an online bookkeeping course, make sure you’re in an environment conducive to learning. Also, make sure you’re surrounded by people who understand and support what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
8. Consistently Work on Your Goals
The most challenging part of achieving what you want is performing consistently. Once you’ve taken that first step, you have to keep your momentum going.
Your journey is a step-by-step process, so it may take some time. Consistency is essential in keeping continuous progress.
Some people start off very motivated and enthusiastic but that fire in them burns out quickly. Try your best to not fall into this pattern and remind yourself that it’s a journey, not a race.
9. Stay Motivated
Consistency and motivation work hand-in-hand. You can’t be consistent if you’re demotivated, and it’s hard to be motivated if you’re inconsistent.
One way to keep both of these in check happens in the earlier part of the journey. Set achievable sub-goals so you can have little victories along the way.
If you set sub-goals that aren’t feasible and you fail, it can discourage you. It’s also hard to be consistent if your sub-goals aren’t manageable.
You can also use positive reinforcements to help you stay motivated and consistent. For example, if you feel like you’re running on empty, a short break can do wonders — do what you want and what you feel like doing.
Avoid negative reinforcements, which may motivate you for a little while but can be damaging in the long-term. For example, punishing yourself for failing in a sub-goal may motivate you now, but it can negatively affect your emotional wellness.
10. Keep Learning Along the Way
It’s important to see results, but you won’t see any if you hyperfocus on them. See the bigger picture and recognize what you’re gaining from this journey.
Of course, it’s natural to just think about your destination, but how you get there is also important and changes you.
11. Make Your Journey Exciting and Fun
If you aren’t having fun or finding excitement in your journey, you’ll burn out soon enough. You may even lose sight of where you’re going and why you want to go there.
Try to be positive and see the good things happening in your journey, no matter how seemingly small or inconsequential. Looking for ways to make this process more enjoyable is also another way to make your journey easier.
For example, taking an online bookkeeping course can become overwhelming or a drag once in a while, so try switching things up from time-to-time. Listen to your favorite music while studying or take quick breaks in between.
12. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress is also another good way to keep you motivated. You can use a calendar, journal, or app to do this.
Keeping a record of what you already did helps remind you of the sub-goals you’ve already accomplished. It also keeps you accountable for your remaining sub-goals.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try journaling. This can provide an outlet for your fears and help you see your journey with a new pair of eyes.
13. Don’t Rely on Others
Your journey requires only yourself, so don’t be reliant on others to do things for you. They may give you support, but you have to do all the work yourself.
Remember, they also have their own life to live and their own journey to take. Remind yourself that other people are just a support system, not a crutch.
Learn more about it here in my video:
What do you want in life? Answer this first, and then start from there.
Figure out where you want to go, determine where you at right now, and then come up with a plan that works for you. It’s not going to be easy, but everything is worth it once you reach your destination.
What other tips for reaching life goals and becoming successful can you add to the list above? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 2, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.