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Building Goals for a Successful Life

Updated on July 23, 2013

We All Want to Be Successful

In our own way we all strive for success in our lives, the only difference being what we use to define that success. For some people it is marriage, children, or career. Others define success by the amount of money or friends they have. For each of us the definition of success can vary so widely that the question then becomes how do we not only define that success but achieve it? It is simple really, anyone can be successful by building goals for a successful life. Setting goals that are similar to stair steps, each one a little higher and a little more difficult to achieve so that as you build upon them you are transforming yourself into the successful person you want to be.

What Defines Success?

Ask yourself what defines success. What do you want out of life that will make you feel like a success? A good marriage? Large or small family? Lots of Money? Power? All of these things can be considered success depending on the criteria that you set up to define it. Some self-help guru’s warn that setting goals to meet with what society defines as success versus what you define as success is essentially setting yourself up for failure. To a certain extent this can be true. You cannot rely on what other people tell you is the definition of success. Instead you must look into yourself and ask that sometimes difficult question of what kind of person are you?

Life is a Staircase not an Elevator

Life is a staircase, not an elevator. You cannot simply hop on push a button and ride your way to the top. Even individuals born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth must climb the ladder or staircase of life in order to maintain a certain amount of success for themselves. Otherwise they end up one of those tragedies on late night news. Set your goals, be reasonable in understanding what will take to achieve them and begin working on your life as though you have to take it one step at a time and before you know it you will reach the top.

Making Goals

When you are setting up goals for your life you should always remember there are two types of goals, long term goals and short term goals. Having these in mind can help you to become successful. When you set your goals consider using the smart approach.





Time Bound

By using this approach you can set goals that are specific to what you want to achieve in life. Specific goals need to answer the WH questions, who, what, where, when, which, and why. Measurable goals will help you to determine how much, how many, and how you will know when your goal is accomplished. Setting attainable goals will help you figure out what is most important to your definition of success. As you begin to understand that you will start to see what role your attitude plays in achieving this success, how your abilities and skills come into play and what is required of your financially to make your dreams a reality. You will also begin to see opportunities that you may have missed in the past as your attitude changes to line up more with your desire goals. Relevant goals are probably the most important aspect of the SMART approach, because you are going to want to set goals that are relevant to your own situation rather than someone else. You might want to be wealthy, and so your goals should be relevant to achieving wealth rather than someone whose goal is to have a large family. While it is possible to combine being wealthy with having a large family these are simply two examples given. Finally your goals need to have a time table, you want to set a goal that says in x amount of years I will have achieved it, so that you can push yourself to making these things a reality. For example you may want to say in five years I will own my own home. This will give you the motivation necessary to get financially stable enough so that in five years’ time you are able to go out and purchase that home.

Write Things Down

There are a couple of really good reasons to write things down. The first is by writing your goals down you are able to make them more realistic. You now have something to go back to later a reference point to see whether you are working on making these goals a reality or simply slacking off. Writing things down makes them real and makes you more accountable for your actions. Make lists. Things I would like to have, things I would like to do, things I would like to see changed in my life. Writing a list gets it out there, out of your mind so you aren't over thinking it. You should also use power words when writing something down. I will lose five pounds instead of I would like to lose five pounds. The first makes the goal something that you are more likely to do, whereas the second gives you an out for not achieving the goal.

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