How To Be Successful and Achieve Your Personal Goals

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Everyone's definition of success is different depending on personal priorities and goals. Setting goals can help provide a purpose in life and identify a clear pathway to achieving milestones. If you're hoping to achieve success, taking steps to reach your goals is important. In this article, we provide tips on mindset, accountability and goal setting to help you achieve success.

Related: How To Develop SMART Goals

How to be successful in 10 steps

People often wonder how to be successful in their working and personal lives. As with any goal, it starts with defining what success means to you. Some people measure success by how much money they can earn. For others, it's about a good job, relationships and family. Think about what your personal success goals are and the various steps you can take to achieve them.

Being successful is reliant on many factors outside of working hard and trying your best. While these factors are important, many other skills and qualities are essential too. Here are some steps you can take to get you on the path to success:

1. Remain committed and focused

Committing to your goals makes it far more likely that you achieve them. For example, commitment is what helps you wake up early to go to the gym when you'd rather stay in bed. Over time, the initial enthusiasm and motivation can fade, but commitment can keep you moving towards your long-term goals. It's important to stay determined even when it feels difficult. Assess your goals and decide if you can commit to achieving them by taking the necessary steps.

Focus is also important when striving for success. Focus on your goals and why you want to achieve them to keep yourself motivated and reaffirm your commitment. Having focus helps you concentrate on the task that's in front of you by eliminating potential distractions.

Related: How To Be Self-Motivated (With Steps, Tips and an Example)

2. Learn and adapt

When you aim for new goals, you're likely to learn new things and develop as a person. This may feel uncomfortable at times, but it can also be exciting and invigorating if you maintain a positive attitude. Being open to learning about new ideas helps expand your mind and makes adapting to change easier.

When working to achieve a goal, what you learn can help you come up with new ideas, boost your confidence and increase your resilience. What you learn may also cause you to reconsider your goals and your definition of success. It can help you find clarity on what you want to achieve, whether it reaffirms your goals or changes them entirely. If you find yourself questioning your goals, don't be afraid to adapt and change, as the new direction could be your key to success.

3. Don't forget to have fun

While you may have a long list of things you want to achieve, it's still important to make time for yourself, your friends and your family to enjoy life outside of professional goals. Having time off can recharge you, which allows you to take on your goals with renewed energy and can help your brain identify new and better ways of approaching your goals.

Sometimes what began as a fun goal can turn into a stressful chore. If your goals aren't inspiring you and you aren't enjoying working towards them, that may be a sign that to rethink your direction. It's okay to change your goals if you feel they no longer bring any joy to your life.

4. Be positive

You're more likely to reach your goals if you maintain a positive attitude. Being positive can give you confidence and open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. Looking for the positive in difficult situations can often change your approach and make you realise that seemingly impossible tasks are achievable with the correct attitude. If you find yourself thinking negatively about your goals and success, try to alter your mindset to see things from a positive perspective. Over time, this can become much easier to do and can help make you more resilient and determined to succeed.

5. Change your perspective

You're not necessarily going to enjoy every aspect that achieving your goals may require. Finding a way to change your perspective, whether it's a different way of approaching your task or focusing on what you get out of it, can be helpful during the difficult steps towards success. Keep the results you're striving for and your overall goals in mind and use those reminders to help you achieve them. It can also help to see every challenge as a small goal and to reward yourself for completing each one.

6. Be honest with yourself

Be honest with yourself about how you envision your personal success and whether you're prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve it. Once you start your journey, it's equally important to be honest with yourself if you're struggling with any aspects of it. You may find your goals change over time or that other life factors are preventing you from moving forward. Identify the issues you're facing allow yourself time to think and deal with any problems. If you need help, be honest with those around you by asking for support from your mentor, friends or family members.

7. Remove all distractions

Procrastination is one of the main factors that prevent people from achieving success. It can be tempting to switch on the television or scroll on social media to avoid taking the steps necessary to achieve long-term goals. You may wish to write a list of anything that's likely to distract you, whether it's your phone notifications, friends turning up unannounced or the TV show you want to watch.

Next, find a way to deal with every distraction on your list. This can be as simple as turning off the television, turning off your phone and leaving them in a separate room. You can also inform your friends in advance that you're going to be busy at certain times. This allows you to dedicate the time you require to move towards success.

8. Hold yourself accountable

You're responsible for achieving your own goals and finding success. Whatever your aims are, it's important to hold yourself accountable so you're able to move through the process. You can still ask for support and encouragement from friends and family to help you along the way. If you find this step difficult, it can be helpful to team up with people with similar goals and hold each other accountable. For example, you could go to the gym together or try writing sprints to see who can write more in an hour.

9. Plan clear goals

When setting your goals, think about what you want to achieve overall. Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coined the term Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) in their book, 'Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies'. They refer to long-term, inspiring goals that get you engaged and excited. You can have fun with setting these and imagine how you're going to feel when you reach them.

In addition to long-term goals, it's also helpful to have some short-term and medium-term goals to aim for that can help you reach your larger aspirations. For example, if your long-term goal is to purchase a large house, your short or medium-term goal could be to find a small starter home or apartment to get you on the property ladder. Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals and break these down into manageable tasks. Achieving each smaller goal can help you build your confidence and motivation to continue on your journey.

Related: Objective vs. Goal: What Are the Key Differences?

10. Manage your expectations to avoid burnout

It's important to aim for success, but it's also important to make time for relaxation and quality time with loved ones. Finding the balance is key to keeping on track and maintaining a healthy mindset. It's important to manage your expectations and keep them realistic so you can achieve each smaller goal. Focus fully on your goals when it's time to work on them and take breaks by enjoying your time off. You can enjoy the journey and more easily achieve success if you're not suffering from burnout.

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