As a motivational speaker and sales performance trainer, I am a strong advocate and promoter of hope and the power of positive thinking, but as the saying goes: Hope is not a strategy. If you’re going to advance in life, you need to create a road map, and it’s vital that you follow it. Success doesn’t just happen by accident—it has to be planned.
I believe in setting goals so big that we have to grow into them—but do it in phases and definitely on purpose. Years ago, I created a seven-step action plan for how to systematically achieve my personal and professional goals. I’ve shared this strategy with countless others whose lives are a testament to its effectiveness. It’s tried, it’s proven, and when properly applied—it works! Here are the seven steps:
One: Determine Exactly What You Want
The first step is to write down your desired goals, using specific details that can be accurately measured. For example, don’t say something like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Instead, state something like “I will weigh this much by this date.” Remember that when it comes to setting goals, if it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist.
Two: Decide That You Are Deserving of It
Earl Nightingale is quoted as having said: “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” The subconscious mind is a powerful force, and whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’ll most likely be right in the end. Doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever has, so before targeting a goal, it’s crucial that we get our mindset right.
Three: Commit to Not Quitting Until It’s Yours
Tenacity is one’s ability to forge ahead when tempted to quit. Anytime you feel like giving up, focus on why you started in the first place. The discomfort of pushing through is a temporary thing—but stopping short of the finish line can be far more painful and long-lasting. Before you begin, commit that you will see it to the end—regardless. Don’t give in, never give up, and give it all you’ve got—you’re worth it!
Four: Create a Daily Action Plan and Start Today
A daily action plan is a simple list of new habits, standards, or self-imposed rules that one is committed to following. It’s the consistency and accumulation of these small stepping stones that eventually leads
us toward the realization of obtaining what we want. There’s never a perfect time to begin doing the work, so start right where you are—today! A month from now you’ll be glad you did.
Five: Eliminate Distractions and Protect Your Assets
Most people are keenly aware of what their biggest distractions are—the challenge is exercising the self-discipline required to remove them. Goals and distractions can rarely coexist, so when you’re ready to get serious, kick your distractions to the curb. Your three greatest assets are your time, your energy, and your mindset—protect them! How well you protect these assets will determine your success.
Six: When You Fall, Get Up—Again and Again
The road that leads to a worthwhile goal is often littered with potholes, speed bumps, and obstacles. When pursuing our goals, we are highly susceptible to exhaustion, discouragement, and mistakes.
Expect some bumps, bruises, and temporary setbacks along the way—it’s part of the journey. And when you fall, get up, dust yourself off, and move on down the road. Falling is natural—but try to fall forward.
Seven: With Gratitude and Integrity—Do the Work
Nothing is a substitute for gratitude, integrity, and hard work. When these three things are combined for a common purpose, our determination becomes an unstoppable force, and our destination becomes an immovable object. Remain grateful, walk upright, and put in the effort—then watch the transformation.
Christopher L. Harris, I Go Thru: Breaking Through with Expert Power (self-published, 2019), 171-172.
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