Few things are more frustrating than to be stuck in traffic, starting and stopping, crawling along inch by inch, bored out of your mind – only to see someone whiz by you in the breakdown lane.

“Legality and safety aside, it’s a good metaphor for how we can feel when our own lives feel directionless and we see other people racing ahead, achieving success and finding fulfillment,” says Devin M. Davis, a Senior Credit Specialist, Business Coach, and retired U.S. Marine Corps Veteran.

 “Many of my clients have that same frustration, and I guide them through an easy-to-understand, 5-step process that puts them on track to having the lives they really want: get clear, certain, excited, focused, and committed.”

Step 1: Get clear about what you really want.

The path to success begins when you sit down at the table, examine where you are, and determine exactly what it is you want to change and why.

“In my coaching experience, this is tough for a lot of people,” says Devin. “They have to face the fact that they are in credit card debt, that their health isn’t quite what it could be – whatever it is, they must name it and say, ‘I am tired of living with this. I am ready to do whatever is necessary to improve it so that I can live more successfully.’”

By stating your goals, you are placing them at the center of your attention. They are now your biggest priorities, and you are ready to move on to the next stage of the process.

Step 2: Get 100% certain about how you’re going to achieve it.

Even though you have named your goals, they are vulnerable to being derailed simply because life loves to throw curveballs at you every day. 

“To be certain about your goals essentially means two things: without a doubt, you want to accomplish these aims, and you know how you are going to go about it,” explains Devin.

“Remember: as soon as you are clear about what you want to achieve, life will try to distract you from going after it. By being certain of your goals and having a specific plan for how you will achieve them, you can persevere. You will be able to withstand the temptation to work a little less hard or to procrastinate, both of which can sabotage your success.”

Step 3: Get excited about what you plan to do.

Despite what the movies or social media might depict, success never happens overnight. Instead, it comes only when a person has put in countless hours; you have to do this for a long period of time to attain it.

“Get ready to grind your way through day after day of pure hard work,” Devin advises. “If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, you’ll find it very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to sustain your efforts.”

To feel excited about what you’re pursuing, try to remember the benefits of reaching the finish line. How will your life be when you succeed? Don’t forget, he adds, to appreciate the journey.

“There is a lot that can happen along the way, long before you’ve reached your goal, that can be just as exciting as success itself.”

Step 4: Get focused on what you are going to do.

Now it’s time to eliminate any unnecessary distractions so that you can dedicate as much energy to your goal as you can. 

“You definitely want to maintain a balance in your life, one that encompasses your health, your family and friends, and your current job or business,” Devin concedes.

“However, most people must whittle out some unnecessary time-wasters, such as being on social media for the sake of it, watching Neflix just a little too much, or partying on the weekend and sleeping in too late each morning.”

To be focused on what you want to accomplish, look over your life and see what can be cut out. Then, keep your goal in front of you when you wake up in the morning, all throughout the day, and when you go to bed.

“It should dominate your thoughts so that you can make the fastest progress possible,” says Devin.

Step 5: Be committed to what you want to achieve.

Changing your life and finding success usually requires that you make sacrifices of some sort. Your commitment to your goals will likely be tested at some point, says Devin.

“The thing about life is that no matter how much we may not enjoy where we’re at, it’s much easier in the short term to remain where we are than it is to change,” he states.

“When you get tired of working three jobs so that you can pay for college or getting up at 5:00 a.m. to run three miles and get in shape to avoid health issues, your commitment will be tested. You will have to find it within yourself to keep going even when you’d rather just stop. Don’t let yourself!”

Attaining success is 100% possible, but it is up to you.

It is all a choice, of course. You can always stay in the traffic and crawl along, bored with how your life is going and envious of those who are zooming ahead, fulfilled. 

“Or, you can step out of that line of people and really go after what you want,” Devin says. “The way forward won’t be quick or easy, but it will be unforgettable and lead you where you want to be: successful.”

Devin M. Davis is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and self-made entrepreneur who has built several successful businesses, including a business coaching company and a financial services business. As the author of Business Credit Secrets and the builder of Boost Score Now, he has taught and studied finance, credit, business, money, motivation and leadership for many years.

Devin is using what he knows about attaining success to help more people understand that there really are no elevators to success – only the stairs that they choose to walk up, one step at a time.

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