This post originally appeared on BrandMentalist.com.
There are things I'm proud of have achieved in my life and there are things I have failed to achieve. However, I have learned that to accomplish something big and rewarding, there are 10 key rules I need to stick by in order to guarantee success.
Are you ready? I have simplified these rules into the list below.
1. Define what you'd like to achieve and how badly you want it.
The clearer and more definite idea you have of this, the better. Write it down. Put it on your bedroom wall or work desk. Make it a clear goal that you want to achieve by a definite timeline.
2. Determine whether you want it bad enough.
If your goal is big and highly challenging, you have to want the goal bad enough in order to achieve it. Because the road to success is not easy - there will be obstacles - you will likely want to give up. So in order for you to make it through, you have to want it so badly that you're willing to sacrifice your time and sweat to work hard.
3. Define the reward - what you will get once the goal is achieved.
Obviously if you want to achieve something, there is an incentive behind that achievement. Whether it to reach your fullest potential and be recognized for your work, to get a promotion, or anything else that you dream of. Will you make yourself and your parents proud? Will you get to travel the world? Will you get to meet certain someone? Will you get to buy your loved one a new car? Will you get to pay off your mortgage?
Remember that the real incentive behind all the tangible assets is actually feelings and emotions. You want to feel good. You want to experience the positive emotion - the high, the euphoria, the sense of achievement and fulfillment. Buying your loved one a gift makes you feel happy because you want to see her/him happy. Being able to pay off your mortgage, you will feel proud of yourself. Making your parents proud is probably one of the deepest and most satisfying kinds of happiness ever.
4. Visualize yourself achieving the goal and enjoying the reward
Define exactly what will happen when you finally achieve that goal. How would you feel when your dreams actually come true? What will happen?
How will it make you feel?
The more you can imagine and visualize the emotional response and reaction you will get and create that mental image in your head and your mind, the easier it will become to achieve that goal. Visualize it daily and in details if you can. Maybe when you're in the shower or in your bedroom before bed.
Please remember to eliminate all self-doubt. Don't ever doubt yourself - not even just a little bit. Even if it happens, try to brush it off. You can tell your mind once or twice that failure is possible and that you will have to be resilient and bounce back if that happens, however, never dwell on that thought. Never think about the possible failure in a repetitive manner. Don't let any doubt get into your subconscious.
5. Think about the strategy of how you can achieve your goal.
What are the action plans you need to take? What do you need to do? What are the challenges you will face? What are the possible outcomes - A, B, C, D? The better you are at this, the more chance you have at achieving your goal. If you feel like you're competing with a lot of people who might be stronger and better than you in this area, then take in account your strengths and their weaknesses. What route do you think your competitors are likely going to take? How can you leverage off your strengths and talents in a way that other people can't easily replicate or do it better than you? What do you have that they don't?
If you find yourself lacking in certain areas needed to achieve this goal, then dedicate some time to sharpen some skills. This might take a while but you will never go anywhere unless you get started. Everyone's got to start somewhere.
6. Write down a to-do list and tick it off one by one.
Once you have written down a strategy of how you're going to achieve the goal, write down each action plan. What do you need to do first, second, and third? What are the most important tasks? What are the most urgent tasks? Prioritize them. Put them in order in a timely manner so you can focus on one task at a time.
7. Focus on each step of the plan.
Be focused and really focused. Sometimes we get too excited about the future and the big picture that we forget to focus on the present and what we have to do NOW! Focus on moving from where you are now to the next step only. Make sure you do it right. Eliminate all distractions - whether that maybe the friends who try to get you to go out, social media, mobile phone, TV, or music.
The key to accomplishing a goal is to focus - from one task to the next, don't lose your momentum. If you find yourself struggling to stick through to a goal, use our Change a Habit in 30 Days printable as a tool to achieve a goal. Focus on one day at a time and the next thing you know you've made it to 30 days!
Get into the flow. Be so focused that you feel like you've lost track of time.
8. Persevere & Be Consistent.
Most of the time we don't accomplish something because we give up too soon. The minute we feel like things are too hard, we give up because we feel like the goal is not worth fighting for anymore. This is why we said that if you want to accomplish something big and rewarding, you have to make sure you want it badly enough. Because only those who persevere will make it through. You might fail over and over. The key to this is to not lose hope and faith in yourself, become resilient, and get back up again doing things more intelligently than last time.
The man who moves a mountain begins carrying away small stones.
Sometimes people think that they can offset inconsistency with one big payoff. For example, a quick detox or a hardcore workout session is not going to help fix your health when you have been having poor diet for several months or years. If you want to achieve a goal, you have to consistently work toward it. You can't leave it off and pick it up again when you feel like it.
It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.
- Tony Robbins
Like the rabbit and the turtle story, the turtle wins in the end because even though he may move at a slower pace, he never stops moving. He is consistently moving forward.
9. Learn from the expert and the experienced.
There are always people who are better than us. There are always those who have been through what we are going through. Learning from them is the easiest way to find short-cuts and tips instead of trying them ourselves and stumbling around trials and errors.
The Internet and social media are powerful tools to use to connect and find people. Use them to your own advantage. Invite the expert and the experienced out for a coffee or a lunch with you. Ask them to be your mentor. Learn from their path but never forget to pave your own path.
People write books to share experience and knowledge. So why don't you read more about other people's experiences and the industry. The more you know, the easier it becomes for you and the more likely you are going to succeed.
10. Give it all you've got. Work hard.
You might say that these are 10 easy steps... why do most of us fail to achieve what we want? Well, because most of us lose focus. When we fail to give it all we've got, it's because we get distracted. When we get distracted, we already lose a quarter or half of the time we have. We don't work hard enough. We don't give it all we've got.
If you believe that you do all of these 10 steps and still don't achieve your goal, you're probably not being honest with yourself. Because if you are, you'll realize that you have failed one or more of these points. These 10 steps seem simple, however, the trick is to consistently follow through and focus which is a weakness among us all.
Mo is the founder of The Happiness Planner, a stationery brand that focuses on happiness, positive thinking, mindfulness, and self-development.