Set a Steady Course toward Success

The secret of success is hard work and perseverance, as well as paying attention to what you want to achieve. Follow this GPS formula to get where you want to go:

• Goals. Write them down so they’re clear and detailed in your mind. Make sure they’re specific—include deadlines for completion and metrics for success. Don’t overload yourself — concentrate on just one or two at a time.

• Plans. Work out a general plan for achieving each goal over the long term. For instance, if you want to become a high-level executive in your organization, your plan might include earning one or two intermediate promotions, getting additional training, or volunteering for specific important committees. You’ll realize that each phase in your plan is a goal in itself. Approach each interim goal methodically and follow a consistent process for completing each one.

• Steps. Break your plan down into separate segments that are small enough to tackle one after another, and large enough to stretch your skills at least a little. Think in terms of what you can accomplish in a single day, where you want to be at the end of the first month, and so forth. This gives you a sense of direction and also helps you monitor progress.

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