How Do You Define Success?

Every person is unique, and therefore has different values and goals. Everyone should create their own definition of success. Defining success for yourself gives you a customized goal to shoot for. The following exercises will help you determine what success means to you.

Visualize success

Use a Vision Board

One way to figure out what success means to you is to create a vision board depicting what you want your life to look like in the long term. This can apply to your entire life or just one aspect of it. Never created a vision board before? Take a look at this article on creating your own vision board. When you use the vision board to show the end results of projects you are working on, you will get you closer to your long-term goals.

I create my vision boards in Canva, print them out, and post them in a place where I can frequently see them. The beauty of Canva is that the file is always handy and ready for an update. I can also export it into a .jpg and make it my desktop background.

Create a Mission Statement

Create a mission or vision statement for your life. A mission statement is a brief description of your fundamental purpose.

A strong mission statement has three components:

  1. a statement of mission or vision of the individual/company;
  2. a statement of the core values that shape the acts and behavior of the individual/company; and
  3. a statement of the goals and objectives of the individual/company.

By creating a mission statement, you will have a point of reference to turn to before making life-changing decisions. In short, a clear mission statement will help you steer clear of decisions that take you away from your mission statement or conflict with it.

Define SMART Goals

Creating goals that are effective is imperative if you really want to succeed in life. Document your goals in precise terms that are measurable. Then, make sure the goal and deadline you set are realistic in terms of being achievable. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Creating the right SMART goals will then propel you toward achieving your goals. You can read more about goal setting in my previous article, Better Goal Setting for Increased Productivity.

Let Go of The Fear of Failure

Even if you do everything right, sometimes things get derailed. Maybe you made plans based on mistaken information. Sometimes, through no fault of your own, something just goes wrong. When things go haywire, embrace them. That is, learn from the failures and keep moving forward.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Robert F. Kennedy

Take Control of Your Finances

Possibly, the most significant obstacle to success, no matter how you define it, is money. To be clear, you don’t need money to be successful and in fact can be quite successful without much of it. However, you need money to live and when you don’t have enough, you become stressed and anxious. This stress and anxiety will will interfere with your success. When you gain and keep control of your finances, money related stress will not be an obstacle.

While some people can end up successful without a plan, you’re much more likely to achieve your goals quicker and easier with a plan. What is your mission and how are you planning to achieve it? What obstacles do you anticipate? All of these items may change over time, but investing in planning now, and revisiting this at regular intervals, will facilitate your success.