When you have a big dream for your life, it can seem like so much more than you could ever possibly achieve. You might feel like it’s downright ridiculous to think you’re capable of turning some crazy vision into a reality.
But when you break up your big goals into small goals, and then those small goals into even smaller goals, you start to see the light. Any big dream is just a series of little steps, all in the same direction. You can handle little steps.
Putting one foot in front of the other and not giving up is, after all, the key to getting yourself set up for success.
Small steps and persistence. That doesn’t sound so hard now, does it?
Except … when it is. When you encounter challenges and barriers that keep you from moving ahead. When you feel like you’re spinning your wheels no matter how much effort you’re putting in. When each step forward is followed by two steps back.
Following a dream is not for the faint of heart. That’s why it’s important to realize that setting yourself up for success is not just about following some steps. That’s the easy part. The hard part is when you feel like giving up.
So, how do you overcome those moments of discouragement? By creating structure and routine in your life that supports you when you want to throw in the towel.
Instead of letting difficulties suck all the hope out of your heart, you can start building habits now that will set you up to overcome obstacles easier, and allow you to experience progress faster.
Here are 5 tactics that will show you how to set yourself up for success every day.
Download this free worksheet to create your own 5-step daily success strategy!
#1 Have a morning routine
And no, I don’t mean making coffee for the hubster and school lunches for the kiddos.
What I mean is, have a routine for yourself each morning that puts your priorities first. Do what is important to you, first thing.
That could mean doing yoga, or writing your novel, or studying your bible, or learning French, or journaling, or you get the picture.
Ask yourself, what do I need to do that will set myself up for success today? Think of actions you can take that will get you closer to the life you want and the person you want to become.
You’ll need quiet, uninterrupted time to focus on your priorities. This means you will probably need to get up earlier than anyone else, find an empty room with a door, and lock it.
When everyone else is asleep, you’ll be working on your goals and growing into the person you know you’re meant to be. You’ll have the opportunity to accomplish the things that are important to you.
And when you put yourself first, first thing in your day, then you have more to give to others throughout the day.
Having a morning routine just for your own personal development will set you up for a richer, more fulfilling life. Start waking up early and get yourself set up for success every morning.
#2 Practice self-care
Your morning routine will be one part of self-care, but if you want to set yourself up for success then you’ll need to make self-care a lifestyle.
This means exercising, eating healthy, growing in knowledge, getting plenty of sleep, fostering an abundant mindset, spending time in prayer or meditation, and anything else that nurtures your mind, soul, and body.
Taking care of yourself is the most important part of building a successful future.
A thorough plan will only get you so far if you’re not healthy enough to carry it out to the end. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves all need to be healthy and capable of carrying you through the tough times, so you get to the other side even stronger than you were before.
Make self-care a part of your daily life so you set yourself up to succeed even through the hardest challenges.
#3 Know you’re next one thing
This all comes down to planning. You need to have a plan that guides you from where you’re at now to where you want to be in the future.
The problem is, looking at all the pieces that go into your plan can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed – to the point where you have *analysis paralysis*. You might spend way too much time thinking about where to start, or which step to focus on. So much time that you never actually move forward.
In the book, The One Thing, the authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan give us one question to ask ourselves each time we’re at a crossroads. That question is: what is the ONE thing you can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
In other words, what is the ONE thing you can do next that will make the biggest impact on your ultimate goal?
By choosing just one thing, you force yourself to focus on what’s most important right now, but you also have to narrow your focus to determine what that one thing is.
The authors tell us that success is built sequentially, not simultaneously. So break your big vision down into smaller and smaller pieces until you get to that ONE thing that will make the most impact right now. (Read my review on The One Thing if you want to know more about this amazing book!)
#4 Find your tribe
The personal development guru Jim Rohn once claimed that we are each the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
When I read this I thought I’m in trouble. After all, I spend most of my time with teenagers and a husband who likes to drink beer.
Of course, I’m *joking*. I love my kids and my husband to the moon and back and I would rather spend time with them than anyone else in the world.
But, I can definitely see his point. As an introverted homebody, I don’t push myself to make connections with people who are outgoing and successful. So, if I’m seeking motivation or inspiration or encouragement or instruction, I usually turn to books, podcasts and blogs.
Those are all well and good, but I don’t have anybody to challenge me or hold me accountable. And this, I know, just makes my journey to success slower and more difficult.
One of my 2020 goals is to connect with others that can influence me through personal relationship. People that are farther along the path than I am, who have learned lessons I have yet to encounter.
When you have people in your life that have achieved greater success, overcome bigger challenges, and acquired more knowledge, you are setting yourself up to reach success much faster.
And when you go through your own challenges, you have the support of others who’ve already been through it and can encourage you to keep moving forward.
#5 Have a nighttime ritual
Once you’ve started your day with a morning routine, taken care of your body, focused on the next step in your plan, and hung out with others who inspire you, it’s important to be aware of how all these great habits are affecting your progress.
This is why a nighttime ritual is important.
Before you go to sleep each night, take a few minutes to think about your day. Were you productive? Did you have good time management? What made your day great, and what can you improve tomorrow?
And maybe the most important is asking yourself, what am I grateful for today?
Develop the self-awareness in your life to recognize what actions you’re taking that give you the best results.
Keep a journal, or write your thoughts down in your daily planner. Having a written record of each day’s reflection will reveal patterns that either need to be kept or changed.
But don’t stop there. Think about tomorrow. What do you want to accomplish? What is the next ONE thing you need to focus on? Write out your plan so you have a direction and a purpose for your day.
Then, send some requests to your subconscious. Maybe you need an idea for your next project, or maybe you’re still looking for a solution to an ongoing problem. Ask yourself these questions that you want the answers to, and let your subconscious mind work on those while you’re sleeping. You may wake up with some new inspiration, or see an opportunity with new vision.
A successful day includes taking the time to reflect and identify what steps you took that got you closer to your goals. Plan out the next day so you have a clear direction for your time and efforts. And ask questions you want the answers to.
This nighttime ritual will help you stay focused on what’s important, so you don’t get off track or discouraged when challenges arise.
Don’t forget to grab your free Daily Success Plan worksheet!
Get set up for success by believing in yourself
One of the daily affirmations I read to myself goes something like this:
I am just as worthy and capable of achieving success in my life as anybody else.
I tell myself this because I can struggle with believing it. I tend to be a pessimist and a worrier. My mind will often run to the worst possible outcome. So, I have to retrain my brain to engage in a healthier, more abundant mindset.
Of course, this isn’t all there is to it. I have to take action as well. I have to step out in faith, even when I don’t truly believe in myself.
And the same goes for you. You are just as worthy and capable of success in your life as anybody else. But you may have to act like you believe it before you fully do.
So be good to you. Encourage yourself. Take care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves, because they all make up the unique and special person you are. Dream big and create a vision for your life that goes beyond your comfort zone.
Then set yourself up for success by building strength to overcome obstacles and persist in your pursuit of what you really want in your own life. Because success is yours to have.
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