How to Set Yourself Up for Success: Motivation Monday

I had coffee this weekend with one of my good friends, and as we chatted about the past few weeks, she shared with me her new mantra: “Set yourself up for success”.

It’s a simple phrase, but it’s also packed with so much wisdom.

Set yourself of for success

What I especially love about the mantra is its universality; whether you’re interviewing for a job, learning a new skill, or tackling a major project at work, setting yourself up for success is the key to achieving your goals.

How do you do this, you ask? Let me share two quick anecdotes – the first about my friend, E, and the second about me – to give you an idea.


How to set yourself up for success

# 1: Make a plan

E has worked very hard at advancing her career over the past few years, and recently, some incredible opportunities have come her way.

Please note the key phrase in that previous sentence: “worked very hard.”

You see, these exciting new career developments did not just fall in her lap. She wasn’t simply “lucky” or “in the right place at the right time.”

No. E worked for them. She took classes to advance her skills and volunteered for committees, she worked on networking and made important connections. She knew her goal, she planned out the steps to get there, and she followed through with each one.

In other words, she set herself up for success, and in turn, she succeeded.

Do you have a big goal in front of you? Are you are looking to change jobs, get in shape, or increase your blog mailing list by 500 people? If so, don’t shy away from the challenge.

Instead, do your research; learn the different steps, create a plan, and get going.

Set yourself up for success.

How to set yourself up for success

# 2: Use your strengths

While telling E about my latest news, I also talked about my apprehension surrounding an upcoming project. Those cruel thoughts of “you’re not good enough,” and “you’re in way over your head” play on repeat in my mind. 

Thankfully E, in her infinite wisdom, pulled out her mantra once again and offered reassurance.

Rather than focusing on the problems at hand, she came at my project from another angle. She helped me realize that I can break from the “traditional” mold and do it my own way. I can set myself up for success by doing what I know and playing to my strengths. It’s as simple as that.

So if you want to start a blog and you heard there’s a big demand for fashion writers, but you prefer yoga pants to skinny jeans (no judgment here, says Paula sitting in her yoga pants), then don’t blog about fashion! Think about your strengths and what you enjoy, and write about that.

If you’re determined to get into shape but you hate running, don’t run! Try biking, swimming, climbing or whatever else you enjoy. You’ll get the same great results, but you’ll actually enjoy doing it!

The next time you’re staring down a big goal, or you’re daunted by a challenging task, don’t get discouraged. Instead, set yourself up for success.

Make a plan, play to your strengths, and reach those goals with confidence.

Do you have any big goals coming up? How do you set yourself up for success? Let me know below!

54 thoughts on “How to Set Yourself Up for Success: Motivation Monday”

    1. Arg – days like that are the worst! You’re absolutely right, put together a plan and set yourself up for success:)

  1. Making a plan is so important to anticipate any setbacks and have a clear vision of what your end goal is. Such an inspiring post!

  2. I am always particularly focused and ready to ATTACK on Mondays! Since I work for myself – I have devised a schedule for myself that a lot of stuff goes down on Monday so I try my best to not schedule any other meetings or anything on that DAY so I can get all my work done. Works pretty well for me!

  3. I’m ALL about the planning!! The only problem I face, is I get disappointed if things don’t work out the way I envisioned.

    1. YES – I can completely relate to that feeling of disappointment. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, I am going to talk about that 🙂

    1. Yes! That’s always a challenge. Maybe by breaking the plans down into smaller steps it will be easier to stuck with them 🙂 Stay tuned, I’m doing a post on that tomorrow!

    1. Those are fantastic goals, Emma! I feel the same way – it’s the goals that inspire us to get things done 🙂

  4. Dyana @adebtfreejourney

    I love the idea of doing things YOUR way and playing on YOUR strengths. This is something that I am working on as I often follow the traditional way of doing things.

    1. It’s a freeing thing when we can celebrate what we do well rather than being confined by the “traditional” approach 🙂

  5. Oh man, planning is the first step! Making a clear goal so you have something to aim for, and remind yourself along the way to accomplishing what you set out to do, is a necessity for so many things! My goals just include improving myself and my blog, so it reaches further and helps more people!

    1. Those are wonderful goals – they’re absolutely attainable, and you can break them down into steps. Love it 🙂

  6. Yes!! Making a plan is key and I love that you talked about playing to our strengths; the comparison game can be brutal but when we figure out what we’re good at and forget the stuff we’re not then we end up in a good place!

    1. Exactly, Shannon. You put that perfectly. By celebrating our strengths, we can sidestep the discouraging comparison game (at least a little more easily! :)).

  7. Creating a plan is so very important! I currently want to go full time with my blog but i know i cant do that until i have a solid plan in place. The bills have to get paid in the meantime!

    1. Absolutely, Stephanie! We have to make sure to dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s” before diving in 🙂

  8. I need to do this with both my blog and my tutoring business. I need to plan more, set some goals and visualize what I want!

  9. I super needed this today. Thank you for the encouragement and for the reminder to look at things positively and pursue what you know you love!

  10. Making a plan is SO important!! I make a list every morning of the things I want to get done and try to prioritize. Helps me so much!

    1. Yes! I love having everything out in front of me, too. Like you said, it helps with prioritizing 🙂

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