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.
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.
# 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.
# 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!