How to action goals for achieving success

Do you feel like you can never accomplish your goals?

Are you being held back from practical achievements? Are you struggling with finishing what you start? Are you losing hope you can fulfil your dreams? Don’t lose hope – there is help!

It begins by knowing how to break-down your goal into mini-steps.

The secret to achieving goals is not rocket science. Its method is usually taught by life coaches and fee-paying workshops. They are ‘secret’ only because people do not take the time and energy to put the lessons into practice.

Accomplishing your goals takes more than just identifying them. There are further actions that must be thought through before building your dream career. Sometimes people rush into fulfilling their dream before understanding the “how” to make it a reality. In the words of Steven Covey, author of the classic self-help book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “Always begin with the end in mind.”

Magic Compass

The diagram above expands the Results section of the compass used in 56 Notions of Success workshops.

  • North is Action—formulate success to gain results
  • West is Results—action your goals for practical achievements.

To formulate the steps toward your goal, never neglect the value of ethics. It is not just about you; it is about achieving the maximum good for all those you touch. You must do the hard work of upholding the Golden Rule while preserving the Golden Mean.

Artistotle Excellence

Practical Exercise

    1. Review your business plan to make sure the desired result is clearly identified.
    2. Adjust your business plan to incorporate your core values in every aspect.
    3. Now take each identified milestone and create a plan of action to reach each one.
    4. Fully concentrate on one milestone at a time and focus on achieving just the milestone, instead of the overall end goal.

Focusing on achieving your overall plan one milestone at a time creates the habit of success. Your business plan will give you steps to achieve a goal. Your milestones, each with their own steps to achieve, are mini-goals. Mini-goals are how you create a habit of success.

Success is not becoming a superstar: that is Fame. Success is fulfilling and exceeding your personal goals.

Timothy Rose, author, 56 Notions of Success

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Keeping the Fire for Goals

Did you have a hard time staying motivated?

Have you ever been really excited to start a project only to lose the enthusiasm? Is there something dampening the fire in your belly burning to reach a target? Are you wanting to give up seeing no reason to finish a task? Don’t lose hope—there is help!

It begins by focusing on the central purpose of any project.

How to keep motivated usually emphasizes focus on the end goal. Focusing is correct, but not on the end goal. The secret of those who enjoy “good” success is not usually taught.

You must focus on your intention to reach the goal, not the goal itself.

To achieve a goal at the expense of others is to lose, not win. To believe it is a win reveals a warfare mentality. The marketplace today requires a new paradigm: winning ethically! Ethics is—and always will be—at the heart of good success.


A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. Albert Camus


By definition, ethics is appropriate conduct. Your actions are always conducted in relation to society in general and your immediate contacts in particular. Living your life in a way to assist others brings happiness. It is not helping others to obtain happiness: that is egoism. It is offering hope selflessly without promoting selfish agendas.

We acknowledge that ethical success creates leaders. Leadership responsibilities need to be reflected in your business plan. Dream big with your plans and others will come along for the ride. You will attract clients, contacts, and colleagues to propel you to your goals. Take heed to the warning of Immanuel Kant, one of the central figures in modern philosophy:

New Microsoft Publisher Document

So, we come to the crux of the matter: Goals. Your business plan, to become an effective road map, must have its destination clearly identified and marked. You need to answer four questions.

  1. What results do you need to prove your achievement of your Goals?
  2. What areas do you need to consider in order to have Goals of Value?
  3. What things do need to keep motivated? Achievement of your goals don’t just happen; they are created. And lastly,
  4. What actions do you need to take to reach your Goals?

There is a connection between diligence and prosperity. Prosperity is not measured by physical accomplishments but by inner character. Be sure your business plan reflects your life goals before calculating what is needed to do to accomplish them. Without thoughtful, planned commitment, your goals will remain as unaccomplished dreams

Related posts:

“Good” Success

Did you ever consider that some success is bad?

Have you reached a goal and then felt guilty? Is the guilt genuine because you used people for your own means? Are you losing sight as to what is truly important? Don’t lose hope – there is help!

It begins by learning the secret of “good” success.

How to sustain success is not often addressed. Its method, although known, is not widely publicized. Yet its secret is used by a vast number of successful people.

Truly successful persons understand the gift to bestow and the power of altruism.

In the previous post, it was established that a business plan is needed. However, its value exists only if the foundations are in place. To sustain success, you must incorporate ethics into your plan.

Andrew Carnegie

In March 2015, a debate ended sourly inside the West Auckland suburb of Titirangi, New Zealand. A couple bought a piece of property to develop. They wanted to build their dream home. To fulfill their dream required local government consent to cut down a tree. The tree was a “young” Kauri about 300-400 years old. The Council consented. That is when the fireworks began.

A polarized society responded. On one hand were those who believe in individual property rights. They believed freedom was being attacked. On the other hand were those who believe that native fauna of that vintage belong to the people not individuals.

The couple abandoned their dream and the tree still stands. At the heart of the dilemma is altruism versus egoism.

  • If you believe in the protection of property rights to the fullest, you will express altruism differently. You will champion the individual as representative of Society.
  • If you believe in the protection of resources to the fullest, you will express altruism differently. You will champion the resource as belonging to Society and not individuals.

Altruism preserves for a greater good. Egoism deconstructs for individual purposes. The Kauri removal debate illustrates how ethics are not created in isolation. New Zealand as a Society was forced to consider what it valued as the greater good. The couple adhered to all the rules of law yet Society deemed its written law did not express a value they held to be above the law.

Your success, if motivated by egoism and created in isolation, is not good.

Albert Einstein

Practical Exercise

  1. Identify your personal values of worth.
  2. Consider how you practice your values with your immediate family.
  3. Incorporate your values into your business plan.
  4. Create a Code of Conduct for your business.

Integrity is the foundation for your inner actions, the heart of who you are. Your “walk” is watched by others. It will match how you “talk” to yourself. When you align the inner talk with the outer walk, you are “upright”, “righteous”, or true to yourself. Like the Rugby goal posts, you stand upright, rigid, and unwavering to the balls kicked your way.

Related post: Foundations for Entrepreneurs

The Value of Routine

Success is obtained by a predesigned routine adhered to faithfully. Routine can also sustain success. It keeps you focused on what truly matters when you are tempted to break the rules.

There will be times after you reach success that chaotic circumstances arrive to confuse you. When mentoring one such person we will name Isaac, I stressed the importance of keeping his appointments for coaching. I have learned that when going through difficult patches in life, keeping appointments forces you to continue even when you feel like quitting.

Isaac expressed a feeling of guilt in keeping his appointments. He explained that he felt like he was just surviving from one to the next. He stated he was not being fair to me as his counselor. The reality, of course, was just the opposite. His guilt was false; his routine was enabling survival; and raw truth is the substance in which success can be rediscovered.

From those appointments where days passed in between, Isaac was encouraged to start implementing a bit of reading, meditating, and exercising. At first he could only handle 5 minutes of each. The time spent was not so important as the creation of the habit.

Determine you will grow and keep every new appointment. Reward yourself with something relaxing. Do not feel guilty. You are developing a routine. You are working with a purpose and resting with intent.

Volunteer for some cause. The regular contribution will fill your calendar. You are living! Visualize a life with Hope. It is within your grasp.

I cannot stress how important it is that you create a routine as soon as possible. This is where Religion can be helpful. Regular attendance to their scheduled services sustains a routine. Opportunities to serve others through their ministries enhance your routine.

Do what you must to develop weekly activities and hold yourself accountable to keep these commitments. You will find Hope opening its door as you develop a routine through Life.

And this is the fascinating intersection of Ethics with Religion.

Being reared with a heavy influence of the religious community, I was always under the impression that ethics is an extension of religion. Imagine how surprised I was once I learned to read classical literature. Discovering that ethics preceded western Christianity was revolutionary. However, to pretend the great sages of old did not have spiritual ideologies is equivalent to burying one’s head in the sand.

Religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods” (Oxford Dictionary Press). In practice, stripped to its core, Religion is merely routine. It is a set of practices (worship) that exercise their core values (belief). In this sense, Ethics and Religion are one and the same.

Ethics is a faithful adherence to what is perceived as good and right. This begins with integrity. Integrity is being true to one’s self. This practice of self-truthfulness in action expands to a practice of truthfulness in relationships with others. Ethics is the working out of personalized truths and in this sense shares a practice on par with Religion.

Religion did not give birth to Ethics. It is the other way around. The point is that so-called “non-religious” persons are often ethical because of their religious-like practices. They may not belong to a particular worship of God or gods; yet their life is full of routine that elevates values beyond themselves.

And it is the emphasis of this routine that keeps our actions consistent with ethical values.

“Business is Business” is Bullocks

One of the most difficult attitudes to deal with in business is the attitude that there is a difference between business decisions and personal decisions.

The following is an excerpt from upcoming book, 56 Notions of Ethics

A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world. – Albert Camus

One of the most difficult attitudes to deal with in business is the attitude that there is a difference between business decisions and personal decisions. I know you’ve heard it: “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” The statement is given as if it is an axiom of truth.

It could not be further from the truth.

Underlying the statement is a belief in two sets of ethics: one for business relationships and one for personal relationships. Ethics are ethics! There are not two different standards for behavior. People are people. Whether the context is business relationships or personal relationships, both are dealing with acceptable conduct between persons.

There simply is no such thing as “business ethics”.

Nor is there a difference between business relationships and personal relationships. Business deals with people. That makes its relationship “personal”. What is being exchanged is more than money for goods: there is an exchange of value based on trust. People are willing to release the fruit of their hard earned labor when they trust they are receiving something of equal or superior value. The relationship, even in a business context, is literally a personal one.

I was once called to a meeting as a witness. A particular sales agent we will name Silvia was caught in the middle of a controversy. Her high performance encouraged management to ignore details of previous sales. However, this time, it appeared Silvia had forged signatures on a contract.

When questioned, Silvia confessed that the signatures were not that of the applicant. She justified the outcome by stating her managers wanted high production that week. They instructed her to “do whatever it takes” to meet her target. In her mind, she was being true to her instruction. She was being a team player. A matter of legality was inconvenient. The law existed only as a guide, not a rule.

In many ways, Sylvia was a product of her environment. Her company lacked ethics. They had no enforced culture of accountability except that of the law. That meant agents had no rules to operate by within the context of their job, “so long as it was legal.”

John Maxwell, in his work titled, There Is No Such Thing As “Business” Ethics, explains that when an organization is dependent on the law as its standard for ethics, that organization is morally bankrupt.

The Company was guilty of thinking Sylvia’s personal actions could be separated from the Company’s business decisions. They were caught out because both had the Law as a backstop. That meant “anything goes” on the playing field until the ball hits the backstop. It is like trying to play softball without rules.

A business without clearly identifiable values to which they are held accountable is a business morally bankrupt. Success is not fulfilling a selfish goal, it is adding value. Value to the lives of others as well as your own. Values are created in the context of society not selfishness.

Many sales persons create their own values in a vacuum. They justify unethical behavior believing it is a path to Success. Reaching a position of success does not entitle you to unfettered behavior. It actually does the opposite. The more successful you become the more you need to be held accountable.

Truly successful organizations create a Code of Conduct and hold themselves accountable. Such public action creates trust and enforces value in their market relationship. Ethically-based value is more powerful in the marketplace then newly earned Success.

Challenge: Ethics incorporates an unconscious power created by relationships. Do I use that power to add value in the lives of others? Or do I use that power to promote my personal agenda?

Love – the Greatest Ethical Test

Love is a very powerfulword that is also misunderstood – especially in a business context.

The greatest ethical test that we’re ever going to face is the treatment of those who are at our mercy – Lyn White

Love is a very powerful word. It is also misunderstood. Applying it to a business context may not make sense. Perhaps it will when you understand what the term actually means.

Ethics is loving others like you would love yourself. In this context, love is not sexual intercourse or erotic interaction. It is best understood as charity. The famous “love chapter” quoted by many from the Christian Bible was originally written in Greek. The first English translations rendered the text as charity, not love.. Exercising charity is the best way to understand how a business operates in love.

That does not mean business have to give away their profit.

Being charitable means businesses (people) treat their customers in the same way they want their customers to treat them.

It’s called the Golden Rule.

And because there is no such thing as business ethics and there is no difference between business and personal relationships, the Golden Rule is adhered to by good businesses.

Coming to grips with an appropriate understanding of love is important. Many ethical dilemmas are resolved straight-away. Not only between business and customer but also between workers within an organization.

Let me illustrate through someone we will refer to as Fred.

Fred took on a new position with a corporation. He was assigned to work under a female manager. Their synergy produced amazing results for the company. They were connected on so many levels that Fred began to wonder if their connection was more than just work related. After all, they had spent time together outside of the office working on their projects, including restaurants, workshops, and even social activities.

That is when he crossed the line.

Misunderstanding feelings of compatibility and shared values, Fred asked his manager out on a date. She flatly rejected him and their working relationship came to an end. Confused and dejected, he came to me for counsel. Fred learned he crossed an ethical boundary. He subconsciously assumed a charitable working relationship was one and the same as a having a soul mate.

Understanding love as charity helps to clarify relationships. It also increases our responsibility.

Charity, in the literal sense of the word, is a disposition of heart which inclines a person to think favorably of others. That is why it is associated with benevolence and good will. In a business context, that means you treat all customers fairly whether you like them or not. In many ways business is a better example to individuals on this principle.

It also means business has a responsibility to ensure their products and services genuinely help others. It moderates false claims and exaggerated benefits.

Many times people in their personal lives exercise prejudice. Yet the same person, if they were in business for themselves, would be willing to accept money from those they look down their noses at in their personal life. The hypocrisy reveals what is truly valued. People are not as prejudiced as they pretend.

Equal treatment of your fellow human being is the basis of a just society. That point is so embedded into our psyche that ethical behavior casts its net to include human treatment of animals and the planet itself. A 3,000 year old proverb from the Middle East testifies: “a good man regards the life of his cattle.”

Surely if we can understand the responsibility to treat animals with respect, we can treat our fellow human beings with charity? Including those we don’t like?

Challenge: Ethics is viewing others with equal respect. Am I hypocritical with prejudicial behavior?

Helping the Hurting in Myanmar

Virtues of Character

Success is a manifestation of your character. Who you are reveals itself in what you accomplish. Obtaining your success reveals outwardly for all to see what you possess within your person. It is a revelation of your very being.

“The man who possesses character excellence does the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way.” – Aristotle

Success is a manifestation of your character. Who you are reveals itself in what you accomplish. Obtaining your success reveals outwardly for all to see what you possess within your person. It is a revelation of your very being.

Ethical success is the work to sustain your accomplishments in a worthy fashion. By this I mean you demonstrate your product or service as something valuable to the marketplace. You can only do this when you recognize that business is an extension of relationships.

And you must understand the depth of the term, virtue.

In today’s English virtue is simply moral excellence. It is a term set aside to express goodness and righteousness. We say that a virtuous person is someone who is good and does the right thing at the right time.

The foundation of today’s English understanding of virtue is built on a deeper meaning. At the turn of the 19th century virtue was a term expressing strength. A person of virtue possessed a substance in physical body. That is not a body builder of muscles but one of inner quality. It is the ability to be strong when tempted to compromise values. That means he does the right things or physically acts out an inner force of potent character.

The intense vigor of fortitude is connected to the English root in its Latin origin. Virtus is from vireo meaning worth. In its radical sense it means strength from straining, stretching, and extending oneself. In other words, it is not something you are born with but something that is gained through faithfulness to your values during times when you are tempted to compromise.

In business, you will be tempted to compromise your values in order to sustain your profit margin. Character is built by sticking with what you know is right even if it might cost you your profit. Truthfully, what really happens is you find a way to make things work through the hard times.

By focusing on the quality of your service you do not have to compromise the quantity of your product. Would you rather stay at a Hilton property or a Motel 6? Hilton does not compromise by devaluing its product. It does the opposite! It promotes its quality and retains leadership within the service sector.

The Latin basis for our English term virtue is why bravery and valor were definitions that preceded moral goodness. It takes guts to sustain your success in an ethical fashion. As Noah Webster explained in his 1828 dictionary, “Virtue is nothing but voluntary obedience to truth.”

Are you marketing something that is truthful? If so you can sustain your success without compromising your values. To do so develops character in you and your business.

The Greek term for virtue in New Testament time was areté (ar-et’-ay). It is goodness expressed through gracious acts. The acts are intentionally practiced to enrich one’s own life and business. By loving yourself in a proper sense you will treat your staff and clients properly.

Aristotle lived well before the New Testament was written. His belief was that genuine happiness lies in action that leads to virtue. To Aristotle, moral virtue was the only practical path to effective action.

If you want your business to sustain its success, you must behave in the right manner. This means you don’t go to extremes. You don’t “butter up” your clients nor do you take advantage of them. You offer a quality service for the right reasons.

Ethical success happens when you receive your personal power that lies within your being. You will attract financial abundance when you stay in touch with all that is naturally upright.

Strive to inherently know how to get what you need with virtue.

Challenge: Ethics is an expression of inner character. Am I doing the right things for the right reasons to sustain success? Or am I justifying my actions with shortcuts?

Timothy Rose, Author, 56 Notions of Success