I want to help you discover your personal road map for success, teach you what it means to be on the success journey, answer many of your questions, and equip you with what you'll need to change yourself and keep growing. Maxwell Reflection questions and exercises are available in the audiobook companion PDF download. The technology roadmap, and follow-up activity. Preliminary activity includes: (1) Satisfy essential conditions. (2) Provide leadership/sponsor-ship. (3) Define the scope and boundaries for the technology roadmap. Development of the technology roadmap includes: (1) Identify the “product” that will be the focus of the roadmap.
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Do you find SMART goals overwhelming? Do you dread the process of goal-setting? You’re not alone.
We all know goal-setting is not as easy as writing or visualizing what you want and attracting it in your life. Yet, most of us don’t take goal-setting seriously.
Today, let me make it easy and simple for you to set goals and create a life roadmap to success on your own. This roadmap process works for any goal – including health, fitness, finance, business, dating, relationship, learning, and other personal development goals.
Here’s the problem: success can easily become a dirty comparison game. When you aim for success without a goal roadmap, you never make enough progress and it becomes a chronic source of overwhelming stress.
Success can be fun when you define it and achieve it on your own terms.
That’s why creating a success roadmap will not only help you get clear, but it will also show you how far you have come. That way, you’ll be inspired to progress and still be grateful for your growth.
Here is a step-by-step method to create your success roadmap to achieve your goals. It’s best to create a separate roadmap for each goal, habit, or area of life. In the end, I’ll give you an example to further help you with your goal setting worksheet.
Step 1: Define The Big Picture
This is the mission and vision of your goal. Go into details about the outcome you’d like to achieve and make sure to include a compelling reason for going on this journey.
The details should be tangible and the reason should ignite a fire in you as you read it.
Our goals often stem from things we don’t want. So another thing you can do is define the undesired outcome you’ll get if you don’t follow through.
Step 2: Define The End Of The Roadmap
Nothing moves people like a deadline. So to make consistent progress, give your roadmap an end. It could be in years, months, weeks, or even days. Once the roadmap ends, you can always create another one to keep making progress.
Tip: If you’re new to goal setting in a particular area, keep the deadline short because you’re still experimenting.
At the end of the roadmap, define 3 specific desired outcomes:
- Challenging outcome: The desired result
- Ambitious outcome: Stretch your mind and make the result way bigger
- Tiny outcome: The smallest criteria for success
Once you define the outcomes, detach from all of them. The purpose of defining the outcomes is to have a direction. So prepare yourself for failure and don’t get paralyzed upon failure because you can enjoy your growth and take away valuable lessons even if you fail.
Step 3: Define The Milestones, Achievements And The Rewards
There are 2 types of milestones or achievements, and you want to define both types:
- Outcome-based (under your influence, but not in your control)
- Behavior-based (in your control)
Behavior is mostly in your control while too many factors that are not under your control can influence the outcome, so we’ll keep them separate.
The number of milestones or achievements you want to define is up to you. As a guideline, try not to keep them too frequent or too infrequent.
To celebrate your progress, set rewards based on what you truly enjoy doing and what is congruent with your goals. Spread these rewards as you wish upon reaching the milestones or achievements.
Step 4: Define The Process
Define the actions you need to take to reach the desired outcome. If you’re unsure of the process, you can research or ask people who have reached the goals you want to reach.
Also, define the person you need to become to get what you want. Then, identify yourself with the kind of person who has already reached the desired outcome and let go of the limiting beliefs holding you back.
Step 5: Define The Obstacles
Brainstorm every obstacle you can think of and list them down. The intention is to mentally (or physically) prepare for them.
Even when you define everything you can think of, you’ll most likely encounter surprising obstacles. That’s okay! It’s all part of the process and you’ll get feedback which you can reflect upon in step 7.
Tip: All obstacles are an opportunity for growth, so don’t get discouraged when you see them. Accept them. Love them. Use them.
Step 6: Track Your Actions
Define how you’ll track the daily or regular actions you defined in step 4. To track, you can use the good old pen-and-paper or any fancy app you like.
To make it easier, you can:
- Set reminders
- Put it on your calendar
- Put it in your daily success checklist
- Commit to others or join a community (for accountability)
- Make the steps tiny (if they require a lot of willpower)
- Set stakes for not taking the steps forward (if you struggle with commitment)
You can also pick any of these best planners to track your actions and review them. This brings me to the next step…
Step 7: Do A Regular Review
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The review can take place daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. The purpose of this review is to identify what’s working, what’s not working, and what you can do better. Edit the milestones, next actions, or the desired outcomes as required.
This is the time when you’ll come back to the roadmap, give yourself rewards for the milestones reached, and see the big picture so you don’t get lost in the drama of life.
Like tracking, you can use a note-taking app or good old pen-and-paper for the review. But make sure you save and record them in one place so you can always look back.
That’s all. Rinse and repeat for each focus area in your life. Here’s an example to get a better idea of how you can create your own success roadmap:
Example: Weight Loss Success Roadmap
Amy is tired of trying diet plans and running miles on a treadmill. She really wants to lose weight, but she can’t get those pounds to drop even after trying so hard!
Here’s how she’d go about designing her success road map:
Step 1: Define the big picture
She writes “I want to look slim and feel good in my body. I want to get back the body I had. When I look at myself in the mirror, I want to see a smile on my face and feel confident in my mind. If I don’t follow through, I’ll stay unhealthy and look fat, which will result in faster aging and low confidence. I absolutely don’t want that, and that’s why I will make it happen.”
Step 2: Define the end of the roadmap
She makes a roadmap of 3 months, which is a good timeline to make progress, measure results, and pivot as needed. She wants to lose weight healthily and permanently, not vigorously and temporarily, so she defines her desired outcomes:
- Challenging outcome: Lose 15 pounds by the end of 3 months while enjoying the process
- Ambitious outcome: Lose 30 pounds by the end of 3 months while enjoying the process
- Tiny outcome: Lose 5 pounds by the end of 3 months while enjoying the process
She realizes that the outcomes are just directions. Even if she fails, she’d still become much healthier and fit.
Step 3: Define the milestones, achievements and the rewards
She defines her milestones (with rewards in brackets):
- Lost 1 pound (get a book that will help me lose weight and get healthier)
- Lost 3 pounds (get new running shoes)
- Lost 5 pounds (watch a movie)
- Lost 10 pounds (go on a trip)
- Lost 15 pounds (get new workout clothes)
- Lost 20 pounds (get a massage)
- Lost 25 pounds (get a new dress)
- Lost 30 pounds (click a picture and share it!)
- Started lifting weights
- Worked out 5 times a week
- Ate out no more than once a week
- Overcame craving
- Started tracking my meals
- Created a 500 calorie deficit
Step 4: Define the process
She defines the actions she needs to take:
- Run in nature (not on a treadmill, because she doesn’t enjoy it)
- Lift weights
- Stay active
- Eat healthily
- Eat an appropriate amount
- Track and keep a record of my meals and workout
- Learn to cook my meals that are healthy and tasty, so I can avoid cravings
- Prepare healthy meals or snacks in advance
- Say “no” to regularly eating out
- Read or learn more, so I can be smarter about losing weight
- Surround me with people on a similar journey
She also defines the type of person she needs to become —“I am a healthy person who eats healthily because I want to. I enjoy working out and taking care of myself and my family.” The transformation may take some time, but it eventually happens when you fall in love with the process.”
She adds the limiting beliefs holding her back — “I need to stop believing that I can’t lose weight or that I’m lazy or that I’m a person who eats like a fat person. I can and I will lose weight.”
Step 5: Define the obstacles
She lists all the obstacles she can think of (with preparation plan in brackets):
- Losing motivation or willpower (take tiny actions and build smaller habits)
- Feeling lazy or tired (take rest, sleep, eat healthier)
- Getting cravings (remove the cue — don’t bring them to home, make meals tastier, substitute with healthier alternatives, set specific rules, develop mental toughness)
- Getting hungry (drink more water, eat more protein and fibrous foods, eat in a smaller eating window, use smaller utensils)
- Friends inviting over to eat out or office workers offering snacks (tell them in advance, learn to say no, find healthier options while eating out, eat smaller portions)
- Unexpected life events (do the best, forget the rest)
- Getting too busy (prioritize, delegate, delete tasks, stop doing a daily activity, do smaller intense workouts, hire a chef or subscribe to a service)
- Failing to lose weight even after doing the right actions (hire a nutritionist or a personal trainer, learn or read more, track more accurately, change diet or workout approach)
Step 6: Track your actions
She downloads and starts using a calorie tracking app and a workout app to track her food and exercise.
She blocks time on her calendar to prioritize preparing meals and working out.
She joins an online community of people losing weight and reports her wins.
Also, she also set stakes or make habit smaller when she struggles to take action.
Step 7: Do a regular review
She reviews her food intake every day and does a weekly review where she sees the big picture.
She finds out if she’s on the right track by measuring results and actions. She also makes a few changes in her habits (like switching her workout from evening to morning, so she can make sure to get it done). She also acknowledges that she can do better at not bringing in unhealthy foods to home, so she can avoid them. For that, she plans to go grocery shopping when she is full.
She also edits her milestones, achievements, next actions or rewards as needed.
At the end of 3 months, she’s a different person. She has learned a lot, and she’s ready to create another roadmap of success. Then one day, she smiles as she fits perfectly in her favorite dress.
Now It’s Your Turn To Create Your Road Map To Success (Goal Setting Worksheet)
Do you want to download a free goal setting worksheet? Get your life roadmap template below:
How do you create a roadmap for success?
As I highlight in the article, you can apply the same seven steps to create your roadmap for success in any area of life. These steps are:
1. Define the big picture
2. Define the end of the roadmap
3. Define the milestones, achievements and the rewards
4. Define the process
5. Define the obstacles
6. Track your actions
7. Do a regular review
Last Updated on July 21, 2021
Everyone has their own definition of what success means to them. Well, at least we all should by the very fact that no two individuals are created 100% alike.
Our road map to success should be different to the person standing next to us. But we can get caught in the dangerous trap that someone else’s ideas of success should also be ours. Be careful.
Regardless of whether or not we’re talking about your working career, business or personal life, it is truly hard to resist the contagious excitement surrounding those fantastic dreams and goals you allow yourself to explore.
The ‘come-down’ after attending a euphoric state-inducing personal development seminar can often result in you feeling the slump of post-seminar blues. Worse still, your everyday circumstances don’t accommodate the changes you swore to make that weekend. Nothing changes.
Get ready to kiss goodbye the post-seminar blues and skip to each destination on your roadmap to your successes. By repeating over and over these simple steps, the quality of your life will improve.
You will want to use these steps as standard strategies to carry you toward further success in whatever shape or form you choose.
1. Define What Success Means to You
Is it just having enough money or more money than you might ever need that allows you to feel and judge yourself a success? Is it about having a beautiful house worth more than $2,000,000 on the upper east side of Manhattan?
Is it about having a loving partner who supports you in your endeavors? Do you equally support each other?
Is it through the tertiary education roadmap that you only feel valid you can make a meaningful and successful contribution to help the world economy turn? Is that your definition of success or is it someone else’s? Maybe your mom’s or your dad’s?
When her daughter Christina found her on the floor of her office, in a pool of blood having hit her head and breaking her cheekbone as she fell, CEO of Thrive Global and celebrated author of Thrive, Ariana Huffington had a wake-up call in more ways than one.
The exhaustion and overwhelming stress which had led to her fainting drove Huffington to radically introduce new work ethics, values and rules at the editorial.
Ten years on from her accident, Huffington still leads the conversational charge amongst global leaders to change the badge of honor that successful people need to work 24/7, and give everything of themselves and more, even it means compromising their health.
As opposed to letting power and money be the two measurements of success, she explains wisdom, well-being, wonder and giving will give you greater success by nurturing your psychological well-being.
We can’t argue with Huffington that without that, we are proverbially dead in the water.
Warren Buffet stated the way he defines success nowadays has nothing to do with money:
“I measure success by how many people love me”.
You can’t but fall in love with the wisdom and nobility these words seem to reflect, but keeping it as your only definition of success is probably dangerous. Lacking today’s wisdom at 20 years of age, would Buffet have had the same definition of success?
Think about where you are on your journey. You are likely to have different goals and different measures of success as you navigate your roadmap. Huffington and Buffet explain non-tangible ideas of success are crucial for our overall success.
Let’s also not forget though that through tenacity, persistence and many other success habits, these business leaders also rate extremely high on the power and money metrics. However, that’s not all there is to it.
If you are not sure how you would answer if someone asked you what your definition of success is, here are some clues to get you thinking and feeling.
As your head hits the pillow and before you close your eyes, what’s most important is that you can internalize that you have chosen your definition of success and you can full responsibility and accountability for deciding upon it.
2. Review Your Progress and Satisfaction in Life
Review the main areas of your life. Not just those where you feel you need to make changes. Review all of them:
- Your career vocation or business life;
- Your relationships – your intimate or life partner, family and friends;
- Money health and financial management strategies;
- Commitment to your faith or religion and spiritual personal development;
- Your physical and mental health;
What leisure or recreational activities you pursue for fun to energize your spirit and enrich your soul.
Do you have ideas of what success looks like for you in each of these areas?
Neglecting to look at even one area is like trying to restore function to a beautifully crafted Swiss watch, whilst failing to attend to a rusty-looking cog in the tiny internal workings that needs attention. Turn one cog, the others all turn. Ignore a damaged one, the system malfunctions.
For each area, give yourself a rating out of ten – one signifies the least satisfaction and ten signifies the most – and ask yourself the following questions to help you start identifying what’s important to you:
- How satisfied or content with this area of my life am I presently?
- Where would I like to live this current level of contentment to?
- What would that new level of satisfaction look like, feel like?
- How important is this area compared with the other areas of my life?
Regardless of what areas you recognize need to be your core focus, consider making personal development and improvements to your physical and mental health, and well-being a constant feature of your action plan.
You will need to continually recognize obstacles you’ll face from your outside world, as well as those internal psychological battles that will arise from within.
Without your mental and physical health intact, it’s unlikely the rest of the ‘cogs’ are going to turn properly.
3. Get to Know Your Values and Priorities
Don’t make the mistake of thinking goal setting can be done in one sitting. You want to make sure the pursuits you put down on paper aren’t fly-by-night moments of excitement that ebb and flow with the rise and fall of tidal trends.
Become better at identifying your priorities by exploring how you feel about each of your life areas. Think about the ratings of satisfaction you might have denoted for each. And now write down what you want to be, do and have.
Put aside your initial literary ramblings and revisit them in a couple of weeks or one month. Without looking at your initial thoughts, do the process again and see what consistencies show up. What keeps coming up as feeling important? Around what ideas is there the same yearning or emotional pull?
If you’re unsure about what you feel you wish to head towards, be in allowance of this. Don’t be jumping to quickly fill the void. The desperation is likely to have you catching the tail of the last exciting concept in fear of missing out, or trying to fill the void of excitement you yearn for.
Increase your practice of pausing and asking yourself:
Why does this resonate with me? Could this be a distraction which complicates the route I have mapped out? Am I becoming that person who proverbially chases two rabbits and catches none?
In his book The Heart of Love, Dr. John Demartini explains how becoming strongly aware of your values and priorities helps you understand why you are and where you are in your life at any given moment.
If you don’t know what you feel you stand for, look at where you direct your time, energy and attention. Look at your behavior and work backward.
You might think making money and creating financial wealth is high on your radar. However, if you spend more than you earn and allocate money to depreciating objects as opposed to appreciating assets, your behavior is inconsistent with those typical of someone who is financially astute.
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Look back to your areas of life and ask yourself if the goals you have set are in alignment with your values. Look at your daily behaviors and ask yourself if the way you operate satisfies steps which take you further toward those goals.
If not, all is not lost. You’ve simply got some harsh truths and reality checks to face before you can go any further on your roadmap to success.
4. Make Room Deliberately to Work with a Coach
You have to come to terms with the fact that you’re likely to be swimming against the tide.
Once you make clear unwavering decisions about what goals you’re aiming for, prepare to be un-liked, unpopular, criticized and potentially ostracized. There’s a high possibility you’ll lose the friendship and support of some however you will gain new friends and the support of others.
Regardless of what area/s of life your goals pertain to, make room to work with a coach. Choose wisely who that person will be to encourage and walk beside you.
Whether it be a certified coach, a family friend/mentor or qualified therapist, find someone who knows how to work with the specific issues and challenges that lay ahead without any agenda other than your success.
Having that impartial guide can be an invaluable constant. This helps keeps you on the straight and narrow even if other areas of your life aren’t going swimmingly.
5. Get Highly Familiar with Your Habits and Behaviors
Despite the scientific evidence in support of it, we’re not recommending you need to start getting up at 5:00 am and exercising for an hour before you even think about starting your day.
You should start asking yourself these questions far more frequently:
- How well do you know your habits and routine ways of operating?
- Do you know what choices and patterned behaviors help or hinder you?
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You know what you want to work on. Greater clarity on your values has enabled you to discern which priorities are high on your list and which ones are low. It’s now time to reinforce and reward the habits that carry you forward on your roadmap to success, and adjust those habits which delay or divert you staying on course.
Remember though that part of the joy of the human experience is to be fallible, so don’t suddenly shelve all those character-building ‘vices’. Your flaws are a necessary part of your unique success jigsaw puzzle; they are the inspiring reasons you’re going on this journey in the first place.
Demartini and New York Times journalist and author Charles Duhigg both explain in their books how recognizing your unhelpful behavioral patterns needs to take place first. You identify the emotional and psychological rewards which rule over whether you sustain, break or make a habit.
When you know the rewards that light you up like a Christmas tree, you link them to new or modified habits that support values you want to make a higher priority.
Say you love eating out. You love artisan cuisine and get giddy at watching the episode of Heston Blumenthal create chocolate water in his food chemistry laboratory. As much as you say you want to increase your investment in appreciating assets, your spending habits speak otherwise.
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So, you might start looking for discount opportunities on your higher-end dining. The dishes may not rival Heston’s masterpieces, but your taste buds still enjoy a culinary roller coaster AND you also now to get feel-good allocating the discounted amount to a saving’s program.
Your tummy is singing as is your bank account. The whole experience goes well beyond short-term gratification and satisfies several values and goals.
Tweaking habits and forming new ones isn’t hard; it’s just a matter of finding a happy marriage. Take time to find it. There will always be ways.
6. Celebrate the Wins and Monitor Your Progress Along the Way
You must become good at deliberately rewarding yourself when you make changes that take you further along your roadmap to success.
Professor of cognitive neuroscience Dr. Tali Sharot explains how the brain responds and adapts far better to rewards than punishment when it comes to learning behavior and creating new habits.
When we apply punishment, we reinforce the traumatic memory as being more important than the actual lesson we might have been meant to learn in the first place.
When we gamify rewards on our success journey, we inject fun and humor. We also reduce the stress that often comes with learning new things, habits and adjusting to new ways of being, doing and having.
If you hit a progress plateau at any point, you might need to allow yourself to plateau and switch your attention to another priority.
The switch may allow you to think more freely and clearly about how to move past your roadblock. Or it might simply be a good time to stop and smell the roses.
Your muscles grow stronger in their resting phase after a workout. Animals hunt profusely to build up their energy stores before going into hibernation.
Remember that continually forging ahead is not a natural rhythm. Repeat the cycle of rest, recovery and rallying forward then…start again.
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