15 Steps For How To Be Successful: Achieve Real Goals

You know, “success” gets thrown around a lot, doesn’t it? For some, it’s getting rich, and for others, it’s about personal growth or being happy.

The cool thing is, there’s no right or wrong answer for how to be successful, and your goals and path don’t have to look like anyone else’s.

Your idea of success is yours and yours alone, and that’s perfectly okay. But you’re probably wondering, “How do I get there?”

I’ve put together 15 easy-to-follow steps that can help guide you on your own unique journey to success.

I’m talking real, actionable advice here- like setting goals you can achieve, picking up new skills, and finding that sweet spot between work and play.

Key Takeaways

  • Set realistic goals, develop skills & maintain a healthy balance to reach success.
  • Focus on your own happiness and money mindset for smart decisions.
  • Take care of yourself & don’t compare yourself with others.

15 Steps For How To Be Successful

Success isn’t a one-time deal. It’s more like a road trip with some amazing sights and maybe a few bumps in the road.

These 15 steps will give you a structured path to personal and professional success that you can tailor to your unique goals.

1. Figure Out Your Realistic Goals (SMART)

woman studying to become an seo specialist

To know you’ve become successful, you need to decide what you want to achieve. What goals do you have, and what matters to you?

SMART goals are my suggestion for narrowing things down to help you achieve success.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It’s like a recipe for making goals that aren’t so farfetched.

Let’s break it down:

  • Specific: Instead of saying, “I want to be successful,” get specific. How about, “I want to save $5,000 for a family vacation?”
  • Measurable: Make sure you can track your progress. In this example, you’d check how much you’ve saved and should continue saving each month.
  • Achievable: Be realistic. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, saving $5,000 monthly might not be doable right now. You may need to start smaller and work your way up.
  • Relevant: Your goal should matter to you and fit into your larger life plans. Saving for a family vacation could mean quality time with loved ones, which is important, right?
  • Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline. In my example, you aim to save $5,000 by next summer and have 12 months to get money in the bank.

Using SMART goals is like having a roadmap to know exactly what steps to take and how to measure your progress and help you stay motivated.

Grab a notebook and start jotting down your own SMART goals. Once you’ve got them, you’re already a step ahead in making them happen.

2. Identify What’s Holding Your Back

Let’s be honest: the road to success isn’t always smooth. You might fear failure, lack of resources, or even self-doubt or procrastination.

Recognizing these obstacles is the first step to overcoming them and achieving your personal goals.

When you know how you define success and what’s standing in your way, you can make a plan to get past it.

Afraid of failure? It’s natural to be afraid to go outside your comfort zone! But don’t let it stop you. Use it to prepare even better and stop making the same mistake.

Running low on resources? Time to think outside the box and find new ways to make it work and get help.

By taking on these challenges directly, you’re not just getting past them; you’re setting yourself up for even bigger wins.

3. Earn Passive Income

Now you’ve set your long-term goals and figured out what might be holding you back so you can keep your eye on the prize.

Let’s talk about a strategy that successful people often do differently- earning income. Rich people often start by earning passive income.

Imagine making money while you’re off doing other things or even sleeping. Sounds like a dream, right?

When I started blogging and making printables, I realized the power of passive income. You set things up once, and then the money keeps coming in.

Whether investing in stocks, owning rental properties, or even something as simple as selling printables online, the ideas for creating passive income are endless.

The key is to take calculated risks. Do your research, maybe even consult a financial advisor, or sign up with an investing site like Fundrise, where you can invest in small bits.

4. Don’t Aim To Make Other Proud/Happy

upset woman sitting at computer

One thing I’ve learned in my personal development is that you can’t please everyone, including family members, bosses, or even random strangers.

They shouldn’t be your only reason for doing things- don’t be pressured to aim for what they think is successful.

Successful people often do things differently; they focus on what makes them feel fulfilled.

If you want to pursue success, make choices that align with what truly matters to you, not just what will make others happy.

When I started blogging, I felt pressured to write about popular topics, even if they didn’t interest me. But then I realized that the key to true success was staying true to myself.

By doing that, not only did I enjoy my work more, but it also resonated with people who had the same interests.

Take a moment to think about what makes you happy and go for it. You’ll not only feel more fulfilled but also be more likely to find the success you’re after.

5. Create A Positive Money Mindset

I used to think that money was just something that came and went, but then I realized that my attitude was holding me back from earning and saving more.

Successful people see money as a tool, not a burden or something to resent. Having the right mindset about money can help you make wiser choices in your own life.

A positive money mindset will give you a clear vision of what you want to achieve, making it easier to set goals and feel motivated to reach them.

Now, not everyone starts with a positive view of money, and that’s okay. The good news is that mindsets can change.

Surround yourself with positive people, read some motivational quotes, and work on shifting your perspective.

When you celebrate your financial wins, no matter how small, you reinforce that you’re on the right path to success.

6. Develop New Skills & Expertise 

The world is ever-changing, and if you’re not learning, you’re not growing.

The most successful people out there make it a point to weave skill-building into their daily routines for professional and personal development.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to master the art of French cooking or perhaps intrigued by the world of digital marketing. 

Whatever it is, devote time to it. Take courses on SkillShare, read a book, or join a community group focused on that skill.

And here’s the kicker: these new skills aren’t just resume boosters; they’re life boosters. They open up new avenues for you, both personally and professionally. 

Plus, when life throws you a curveball- and it will- you’ll be better equipped to knock it out of the park. So go ahead, invest in yourself; your future self will thank you.

7. Try Freelancing Online

Best Fiverr Gigs, stack of money noted side gig income

If you haven’t dipped your toes into online freelancing, you’re missing out on a goldmine of money-making opportunities.

You can monetize a hobby or any skills you have by becoming a freelancer!

But here’s where it gets really interesting. Freelancing isn’t just a side hustle; it’s a learning hub. Every project you take on teaches you something new, and that’s invaluable.

You’re not just earning; you’re learning. And let’s not forget about networking. Every client you work with expands your professional circle, and who knows where that could lead?

Platforms like FlexJobs can help you find freelance jobs. It has gigs that range from writing and graphic design to virtual assistance and more.

If you have time to spare, why not explore the freelance landscape? It’s a fantastic way to develop new skills and diversify your income.

8. Read Up On Success Stories

You know those “How to be successful” stories that just light a fire under you? The ones about people who started from scratch and built something amazing? 

Those are the how-to-be-successful stories that can serve as your roadmap if you have similar goals.

Whether it’s about a mompreneur who turned a small idea into a booming business or someone who overcame incredible odds, these tales are nuggets of wisdom and motivation.

But don’t just read them- absorb them. These stories are filled with life lessons and strategies you can apply to find success. 

They show that with hard work, dedication, and perseverance, you can achieve your version of success.

And remember, some of the most meaningful stories might come from your family or community. 

So keep an open mind and let these narratives guide and inspire you to create your own definition of what being successful is.

9. Get More Sleep 

We’re all stretched thin, juggling responsibilities from work to home life to our drive to succeed, and often, our needs become an afterthought.

And some of that starts with not enough rest to keep our motivation and energy up!

Neglecting sleep is like ignoring the fuel light on your car- it will catch up with you, and it won’t be pretty when you feel stranded.

Making sleep a priority is like giving yourself a daily reset. It sharpens your mind, boosts your mood, and equips you to handle everything from toddler tantrums to tight work deadlines.

When you’re well-rested, you’re a better you!

Aim for an earlier bedtime tonight and see how it transforms your day tomorrow. Your future self will be grateful, and honestly, so will everyone around you.

10. Take Care Of Yourself

pedicure nail polish paint toe nails

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities and forget the most important person in the equation- you. 

Your well-being isn’t just a checkbox on your to-do list; it’s the foundation for everything you do. You are the “soul” piece of your goals and success.

Whether opting for a home-cooked meal over fast food or taking a brisk walk to clear your mind, these small acts of self-care make a big difference.

Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential. When you’re feeling your best, you bring your best to every role you play, whether it’s mom, partner, or professional.

Elevate self-care from an afterthought to a daily practice. You’re not just another item on your list; you’re the priority. 

And when you start treating yourself like one, you’ll find that you’re not just surviving- you’re thriving and closer to being successful in life.

11. Balance Work & Fun

Life’s not all spreadsheets and laundry, right?

Finding that perfect balance between work and fun is one of my most important tips for how to be successful in life! 

So yes, give your job and responsibilities the attention they deserve, but don’t forget to let your hair down, too.

Whether it’s painting, hiking, or simply watching your favorite show, these moments of leisure are your life’s hidden treasures.

They recharge your spirit and give you the energy to tackle new challenges with enthusiasm.

Setting boundaries is key here. Know when to close the laptop and switch to family or me-time.

12. Get Into A Healthy Routine

Do you ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels, going from one task to the next without a moment to breathe?

That’s where a healthy routine comes in as a lifesaver.

Picture this: a day where self-care is as routine as brushing your teeth, where a quick jog or mindful meditation isn’t squeezed in but is part of your schedule.

Crafting a healthy routine is like having a personalized success manual. It keeps you on course, minimizes stress, and honestly, it’s like a daily dose of sanity in a hectic world. 

When you have a plan, you’re not reacting to life; you’re living it on your terms.

So why not treat yourself to some well-deserved structure? Your mental and physical well-being will be all the better for it and help you become successful in life.

13. Avoid Getting Burnt Out

mom on laptop, looking tired, with kids running in the background

We’ve all had those days where we feel like we’re running on fumes. That’s burnout knocking at your door, and it’s time to firmly say, “not today.” 

The key to keeping burnout at bay is tuning into yourself. If you feel at the end of your rope, that’s your sign to hit pause.

Dodging burnout is about being in tune with yourself and permitting yourself to take a breather. It could be as simple as a hot bath or a day of doing nothing. 

These aren’t just breaks; they’re your lifelines to staying focused, energized, and ready to take on the world. Your goals won’t be gone just because you need a break!

Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish; it’s essential armor against the burnout beast. Once you’re back on track emotionally and mentally, then get back to those goals.

14. Don’t Compare Yourself

Ever find yourself scrolling through social media, only to feel like you’re falling behind while everyone else is living their best life?

Trust me, we’ve all been there. I know I have! But let’s change the narrative.

Comparisons fill your head with negative thoughts and can mess with your self-esteem. And let’s be honest, it’s a roadblock on your path to being successful in life.

Your life, with all its ups and downs, is uniquely yours, and that’s something to be proud of. Your path doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.

So, how about we shift the spotlight back onto your own journey?

Every little milestone you hit, whether finally organizing that messy closet or having a great career, is a win worth celebrating.

15. Find Your Real Motivation

What’s the fuel that powers your engine to be successful in life? Is it the dream of financial freedom, or maybe it’s the goal of achieving peak physical health?

Understanding what drives you is like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. It’s the cornerstone for any success you aim to achieve in life.

Once you’ve pinpointed your true motivations, the path ahead becomes clearer. You can more easily brainstorm and make plans that align with what truly matters to you. 

This newfound clarity acts like a compass, steering you through life’s challenges and keeping you committed to your goals. 


What does it take for me to be successful?

mom gardening with kids

Maybe you’re wondering how to be successful in life? First off, you’ll need clear goals. Think of them as your personal GPS, steering you where you want to go.

Make sure you’ve got the skills that align with your goals; they’re your toolkit for success.

But don’t forget yourself or overlook work-life balance when aiming for success. Your well-being is the foundation for everything else, so prioritize.

And lastly, focus on your own path. It’s easy to get sidetracked by others, but your path is yours alone.

There you have it- a simple guide to setting yourself up for success. With goals, skills, balance, and a focus on your own path, you’re well on your way.

What does success look like?

Success isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept; it varies from person to person.

For some, it’s about financial security, while for others, it’s about personal well-being and happiness. The key is to zero in on what success means specifically for you.

To do that, you’ll need to get clear on your values and priorities. Is it more family time that you’re after, or is it professional growth and recognition?

You can also want a bit of both to be successful in life.

Once you’ve identified what’s most important to you, you can focus on creating a life that brings you genuine happiness and a sense of accomplishment.

By understanding your definition of success, you set the stage for a life that’s not just successful but also deeply fulfilling.

So take a moment to figure out what success looks like for you; it’s the first step toward achieving it.

How do I plan my goals?

exercise success

When it comes to setting goals for how to be successful, let’s create SMART goals- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

This isn’t just a catchy acronym; it’s a formula for a successful life. Instead of a vague goal like “I want to be healthier,” how about “I’ll walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week”?

It’s specific, you can track it, and it’s doable.

By setting SMART goals, you create a to-do list tailored just for you. It’s like having a GPS for your life, helping you stay focused and on track.

So go ahead, jot down those SMART goals; they’re your first step on the journey to success.

What are the most important steps to success?

Setting realistic goals is your first step to defining success in life. Think of these as your guiding stars, helping you navigate life’s challenges. 

Next, you’ll want to focus on honing new skills. Whether learning how to manage a budget or becoming a pro at time management, these skills are your toolkit for achieving success in life.

But let’s not forget about balance. Life isn’t all about work; you also need time for family, self-care, and a little fun. A balanced life isn’t just healthier; it’s also more fulfilling. 

Make sure to carve out time for the things that bring you joy and relaxation.

Final Thoughts

Woman Writing Poetry With Pencil And Notepad

A successful life doesn’t exactly happen overnight. It’s a journey and will take some planning, a bit of risk-taking, and a whole lot of heart. 

By following my 15 steps for how to be successful, you’re setting yourself up for a life that’s not just successful on paper but also truly fulfilling.

Along the way, you’ll get some constructive criticism, stumble upon new ideas, bounce ideas off friends and family members, and face obstacles.

And that’s okay! These are the little bumps and turns that make success in life interesting- you overcome obstacles and grow as a person.

With some perseverance, a sprinkle of determination, and a good dose of believing in yourself, you’re more than equipped to make your dreams come true and achieve financial success.