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Want to Succeed? Answer These 10 Questions

If you are setting goals for yourself, you should understand whether they are actually attainable. Here's how to gauge your odds.

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If you want to achieve a goal, you must first prepare your mind to achieve it.

Here are 10 questions to yourself each time you set a new goal.  If the answer to all of them is "yes," your success is a foregone conclusion:

1. Is my timetable realistic? Big successes usually take longer than small successes, so it makes sense to plan accordingly.

2. Do I have a workable plan? Success is usually achieved one step at a time; a plan reminds you what to do next.

3. Am I truly committed? You must be willing to do whatever it takes, within legal and ethical limits.

4. Am I prepared to be patient?  Comparing your progress against the progress of others is an excellent way to make yourself miserable. Just make sure you are making progress on your own timetable.

5. Am I wasting time frivolously? Taking time to relax is essential. But sitting for hours playing computer games or watching TV? Not so much.

6. Are my friends and family supportive? If you hang with people who are critical or negative, they'll drain your energy and enthusiasm. Choose your company carefully.

7. Is my goal achievable? While stretch goals can motivate you, impossible goals give you an excuse to remain inactive.

8. Am I willing to fail? If your goal is ambitious, you will encounter many setbacks before you finally succeed. Be prepared.

9. Am I honing my skills? If you're not practicing the basics of your craft on a regular basis, you're gradually losing your edge.

10. Am I emotionally ready for success? If you're worried that other people will envy you, you'll probably sabotage yourself.

The above is very loosely based upon a conversation with Jeff Keller, author of the bestseller Attitude is Everything.

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Last updated: Jul 2, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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