3D Success Formula for Reaching Your Life Goals
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know that I believe in achieving your own definition of success.
Not a version of success that someone else thinks you should achieve or one that society has dictated.
Only you know what you truly want out of life.
You are the one who has to be at peace with yourself and your decisions.
So, it’s important to make sure you are living your life by design, not by default.
In order to do so, you must identify some life goals and then set out to achieve them.
And while specific outcomes are never guaranteed, there is a specific formula for success.
If you follow this success formula, you will be successful no matter what life goals you choose to pursue.
I call it the 3D Success Formula. It’s what I follow and recommend when it comes to chasing your dreams & reaching your goals.
There are three elements to this success formula. We’ll discuss them each in turn.
But first, let’s talk about what a life goal actually is …
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What is a Life Goal?
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.”
You must know what you want to achieve or else time, opportunities –life will pass you by.
So, chart your course!
Setting life goals will help keep you on the right track.
If you’re not sure about what your life goals should be, do a little brainstorming.
Your life goals will be based on what you want out of life.
Imagine your ideal future. What does it consist of?
Think about your passions. What you’re good at. What makes you happy.
Imagine having only one day left to live … what would you regret not doing? If you suddenly had more time, what would be your top priority?
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
The answers to these questions can guide you towards the right life goals for you.
Here are some examples of life goals:
The 3D Success Formula
My formula for success is three-dimensional (as you might have guessed!)
That’s because there are three elements to achieving success.
None of these elements stand alone; they are necessarily interconnected.
The synergy of all three is where the magic happens.
Here are the three elements to the 3D Success Formula:
1. Motivation (your why)
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
What’s your reason for living – your why?
That purpose will guide you when it comes to setting and achieving life goals.
If the goal you are pursuing is important to you, then it is easier to face your fears and trudge through obstacles along the way.
Remembering your why throughout the process is key.
It will serve as your motivation when your willpower is taxed and you’d otherwise feel like giving up.
When you know your why, it also helps you to set intrinsic life goals.
Not sure what your “why” is? Check out this post (includes free PDF download):
71 Insightful Questions to Get to Know Yourself Better.
Also available in the Freebie Library - The Wheel of Life Assessment Tool
3D Success Formula
Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Goals
Intrinsically-based goals are motivated by personal desires.
As opposed to extrinsic goals, they are inherently satisfying to pursue.
They’re personally meaningful to you, no matter what anyone else thinks.
By way of comparison, extrinsic goals such as “get rich”, “be famous”, or “impress others with my beach body” are all based on the approval of others.
These types of goals will not garner you long-lasting happiness. You’ll always be chasing the next shiny thing.
There’s no end to that hedonic treadmill – even when you achieve extrinsic goals, your satisfaction will always be shallow and short lived.
Whereas, the pursuit of an intrinsic goal is inherently satisfying in and of itself, regardless of the outcome.
The value lies not only in the achievement of the goal, but also in the process of achieving it.
When you are enjoying the journey and getting value out of the work you put in along the way, you succeed. Whether you wind up achieving that goal or not, you are winning.
That’s why the first element of the success formula is Motivation.
Only intrinsic motivation leads to fulfillment – to achieving your definition of success.
So, if you want to be truly successful in life, make sure the goals you set are intrinsically motivated.
2. Discipline (your habits)
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” - Aristotle
Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually the result of hard work and dedication over time.
So, Discipline is the second element of the 3D Success formula.
Action and consistency are extremely important when it comes to reaching your life goals.
Examine your habits - are they facilitating or hindering your progress?
For example, having to make sure something is “perfect” or avoiding challenges because you aren’t “sure” you will succeed are habits that will not help you to achieve your life goals (or anything else for that matter).
So if you are a perfectionist, remember that done is better than perfect.
You’ll probably never feel ready; the important thing is to get started.
Everything will likely change as you gain knowledge and experience anyway!
You’ll gain valuable information from your blunders. Your ability to adapt and be resilient will only increase your chances of success.
3D Success Formula
The Most Important Habit of All: Self-Care
One habit that is essential to reaching your life goals is self-care.
As human beings, we need to look after our physical and mental health or else we will become overwhelmed and experience burnout.
Remember that time is our most valuable commodity.
It is limited, nonrenewable, and irreplaceable.
So, make sure you are spending your time wisely.
Don’t surround yourself with negative people. Don’t over-commit and say yes to everything. And don’t neglect yourself.
Your health should be your number one priority. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else.
So, make sure you are eating healthy foods, keeping your body active, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep no matter what’s going on.
If you want to achieve your life goals, be disciplined and unyielding in this regard.
The other elements of the success formula will not matter much if don’t practice self-care. Here are some ideas for what to do during your self care Sunday routine.
Here are some ideas for what to include in your anxiety self-care box!
3. Mindset (your perception)
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” - Buddha
The third and final element of the success formula is Mindset.
Your perception has a great deal to do with your success (and happiness).
My views on this align with stoic philosophy: You can only control your behavior, not the outcome.
The truth is that life’s not fair.
Sometimes things don’t work out.
Even if you tried your best, you deserved it, or it wasn’t your fault.
But trying your best is all that matters because it is literally all you can do.
As I mentioned in 12 Life Lessons I Learned in Law School, hard work and determination do not always equal success.
External factors always play a role in the outcome – you cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that you will achieve a goal based solely on your own efforts. You can only try your best.
So, when things go wrong, how do you take it?
Do you see failure as something bad, something to be ashamed of? Or do you see it as an opportunity?
Viewing “failure” as an inevitable steppingstone on your way to ultimate success is the mindset that will help you achieve (not hinder you from achieving) your life goals.
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3D Success Formula
Self-Efficacy & Growth Mindset
To a large extent, the way you perceive yourself and the things that happen to you in life determines whether you have achieved your definition of success.
This brings me to two important concepts: self-efficacy and growth mindset.
Self-efficacy is the type of confidence that is key to your success. It refers to your belief in your ability to achieve your goals.
In fact, some psychologists believe that self-efficacy is the single most powerful predictor of success.
The concept of self-efficacy has a lot to do with the concept of a growth mindset, which is based on the belief that certain qualities such as intelligence can be developed.
Those with a growth mindset believe that their talents and abilities are not fixed traits, incapable of improvement.
They believe in the power of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change and adapt based on what we learn and experience.
Believe in Yourself
Both self-efficacy and growth mindset are premised on the belief that you are effectual.
Your knowledge, skills, and behavior can all be improved through your own efforts – they are not set in stone.
You can grow, change, and become better.
Just because you can’t do something now doesn’t mean you can’t do it period. It just means that you can’t do it yet.
When you have this positive mindset, combined with the other two elements of the success formula, you’re bound to achieve your life goals!
Over to you … what life goal(s) are you focusing on right now? Leave a comment!
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