Regardless of how much you’ve accomplished, there’s always room for improvement to reach the next career level. Being your best self is a daily practice that is constantly evolving. There are no secret shortcuts or magical remedies. However, here are three ways you can leverage perseverance, thoughtfulness and flexibility to ensure continual success.
1. Get Your Mind Right
The way you think, act and react can be just as critical to reaching the next career level as external milestones. Thoughtful implementation of sustainable changes in your internal processes is imperative to long-term success. Sudden, extreme changes that don’t fundamentally change how you do things will probably not result in long-term success. You can’t work around the clock and be “on” 24/7 indefinitely. In the end, you will crash.
Similarly, crash diets and extreme weight loss programs often don’t involve creating a healthy lifestyle to keep the weight off. Starving yourself and diet pills is not a sustainable lifestyle. Quick fixes to attain goals are a product of poor planning and a destructive mindset.
2. Maintain Forward Momentum
Achieving and sustaining forward momentum is essential. Shift your focus from artificial deadlines and milestones to goal attainment progress. As long as you’re continually moving in the right direction, don’t allow arbitrary timelines to discourage you from ultimately achieving the next career level.
Many massively successful people have achieved great things despite substantial failures and delays. Michael Jordon didn’t make the varsity basketball team his sophomore year. He played JV. Stephen King and J.K. Rowling received multitudes of rejections before finally finding publishers for their books. Uber founder Travis Kalanick was in his 30s and living with his parents after failing at previous startup attempts when he started one of the most valuable startups in the entire world. Colonel Sanders was in his 60s when he launched the KFC chicken empire. If these famous individuals had given up their goals in the face of failure, they never could have achieved these things.
So, don’t allow timelines to affect your mindset. Just focus on maintaining forward momentum toward your ultimate goals whether they include starting your own company, changing careers or a promotion. As long as you continue to make small steps forward each day, they can eventually add up to create the bigger picture you are working toward.
3. Perform Regular Self-Evaluation
Find a balance between huge, unattainable goals and insignificant ones by focusing on the bigger picture instead of individual goals. Perform regular self-evaluations to determine if you’re moving in the right direction. Are you happy but still maintaining momentum? Are you satisfied with your progress?
Reward yourself for progress to create a positive feedback loop to remain motivated. Neither the progress or the reward has to particularly grandiose. In fact, breaking up larger goals in a series of smaller ones can help make your goals feel more attainable and improve your outlook and outcomes.
Everything you try isn’t going to work so remain flexible. Figure out what changes are necessary for goal attainment. Revisit how you are working your plan on a daily basis and write down steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Even just a few bullet points in a memo on your phone will work. Being your best self is an ongoing process not a destination. Staying disciplined and evaluating what is working and fixing what is not is crucial to this journey.
These tools will not only help you reach the next career level but will help you continually achieve your best self on a daily basis. At some point, you may even stop thinking about end goals and just remain focused on maintaining momentum and remaining true to your best self.