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A Proven Strategy for Success in 3 Practical Steps

Self-care, vision, and courage are needed to realize dreams and achieve goals.

Key points

  • Writing out goals is not enough to achieve successful outcomes. It's important to also inspire and sustain motivation, energy, and confidence.
  • Painting a picture or creating a poster containing desired outcomes and feelings helps visualize details and stay focused on goals.
  • Amplifying energy provides stability to meet goals and the capacity to take advantage of new opportunities.
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
Source: Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Making statements about what we want to change is easy. However, writing goals and plans are not enough. You need to do three things to make sure the changes become a part of your life–paint the picture of your desired outcome, amplify the energy you have for making the required changes, and muster the courage to go for it, to do what it takes to realize what you want to happen even when you are shifting who you are as well as what you do.

Paint the Picture

People don’t achieve their goals and dreams because they don’t imagine what life will look and feel like when their dreams become real. Rarely do they paint the picture, visualize the details, and imagine what they will feel when they get what they desire.

In the book, Helping People Change, the authors say, “These new pictures of who we can be and how we can modify our everyday world are called visons. Visions that capture our hearts can motivate us to stay disciplined with our actions until they become habits.”1

The vision shouldn’t just be a resolution of a current problem. Instead, take the time to visualize the entire story you believe is possible to produce. It isn't easy to create something you can't see.

Be sure to include who you are in your picture. Envision your future self, the person you want to become. How would you like to be with people, and yourself, differently? See yourself enjoying your time, or at least being happy with the results of your hard work.

When you paint your picture, answer these questions:

  1. What will I be doing differently when I achieve what I desire?
  2. What will I be doing more or less of when my picture comes true?
  3. What emotions will I be experiencing?
  4. Who will I be spending time with?
  5. How will this achievement affect the other areas of my life?

Pretend you are watching yourself in a movie. Include as much detail as possible. Write your vision in a journal. Describe it in the present tense as if it were already attained. Create a poster of pictures from magazines or downloaded from the Internet and hang it where you will frequently see it to sustain your inspiration.

Amplify Your Energy

I am often asked how I became a well-known coach around the world. Of course, I do publish books, blog regularly, and post my videos on social media. Yet, I had to be known before people would read and listen to me.

The secret to launching my business is the energy reserve I developed. As a result, I could better connect with people authentically and with care, and I had the capacity to accept the business that came my way.

I enrolled in a coach training program 26 years ago. They said we had to clear up our energy field to attract clients. This sounded weird to my practical, educated brain, but I did my homework as the good student I am. Then the magic happened.

First, we worked on a Self-Care Checklist.2 We had to check off 90 of 100 items in the areas of Health and Well-Being, Relationships, Finance, and Environment. I eliminated sugar from my diet, committed to an exercise regimen. I boldly, and sometimes sadly, said goodbye to some people in my life. I slept better on a new mattress with scrumptious sheets. I paid off ALL my debts, including my mortgage, redecorated my office, and created a gratitude mantra I still say every morning.

Then we had to do a Tolerations Assessment. I had to discover 50 things that annoyed me and eliminate them, like the mess in my garage, a corroded shower head, and spots on the wall that needed painting. As I checked more items off my lists, not only did I feel I had more positive, alive energy, but business just showed up. I received requests to teach coaching skills for companies and government agencies that found my website. A reporter published an article on coaching that featured me, inspiring leaders to call me for coaching. Then I was asked to speak at a conference, and the world opened up.

Increase your self-care and eliminate what annoys you as much as you can. Then, you will have the energy to realize your desires and attract other good things to your life.

Go for It

Someday is not a day on the calendar. What action are you going to take today to move you closer to attaining your desired outcome? Write a detailed, step-by-step plan. Make sure the first step is specific and achievable now.

Consider what resources you have that will contribute to achieving your outcome. Make an honest assessment of your skills, talents, abilities, and what you possess available to assist you, including your friends and past experiences. Then assess what additional resources you need. Finally, include how you will acquire these resources in your plan.

Then implement your plan! Don’t let roadblocks stop you; find a way to work around them. Matthew McConaughey says in his memoir, Greenlights, “It’s a matter of how we see the challenge in front of us and how we engage with it. Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.”3

You can be the person you know you can be and live the life that fulfills you. Paint the picture of what you want to achieve, amplify the energy you have for making and sustaining the changes, and then go for it, taking one step at a time. You will realize dreams beyond your imagination.


1 Richard Boyatzis; Melvin Smith; Ellen Van Oosten, Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth. Harvard Business Review Press, September 10, 2019.

2 Download a version of the Self-Care Checklist at

3 Matthey McConaughey, Greenlights. Crown, October 20, 2020.

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