suc·cess: (n.) The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted

Top 10 Secrets to Success

Much has been researched, written and taught about success. One thing is absolutely sure; success is different for every person because success means something different to every person.

There are, however, secrets the successful practice regularly, I've listed the top ten here for you.

1. Set Goals. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is this, if you don't know where you are going? you will not get there. It is as simple as that. Successful people know where there are going, they decide what they want, they set goals.

2. Write it down. I don't subscribe to the philosophy that you must write out your goals everyday, however I do believe that it is critically important to write them out. So many things float around in our brains from day to day that it can be hard to focus on what is important. By writing out your goals and consistently reviewing them, you keep them fresh in your mind and they become part of your everyday thinking.

3. Use a schedule. Use a palm pilot, pen and paper, day- timer, whatever works best for you but use it. Scheduling forces you to think about planning and helps you to commit to getting things done. If you get it on your schedule and use your schedule regularly you increase your chances for success.

4. Carry an idea journal. I've just recently started using my journal everyday. I have found that the more I use it the more productive I become. It will take what's in your brain and put it in a safe place. This practice frees your mind to focus on other things. Most importantly you keep your ideas handy to review and work on later without losing them.

5. Learn everyday. Research shows that the most successful people are lifelong learners. Many of them are voracious readers. Spend time everyday learning something. Read a few pages of a book or magazine, skim trade journals and online newsletters. Learn a new skill or practice one you don't use often.

6. Plan. You need to set goals, you need to write them out and once you've done that you need to begin the planning process. Success comes from careful planning. You must have a roadmap. It is not enough to know where you are going, you must also know how you will get there.

7. Execute. A new book from Ram Charan entitled Execute outlines the importance of execution in business. You must create a roadmap but it alone will not achieve the goal. You must execute on your plans, execute the roadmap. Put yourself into action and measure your progress.

8. Make note of your success. Small steps and incremental progress are the basis for real success. Each small success will motivate you to greater successes. Cumulatively, all those baby steps add up and suddenly you are where you want to be. Don't discount the small victories they are the catalyst for bigger successes.

9. Think time. Another well-researched success secret is that of think time. Successful people make time to stop, sit and think. It may seem contrary to sit and do nothing but allowing yourself time to review the day or meeting will give you incredible insight. What you learn can inspire change that will lead to greater success.

10. Exercise. Exercise has always been a strategy for the successful. John Kerry, President Bush, ex-President Clinton, and Oprah are all runners. Exercise allows your body better health, more endurance and strengthens your heart. Combine your exercise with books on tape or CD to better utilize your time.

The ten secrets outlined above are proven success strategies. Add one or two to your daily routine to get you started. As you master those add a few more. Success is a wonderful thing? it doesn't expire and you can work at your own pace.

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