Success is defined many ways. Financial, relationship and philanthropic success are just a few ways we can measure success. How does someone become successful in their goals? Here are 12 things you can do to help you achieve success.

1. Plan your day the night before

Stephen Covey stated in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that you should review the coming day the night before. This way you have already created a mental map of how tomorrow will flow. You can make sure you have the information for your meetings and if you need to add other activities you can know where you may have time. By planning your day the night before you are being proactive and not reactive.

2. Create a “to do” list

Okay, so you have just planned your day. Any thoughts pop up? What main topic were you going to cover in that customer meeting? Make a note. Were you low on milk this morning at breakfast? Grab some on the way home from work if you forgot to already. Any calls you need to make? Write it down. If you create a list of things you want to accomplish the next day you have a greater chance of accomplishing them.

3. Get a good night sleep

This is easier to do after you have planned your day, feel comfortable with what you have to accomplish tomorrow and then can clear your mind of it. You won’t have to lay in bed trying to keep straight in your head what you have to do tomorrow because you have a list. You should also sleep no less than eight hours and make sure you go to bed about the same time every night. If you do like to read before bed do it somewhere other than your bed.

4. Get up earlier than you need to

Getting ready for work in the morning always seems to take longer than we think. Then there is traffic, weather and parking to deal with. If you give yourself extra time you will be more present in the moment when you load your car or computer bag and the chances of forgetting something is reduced. You will also be more relaxed when you reach your destination. Nothing says failure like a rushed, disorganized sweaty guy running into a meeting late.

5. Read

You have been hearing this since elementary school. It doesn’t matter what you read. You can read the Wall Street Journal for 45 minutes a day or a novel at night before you go to bed, just not in your bed. You can read business or books about hobbies. The point is that you read. Reading increases our vocabulary, makes us better spellers and exercises the muscle that is our brain… Well, the brain is an organ, but you get the point.

6. Set goals

A goal is a dream with a timeline. Not only do you need to set goals, but set different sized goals. If your goal is start your own company you need to set goals about gaining skills that will help you run a small business. Start by getting a job in the industry and then try to get promoted in the first year. Or if your goal is to write a book set a goal of having a certain number of chapters done by a certain date.

7. Measure your goals

How do you know if you are on track if you don’t measure your goals? If you are six months into that job and things are not looking like a promotion is going to happen… Why? Did you underestimate how much you needed to learn? That’s fine – adjust your timeline. If you are not doing what you need to be doing think about why you have lost interest or momentum. Maybe this line of work is not for you?

8. Reflect

Our lives are a story, not a plan. A plan is linear and a story does not follow a straight path. Your life is a story with subplots and surprise characters. It is okay to reevaluate your goals and where you think you were headed and change direction. That is how you learn and figure out what you are good at doing.

9. Get a mentor

A mentor should keep you honest. If you are not hitting your goals they should call you on it. You should have regular meetings with them and let them know what your goals are and the time frame you have given yourself to accomplish them.

10. Stay healthy

Sick people find it difficult to be successful because they are just trying to stay alive. Take care of yourself. Exercise, stretch and eat right. Exercise is a great way to keep you mind fresh by letting off stress. It can also give you time to gather your thoughts. Stretching is important because it keeps you from getting injured and then not being able to exercise. I am not talking about running a marathon – A long walk on a regular basis counts.

11. Focus

Multitasking is a lie. Successful people focus on what they are good at and leave everyone in their dust  Look at what you are interested in doing in life and see if you are good at it. If you are, you are done looking. You have found your ONE thing. See you on the other side!

12. Rinse and repeat

Consistency is what makes people successful. I’m sure you have all had that coach who told you, “what you do in practice, you do in a game.” That person is a genius, listen to them. Practice makes perfect… fake it ’till you make it. Whatever saying you want to use it all means the same thing. Once you have found your one thing keep working on getting better and better at it. How do you do that? Start with number one on this list and do all twelve steps over again, day after day until it becomes second nature. It takes 21 days to form a habit.