06/09/2014 03:28 pm ET Updated Aug 09, 2014

Design Your Way Towards Success | Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Live the Life You Have Imagined

Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument
which shall endure until the sun grows cold.

--- Emerson

I'm sure you've heard many people proudly declare: "My goal is to come in first place in the cross-country race," or "My goal is to break our sales record." Yet few of these people translate these desired results into a clear description of the process they will put into place to bring about those results.

Envision someone you consider successful. To become a world-class athlete, or to write a best seller, or to create a surprisingly useful new product, which question do you think they asked themselves more often: "Can I do this?" or "How can I do this?"

Instead of making grand proclamations of what you're setting out to achieve, or getting stuck in the do-I-have-what-it-takes self-defeating mental quagmire, focus your energy on how you will get there.

Goals like "Run a minimum of forty-five minutes at least four times per week" and "Study a minimum of ten hours per week for the CPA exam" are certainly not as sexy as "Produce a Grammy-award winning CD," or "Become salesperson of the year." Yet these are the real, tangible day-to-day activities that--through repetition and a commitment to continuously improving how you execute them--will usher you toward achievement.

This week, write down, in as much detail as you can, the specific action steps you will take to achieve an important life goal. Honor each action step as just as critical as the final expenditure of your effort that will transform your goal into an achievement.