In a recent phone call with a friend we were having a bit of a heart to heart about what we’re both working towards and what success looked like for each of us.

It turned out that success looked very different – and why wouldn’t it? 

We are both different people with completely different ideas of where we want to end up.

But as we got into the detail whilst we were comparing notes of what really worked for each of us, the same habits came up.

The thing is that without a good foundation of core habits and behaviours it’s so easy to fall off the beaten track, lose motivation or just get caught up dreaming without backing it up with action.

So, if you’re feeling like you’d really like to maximise your chance of success give these 5 tips a try.

1. Listen to your inner voice

In this busy world of information overload, and every kind of media at your finger tips, it’s not hard to drown out the most important voice there is….your own!

You don’t have to be filling every ounce of silence with noise, or to be constantly feeding your brain with more ‘stuff’, as quite often the search for the right answer for you is so much closer to home than you might realise.

Taking the time to really listen to what you really want, to check in on how you feel, and to see what feels right for you, and what your next steps are, is a really good use of your time.

Here’s how to give it a go:

Find a quiet place that makes you happy and comfortable, and just sit, reflect and think. Ask yourself a question and see how it makes your body feel. You’ll know deep down inside what you want to do.

2. Watch out for your time traps

We all have them. Those sneaky ways that we fall down the black hole of time and before we know it, hours have passed. Whether it’s going through your e-mails; surfing the web; playing with social media; or even watching a new box set, it’s time to identify your time trap.

Now although I’m a massive advocate of making time to relax, the rule ‘everything in moderation’ doesn’t just apply to food. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing – and all it’s doing is stopping you from achieving your goals.

Yes you might convince yourself that you’re doing it for a reason – that you ‘have to do it’ (this one often applies to going through your inbox) but in reality there are tasks on your to do list that would not just give you a temporary buzz, but an almighty high if you got them done.

Here’s how to give it a go:

When you feel the urge to fall into your time trap set the alarm on your phone for a reasonable amount of time (20 minutes usually does the trick for me) and off you go – but as soon as that alarm goes off you’re done. This will keep you on track, and keep your traps to a minimum.

3. Say No

If you’re in the habit of saying yes more than you say no, and you find yourself over run with ‘helping out’, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and with very little time for yourself…you’re really not alone.

Saying no can be a really tricky thing to do, it’s a necessary skill that will absolutely help you out in the long run.

Here’s how to give it a go: By being super clear on what you want to achieve, and the steps you need to take to get there, it’ll make it so much easier to say no. If it doesn’t contribute to your goals, or you just don’t want to get involved, the answer is a clear no.

4. Believe in yourself

Mindset is everything as it can often be the one thing that stops so many people from achieving their success.

This is where you absolutely must believe in yourself – because if you don’t…no-one else will!

The way you think, and the way you speak to yourself in your internal dialogue really does matter so if you find yourself having doubts, or saying negative phrases to yourself have a go at re-framing them.

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love – Brené Brown

Here’s how to give it a go: Write down some really positive affirmations and start to say these to yourself every day. Yes, at first it’ll feel a bit odd and maybe even forced. But after a while it’ll soon start to feel a lot more natural and before long you’ll start to believe them.

5. Take action

Believe it or not, this is probably where most people fall down. But in order to achieve your version of success, you have to take action.

The problem is that the road to success is not always easy. There’ll be roadblocks along the way. Things won’t always go the way you wanted them to, there’ll be times when you make a mistake, and there’ll be times when you just won’t be feeling all that motivated. But here’s the thing…it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Your job is to keep taking action. Take the small steps, consistently and you’ll always be one step closer to where you want to be, and these consistent steps will soon start to be noticed. By the people around you, other people in your network, and most importantly by you. You’ll be creating a habit so strong that when you don’t take action you’ll feel like somethings missing.

Here’s how to do it: Write a list of the steps you need to take to get you where you want to be – and do them consistently. Small, regular, consistent action is key.

No matter what your goal is, in order to really maximise your chance of success make sure you enjoy your journey. Soak up the learning, keep a journal of your wins and take time out to see how far you’ve come. Before you realise it by taking consistent action, and by keeping yourself on track you’ll find yourself a lot further ahead than you realise.