The world is full of accidental success stories. Going with the flow along the path of least resistance may work for a while and many of these success stories appear great from the outside looking in. Almost everyone has an occasional stroke of luck during their career, but luck runs out sooner or later when there’s nothing deeper to back it up.

“Our intention creates our reality.” ~ Wayne Dyer

We all know someone who seems to perform in stellar fashion while flying by the seat of their pants. In truth these people are the exception. They’ll have a good run for a quarter or even a year, but they soon discover that success becomes ever more elusive as they advance along their career path. Long term success is tough to achieve without something to drive it.

Consistent results requires purpose and intention. As Richard Branson says, “A day without intention is a day wasted.” Lasting success comes from understanding where you stand today and knowing what needs to happen in the next day, week, and month to bridge the gap between where you are and your end goal.

“A day without intention is a day wasted.” ~ Richard Branson

Bringing a sense of purpose to what you do is a key factor in achieving your goals. Intention is more than just showing up for meetings and hoping everything falls into place. If you feel overwhelmed and like you’re always in catch-up mode, intention and purpose are probably missing from your daily routine.

Try the following practices to bring a higher sense of purpose to your work life.

Envision the Big Picture:

It’s easy to get bogged down in the minutiae of the day. Keeping your head down and focusing on the tactical aspects of your role is an important part of reaching your goals, but don’t make it your entire focus. You’ll cover much more ground more efficiently if you understand the strategy you’re working toward.

Own the Morning:

Start the day strong and bypass the snooze button to take advantage of the golden morning hours. Use that time to set your intention for the day. Put it in writing, using a journal or planner to record your big ideas, intentions and the outcomes you want for the day. Take some time to focus on them and add the actions you need to take to reach your daily goals. Wrap up with a moment to visualize yourself at the end of your day. Envision achieving everything you set out to do. How do you feel after a successful day? Take a moment to integrate those feelings into your morning.

Look to the Future:

Purpose is knowing who you are and what you want, and intention is about focusing on future outcomes. Use the beginning of your week to look at the days ahead. Have an idea of what you want to get out of the activities for the week. At the beginning of each month, set milestones for the month and for the quarter to understand what actions you need to take to reach your longer-term goals.

Bring Focus to Meetings:

Hold purposeful meetings to maximize everyone’s time. On a micro-level, take a moment before walking into a meeting or joining your next call to focus on your objectives and desired outcomes for that meeting. It’s also a great idea to set an intention to be open to coworkers’ ideas and to learn one key takeaway from the meeting. If you’re in charge of the meeting include an agenda and set the stage by introducing the why behind the meeting.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill

Reframe Your POV:

Bad days happen. When you feel like you’re drowning in an endless sea of challenge, it’s easy to let self-defeating thoughts rule your mind. When things go wrong, intentionally reframe your Point of View. Pause to remember your purpose. Understand what’s not working and make needed adjustments. Celebrate your wins, focus on your strengths and reset your intention with confidence. Attitude is the fuel that drives your success. Focusing with purpose can help give you a boost when your confidence is flagging.

Keep Growing:

Avoid being a victim of circumstance and be purposeful about your personal and professional growth. There’s always something new to learn and opportunities for development are everywhere. Keep building your knowledge with a focus on the future: What skills will take you to the next level at work? How can your development help your customers and peers grow and stay motivated? Give yourself the gift of an uninterrupted hour every day that is committed to purposeful development.

Know Your Purpose:

Purpose and meaning are strong motivators. What is your why? What motivates you to get up every day? The things that are most meaningful often are great indicators of your calling and can show you where you should focus the bulk of your intention.

“Success demands singleness of purpose.” ~ Vince Lombardi

The road to success is filled with its share of challenges but if you have big goals, they’re worth working for. If you feel like you’re stuck, take time to bring purpose and intention into your day and place yourself firmly on the path to achieving your goals.