Success is a relative term. It means different things to different people, and even amongst individuals, that definition evolves over the course of a lifetime. In American culture, the term “successful” is often attributed to those who have amassed wealth, fame, power, beauty and/or status. The label is even further exercised to encompass the values that exist within any given subgroup. Whatever success might look like for you, attaining it is entirely possible.

If you’re plotting your path to success, here are 9 fail-proof steps to help turn your #GOALS into reality:

1. Define what success means to you.

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Take a good hard look at yourself. Put aside everything you’ve been taught to want, and establish your own personalized definition of what success means to you.

2. Individuality is okay.

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Photo: Giphy

If the ideals and dreams of your family, your community and culture align with your own, that’s great!  But if they don’t, that’s fine too. You are the only one who actually has to live your life, so take a strong minute and ask yourself: What brings me fulfillment? What makes me happy? Whatever your answer to those questions is, own it and plot your path accordingly.

3. You got this.

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Once you’ve established what you want out of life, it’s important to know that you are already equipped with everything you need to attain it. The beauty of customizing your goals to your innate talents, gifts and abilities is that you are literally the only person on earth that’s suited to fulfill it.

4. Develop your skills.

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Just because you’re operating from your own inherent areas of competence doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Practice, network, seek mentorships and attend workshops. Take every opportunity to hone your skills.

5. Where is your focus?

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If you believe that your come-up is dependent on scamming, chances are your livelihood will always rely on the next scam. If you believe you’re fully capable of providing for yourself, it’s likely your reality reflects that. Think about your conversation, what you prioritize, how you spend your time and energy. I would bet you and everyone you know are 100 percent successful at what they focus on. The key is to focus on what you really want.

6. Think on purpose.

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Photo: Keanu Movie

Disciplining your focus is easier said than done, but focusing your thoughts and actions is key to accomplishing your goals. Pay attention to what you’re thinking, saying and doing. Your actions and words yield real, tangible returns.

7. Make decisions that make sense.

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Of all the opportunities that come your way, which ones make sense for you? Revisit your plans regularly, keep them in mind as you go about your business, and make decisions that line up with your goals. The more focused you become, the more you’ll find that the right people and opportunities begin to cross your path.

8. The “how” matters.

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Photo: vox

The law of reciprocity is real. Divide your focus equally between your goals and how ethically you go about achieving them. Success is one thing, but how you get from here to there also matters.

9. Be flexible.

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Photo: ATRL

Your definition of success at the age of 18 might look different when you turn 25. In fact, it probably should. Don’t hold yourself hostage to goals you’ve outgrown. It’s fine to recalibrate and change direction when necessary.

Even with impeccable strategy, things don’t always go exactly as planned. But without a plan, your goal is nothing more than a dream. Implement these steps, stick to your plan, apply a little faith and prepare for the win.

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Photo: Landon Moss

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The transition into adulthood isn’t an easy one. Navigating relationships, managing workplace politics, hitting those milestones on schedule— don’t be fooled, no one knows what they’re doing. There will be all kinds of fumbles, blunders and awkward missteps along the way. If you’re constantly wondering to yourself, “Am I doing this right?” Welcome. This is just the place for you.