A Simple 3-Step Process to Achieving Greatness

If you want to reach your goals, you have to follow the process.

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By Jeff Olson

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I know it seems cliché to say you have the power to create your own success. But, clichés are clichés for a reason. And the simple truth is you do have that power. We all do, and it involves the simple, everyday decisions that we make to choose if we succeed or fail. All great achievers have, not only big goals, but a strategy around how to achieve them. It's a process that takes these goals and breaks them down in to manageable pieces in order to check them off one by one, and then you're there ... success. The biggest successes stem from repeating that process, over and over again and letting goals build upon themselves.

Related: He Went From Dead Broke to Millionaire Because He Just Wouldn't Stop Trying

Future Hall of Fame basketball player and NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki is known for his relentless workout routine in the gym. He is the first one to practice and the last one to leave. For a sustainable and successful career as a professional basketball player, he needed to find a slight edge over the competition. By using his strengths and attributes -- height, talent, creativity and grit -- he developed an "unblockable" jump shot to make him one of the greatest scorers of all time. If you ever notice his signature fade away, it's impossible to guard and it is the same every time. In 2011, the year the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship, Nowitzki's field goal percentage was a career-high 51.7 percent.

Coincidence? I wouldn't bet on it.

Related: Habits of the World's Wealthiest People (Infographic)

The key is to constantly practice your process until it is automatic. In my book The Slight Edge, I lay out the process I use to gain greater achievement. Because I like to keep things simple, these three steps are easy and practical.

Write it down.

Envision what you want to accomplish in your mind's eye. This a critical step because it is laying the framework to making your goal real. It can be as big as a dream job or dream house, to something smaller, such as a promotion or finishing a project on time. Now that you know what the goal is, write down when you want to achieve it. You may not get there in that specific timeframe, but having a set time limit adds motivation.

Related: Unless You Track Your Progress, Setting Goals Is a Waste of Effort

Look at it every day.

Now that you've written down your goals, post it somewhere that you will constantly see it. Caroline A. Miller, an expert on goal-setting and author of the book Getting Grit, says this process is "priming your environment." This means strategically making sure your goal is in your line of sight and in your mind every single day. Get creative and make a dream board, if you have to. In fact, I recommend it.

Start with a plan.

As Bruce Springsteen so eloquently sings, "you can't start a fire without a spark." You need a starting plan. This isn't your complete plan or even your final plan. This is just the beginning plan. Chances are your plan will change, re-route and evolve throughout the process, but you won't win any race if you don't leave the starting line.

There is no better feeling than setting a goal, working toward that goal and then achieving your goal. Finding success in our goals and stacking up wins changes our mindset from fixed to growth. The science behind achievement says setting and reaching goals opens the door to better well-being. When we set goals, we are driven by future outcomes using hope and perseverance. Success will find you when you practice happy habits.

Jeff Olson

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Founder & CEO of Neora

Jeff Olson is the founder and CEO of Neora and is a leader in the direct sales industry. He's also the author of The Slight Edge, which shares the philosophy he used to achieve success as an entrepreneur and CEO. He aims to help others reach financial freedom and personal excellence.

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