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Take success one step at a time.
Take success one step at a time. / Caroline von Tuempling/Getty Images

How often do you opt for an escalator over a flight of stairs? For many, this “escalator mentality” isn’t confined to getting from one floor to another.

After all, it’s tempting to look for a shortcut or an easy way out — especially when it comes to tough tasks such as reaching a goal weight or eliminating debt. But shortcuts are deceiving. They take a toll on self-discipline and don’t always take you where you want to go, warns Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success. He offers advice on how to reach your goal the right way:

Weigh your decisions. Make it a habit to evaluate them. “Success is often not the result of our major decisions, but more deceptively it is the aggregate sum total of all our small and seemingly insignificant ones,” Vaden says.

Allow for change. “Start small, and as you gain confidence, you can make bigger and bigger verbal commitments,” Vaden advises.

Manage your time. Instead of asking yourself “Am I spending enough time on this activity?” you should really be asking, “When is the best time to be focused on this activity?” Answering that question will help you prioritize and excel.

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