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The world's most natural process for our development and success.


We all have aspirations, but we don't all know how to achieve the success that we want.  Learn how to #applyIDEAL to achieve what is important to you—in your personal life or for your business.

Improve, Achieve, or Become

what is Important to You

—in Your Life or for Your Business

You have an ambitious goal, but having a goal doesn’t mean you know how to succeed. Many goals encounter challenges on the course to success, so it’s worthwhile to take a moment to learn how to ensure the success of what matters to you, whether in your personal life or for your business.


This message draws inspiration from IDEAL, a five-step goal-planning process that distinguishes itself from generic, goal-defining approaches. It serves as a dynamic and interconnected framework that will effectively guide you toward achieving your ambitious goal. IDEAL builds on learning, making it more than a useful approach to success; it is also a means by which to reach your potential, in various aspects!


Finally, it’s important to understand that the effectiveness of IDEAL comes from its application as a process. So, apply IDEAL—all steps, in order—to create a plan for the success of whatever you want to improve, achieve, or become – in your life or for your business.

Get Ready


Before you set out to plan your success, complete these steps of preparation:


  Understand your starting point

Prior to planning, it’s important to know where you stand today. Consider what advantages and disadvantages can impact your efforts to reach your goal. This exercise will help you establish a realistic and useful perspective (apply ADAPT).

 Consider what you know

Reflect on your subject knowledge and identify your assumptions. Your knowledge about your aim may need an update or some depth. However you approach your goal, you’ll make decisions based on what you know. Broad and accurate knowledge will help you prepare appropriately for your goal.


Step 1 of 5


Get Clear About What You Will Achieve


Success doesn't occur accidentally; it results from deliberate effort—an intention aimed toward something specific. Your best effort to improve, achieve, or become what is important to you—in your personal life or for your business—requires you to plan your success. The basis of a useful plan involves having an actionable goal: clarity about what you intend to achieve and an idea about how success is possible.


❶  Identify what you want to achieve

Many goals fail for lack of clarity. Having a well-defined goal is essential for success


❷  Set a timeline

Establishing a timeline supports planning, sets expectations for progress, and helps sustain focus


Recognize how your success possible

What are your expectations; what makes your success possible? If don’t know your course to success, you have no course to follow.

❹  Note your motives (your Why)

Understanding your motivation to pursue a goal can serve as a driving force during challenges, especially when your goal requires you to make sacrifices.


❺  Recognize possible opposition to your success (your Why-not)

If you don’t know how you could fail to reach your goal, you cannot fully prepare to succeed.

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Get support

Schedule a free session with Steven—to get answers to your questions.


Step 2 of 5


Your Choice of a Course to Success


You've established an actionable goal. Your next step is to 'direct'—make decisions about everything that will support your progress and success.


At this stage, it's not just about outlining the main steps toward your goal; you also need to consider how you'll support those primary steps. For instance, if your goal is to boost sales, you'll require resources to find and connect with prospective clients. If health improvement is your aim, considerations should include grocery shopping for meal preps and scheduling a workout regimen.


  Know what your goal require

Think broadly through the requirements for your success (RAS) – tools, training, resources, etc. Considering requirements helps ensure comprehensive preparation and knowing your process – the primary steps for your process

  Know the point

Understanding the main objective of each primary step promotes focus during activity. (If you meet each objective, success will be the necessary result of the goal).  

  Complete your process

Recognize the activities that are supportive and essential for the success of each primary step. (workflow)

  Work in timeframes

Schedule activities. Allocating time supports productivity, ensures consistency, and accounts for other important activities, such as preparation


Get support

Schedule a free session with Steven—to get answers to your questions.


Step 3 of 5


Preparation to be Productive


The Engage step is centered around your ability to be productive, and productivity centers on the results required from your activities to effectively advance you toward your goal. If you find yourself unable to achieve targeted objectives, it's essential to acknowledge that as a lack of productivity and address the issue. It's important to understand that productivity extends beyond the specific activities outlined in your plan; it encompasses everything directly and indirectly related to your ability to achieve the necessary results.




❶  Define productivity


Productivity is all about results required from activity. Knowing what progress is required—daily, weekly, or monthly—by your goal supports on-track progress


❷  Set performance standards


Establishing standards creates useful targets to gauge effectiveness, promote focus, and drive productivity


❸  Consider strategies

Strategies promote success of the steps required for your success. They can sustain motivation and protect you against pitfalls

Access this article in PDF format.

Get support

Schedule a free session with Steven—to get answers to your questions.


Step 4 of 5


Know Where You Stand


Don't guess when you can know where you stand relative to your goal. The Assess step is about information—your ability to know what is and is not working in your efforts to be productive. Determine what information is essential to your assessments of productivity. Be able to confirm your progress and validate your choices for a direction, and the support of your success. You will need to:


❶  Identify essential information

Knowing what information is essential for measuring progress and gaining useful insight guides decision-making about improvement with your efforts.


❷  Manage information

Effective data management promotes useful assessments of your progress and productivity. Determine how you will attain and manage key data


❸  Record your experience

Keeping notes—about ideas, plan changes, observations, etc.—supports learning and continuous improvement.

Support your success

Schedule a free session with Steven—to get answers to your questions.


Step 5 of 5


Discover and Improve: Ensure Success


Rarely is an initial plan perfect. Expect to make revisions somewhere in your plan, how it’s supported, or with it execution. As you review assessments, conduct research, and discover options for improvements. You will need to:


❶  Know what and when to change

Establish criteria by which to make changes with your plan and respond to results from any tests (of strategies, processes, etc.)


❷  Identify learning sources


Having useful sources for news, research, and advice can yield ideas for improvements with your IDEAL process. Being able to discover and adapt is a key to overcoming challenges and achieving success


❸  Prepare for change

Revisions are often needed with plans. Determine a process for applying changes to your plan and its execution


❹  Revise IDEAL

According to what you learn, update how you apply IDEAL to achieve your success. Adapting IDEAL based on lessons learned is a sure course to your potential

Support your success

Schedule a free session with Steven—to get answers to your questions.

We all express the characteristics of IDEAL, the most natural process for reaching our potential. So, why do some people thrive and other struggle? The answer can be as simple as the difference between how we express IDEAL as a process. Learn how we can understand extraordinary success through the lens of IDEAL in Stories, a look at IDEAL in our lives. 


Learn about IDEAL from your favorite hosts

Important Note


IDEAL represents the most natural process for success. We express each facet—Intend, Direct, Engage, Assess, and Learn—regularly, if not every day. Appropriately ordered, these components synergize and streamline the pursuit of ambitious goals, each reinforced by our inherent capacity to endeavor, reflect, plan, and adapt


Consider, firstly, the natural act of forming our intention, defining what we aim to achieve. Secondly, we consistently direct our lives through our decisions, which create a course for our interests and efforts. Thirdly, we engage and express ourselves in our daily encounters and activities. Furthermore, assessments—of self, others, and situations—are instinctive practices allowing us to recognize our place in a pursuit and identify areas for improvement. Lastly, learning is a constant opportunity readily offered through our experiences.


While we instinctively embody these characteristics, the challenge arises when we fail to apply them as a process. Any disconnect or deficiency within the facets of IDEAL can potentially derail our efforts to achieve what matters, be it in our personal lives or businesses.


The effectiveness of IDEAL resides in its deliberate application as a process. By intentionally integrating the aspects of Intend, Direct, Engage, Assess, and Learn in a systematic manner, you have a powerful framework for development and success. Again, it's not just about possessing these characteristics; the point is that we must orchestrate them in a process for something that you intend – toward success. So, embrace the ongoing journey of self-improvement, achievement, and growth. With each iteration of IDEAL, you not only evolve and build on successes and learning but also chart a course towards the realization of your most ambitious aspirations and potential.

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How Can I Benefit By Applying IDEAL?

You already express the aspects of IDEAL, but not as a process. In order to benefit from this natural process for our development and success, learn how to apply IDEAL deliberately, as a process.  Benefits include:

  • Achieve goals

  • Increase awareness

  • Improve focus and mindfulness

  • Lead a team or client to success

  • Sustain engagement and motivation

  • Live deliberately (not on autopilot!)

  • Enjoy a more rewarding life/business

  • Be productive: progress faster toward what's important to you.

Learn how to apply IDEAL for the success of what is important to you

IDEAL Logo by Steven Robert Young
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