Chart your course toward success.

Illustration: I Love Dust

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When you don't know where you're going, it's easy to question yourself and what lies ahead. That's a surefire way to derail your confidence, because most of us are linear thinkers: We travel from A to Z, taking comfort that if we're standing on corner C, we can see D ahead and know that E is just up the road. The human psyche likes a map, and we often get emotionally lost if we don't have one.

Whatever your objective, you must define it, create a plan for achieving it, and set up a timeline for its completion in small, measurable steps. Charting these achievements can boost self-esteem as much as attaining your ultimate goal, because, to put it simply, a success is a success, and the more of them you have, the more favorably you're likely to view yourself. When you take deliberate measures toward a goal, you'll have the fortitude to think—and do—big.
  1. Define your destination.
  2. Draw a map from here to there.
  3. Set up a timeline for arrival.