As a general rule, there is a strong correlation between the prevailing economic sentiment and the national rate of consumer spending. This was in evidence this week, as Barclaycard reported a 0.4% drop in spending during January amid rising unemployment and a growing sense of economic uncertainty in the UK.

Conversely, periods of economic growth tend to trigger more robust spending and a more positive consumer outlook, through which individuals are often able to visualize their goals more clearly. In addition to this, you may well find it easier to achieve these goals on the back of soaring economic sentiment and the sense of security that it brings.

Success
While economic and personal circumstances can impact on our ability to achieve individual goals, however, we must ultimately take responsibility for own success or failure. This means clearly visualizing your goals and setting realistic time frames for their completion, before taking practical steps towards achieving them. This will often require a tremendous amount of persistence, however, so consider the following points as you attempt to bring distant dreams into reality.

1. Have a clear understanding of your goal.

The successful visualization of your goal is critically important, as it enables you to understand both its origins and ultimate purpose. Whether the goal is career orientated or associated with your personal life, the ability to comprehend its meaning will help you to determine its level of importance and whether or not it should be a leading priority. Most importantly, by clearly understanding your goal, you can comprehend the value that its accomplishment will add to your life.

2. Plot a clear path toward success.

While having a clear end goal is critically important, it means little unless you are able to plot a clear and achievable path towards success. Planning your course and establishing time frames can also help you to understand whether or not it is realistically achievable, or if a compromise may be needed to make it viable. If you are to translate a dream into something tangible, this is a crucial and insightful process.

3. Create a series of simple and practical steps.

On a similar note, achieving any goal can also be made easier by breaking it down into a series of simple, practical and chronological steps. This not only makes it seem more manageable, but it also provides a constant reference to your progress and the steps that are still required if you are to be successful. If you are easily overwhelmed, this is a technique that will ensure you remain focused at all times.

4. Do not let your goal dictate the course of your life.

The main purpose of these steps is to help make your goal more attainable, so that you can accomplish it in a way that suits your lifestyle and existing schedule. It is crucial that your goal does not dictate the course of your life, as this will disturb your work-life balance and have a detrimental impact on those closest to you. This must be avoided at all costs, so take care to adopt a responsible approach towards fulfilling your dreams.

5. Be prepared to fail and remain mentally strong.

Even with a sense of focus and a clear path towards success, outside factors can derail the most carefully laid plans. You must therefore remain driven and mentally strong while looking to achieve your goals, as you adopt a pragmatic outlook and prepare for any eventuality that may ultimately underline your ambition. While some may consider this to be a negative mindset, preparing to fail can ensure that you remain on course when things do go wrong.

6. Adjust and change your course as required.

On the occasions that you do encounter difficulty, there may be a need to adjust your course and tailor your plans accordingly. This flexible and proactive approach enables you to react positively to even the most significant challenges, while it may also help you to constantly review your goals and the methods used to accomplish them. Even if you are not faced with an immediate problem, you may still wish to adapt if you identify a better way of realizing your goals.

7. Do not let success reduce your drive or level of motivation.

For most individuals, life represents a series of challenges and changeable goals that require accomplishment. Once you have begun to achieve your individual goals, however, it is important to maintain your existing level of drive and innate hunger to succeed. Even short-term or relatively moderate success can create a sense of complacency and de-motivation, so you must retain focus if you are to accomplish multiple goals in your lifetime.

With these thoughts in mind, you should be able to successfully accomplish individual goals throughout the course of your life. More importantly, you will also be able to maintain your sense of drive and remain successful over a prolonged period of time.

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