How would you define success? More importantly, do you consider yourself successful? I would hazard a guess that if you asked five random people these questions, they would each give you a slightly different answer. Read on to find out how we define success at MATS, and 4 ways you can be your own success.
The dictionary's primary definition of success is as shown above--the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals. However, it also includes several alternate definitions, each including the aspect of wealth or honors. These are the definitions of success that so many of us focus on.
"Money makes the world go 'round," or so they say. We all need it to live--housing, food, clothes, vehicles, education, health care--each of these things is made possible with cold, hard cash. That's part of the reason success is so often defined by wealth. Without money, where would we be? Well.....probably at MATS!
That's one of the reasons we focus so heavily on teaching our residents to properly manage their money. Each resident has a set of goals specifically tailored to their situation. One goal they all share? Saving up enough money to live on their own after leaving MATS. If someone has done so before exiting our program, we consider them to have completed the program (say it with me now....) SUCCESSFULLY!
Here's the thing though, despite the fact that money is necessary to thrive in our world, we tend to forget about the second part of the definition--the accomplishment of one's goals. You see, success is defined so differently by everyone you meet because we all have our own unique set of goals, obstacles, and passions--even when it comes to money! For one person, success is found in a constantly growing bank account with plenty of money set aside for the future. But for others, success may simply look like having enough money to survive and using the excess to bless friends, family, or even strangers. Both of these are great! But success, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
At MATS, our residents have other goals besides saving money. For residents at MATS, success may look like learning to do laundry or cook a meal on their own for the first time. It may be getting their drivers license back or finally confronting their depression and anxiety issues with a mental health professional. Success may even look like getting up for work on time every day in a week. Our residents don't have to measure themselves by the world's standards for success, because as long as they are striving to give themselves a better life, they are on the path to success. They don't have to define success with wealth and honors, and neither do you!
Here are 4 things you can do to create your own success!
1. Set Goals.
Having a list of goals is essential for measuring your success. Write it down, hold yourself accountable, and celebrate when you're able to check a goal off! One of the most important aspects of goal setting is to give yourself bite-sized, achievable goals. For example, say you want to lose 50 pounds. Instead of listing that as your goal, break it up. Make a goal to eat more fruits and veggies, a goal to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and one to exercise 3 times a week. Give yourself a deadline to have those habits down, and then set new, more challenging health goals. Before you know it, you'll have lost the weight with a lot less headache!
2. Get to Know Yourself.
Do you know what motivates you? Do you really know your strengths and weaknesses? It's not vain to get to know your own self better. In fact, knowing what makes you tick can help you become a more successful person as well as improve your relationships with others. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is an excellent way to learn more about yourself. If you don't know your personality type, take the test here.
3. Make a Budget.
Just like for our residents, having a working budget is important for every single person who wants to be successful! Whether it's simple or complicated is up to you, but find a system that works. Many people find the envelope system useful, while others prefer just keeping up with their incoming and outgoing funds with pen and paper or an excel sheet. Whatever you choose, stick to it and try to incorporate savings into the equation. If you only have enough coming in to cover your expenses, perhaps it's time to find some extra income, make cuts to frivolous spending, or both!
4. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself.
We all make mistakes, and not all goals are met on the first try! No one expects you to be perfect (no one who matters anyway.) Just keep striving and trying again. You'll eventually succeed if you keep the right attitude. Best wishes on your journey to SUCCESS!