5-Steps Framework for a Successful Life

How to live your life with no regrets?

Manoj Fernando
8 min readJun 21, 2021
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

If you seek success in life, I’d like to share a framework that may work for you to achieve the *successes that you always wanted.

I’ve been studying many successful people over several years and followed a few people whose ideas resonate with me. I started to notice similar patterns in all of their paths to success.

Success leaves trails…

The framework that I suggest is based on those patterns. I’ve been continuously practicing it during the last couple of years and it works quite well for me.

That’s why I thought of sharing it with you. Hear me out and let me know what you think of it.

Want to read this story later? Save it in Journal.

Step 01 — Finding Your Life Goals

You can’t be successful in life if you don’t have a clear picture of what success means to you. We all are unique human beings. Things I want in my life could be entirely different from what you want in life.

So, step 01 is finding your life goals. Why you would exist in this world? Write them down in a notebook.

Now, It’s not going to be easy. Because you are finding the answers to the “big why”. Take as much as time you need before coming up with the list. Think about it before you sleep, while you work, when sipping your coffee.

Now here are several broad areas that you could think about when deciding what you in life.

  1. Family
  2. Finance
  3. Spiritual and physical well being
  4. Career growth
  5. Personal development
  6. Community

A few things to remember when listing your goals,

  • Do not come up with small goals. Make your goals as big as possible. You should feel extremely satisfied when you’ll achieve them.
  • Your life goals are the driving factor of your execution plan which we will go over in the next step.
  • At first, you’ll probably come up with a long list of goals which is fine. But re-think and prioritize them. Try to identify a few massive goals that matter to you.
  • Remember that you can always come back to this list and add any missing life goals later.
  • When you word your goals, word them as if you have already accomplished them. E.g. I have a healthy body and a healthy mind

Step 02 — Finding Your Execution Plan

Now that you have identified the life goals that matter to you, it’s time to come up with an execution plan to accomplish them.

Take out the notebook that you wrote the life goals. Then, under each life goal write down the things that you can start right now to reach those goals.

Note: At this step, it is important not to overthink. Just write down things that come to your mind to accomplish each of your goals. You should write at least 5 actions under each goal that you can do right now.

When you write down the action items, make sure they are very clear and easy to get started with. Also, try to link them with daily activity.

Here is an example:

Life goal: I have a healthy body and a healthy mind

  1. I exercise for 30 mins every day in the morning before I start my work.
  2. I do not add sugar to my morning tea
  3. I follow 14-hour intermittent fasting starting at 5 pm every day
  4. I meditate for 30 mins every day before I go to sleep
  5. I write 3 things that I’m grateful for every day before I go to sleep

Step 03 — Finding Your System

Now that you have identified your life goals and the initial action plan, how do you stick to them?

Motivation doesn’t work

If you think “Motivation” is the answer to stick with your execution plan, you may be wrong. For most of us, Motivation is temporary.

Just imagine how many new year resolutions have we set at the beginning of the year, and how many got forgotten in February. The fact is that motivation is temporary. Sometimes we get really motivated by listening to a motivational speaker. During his speech, we vowed to ourselves, “I’m going to practice exactly what he says and be successful”. But after a couple of days, we get back to our normal daily routines and forget about what we learned.

Okay, if the answer is not motivation, what is it? Well, it’s about finding a system that works for you.

The Systematic Approach

You have to find the habit-based system that works for you. As human beings, we all have developed habits since childhood. There are good habits and there are bad habits.

A habit is triggered by a certain Cue and the action follows the cue automatically. Therefore, we don’t have to exert additional cognitive effort to get the action started. So habits get rid of procrastination.

Habits get rid of Procrastination

Building Three Habits

Okay, so how can we use habits to achieve what we desire in life?

In the first two steps, you have identified the life goals and the initial action plan.

Writing your life goals just once is not enough. You need to continuously remind yourself of your goals. Because that’s the purpose of your life, that’s what drives you, that’s what energizes you when you have a bad day.

Habit 01 — Reminding yourself, why do you do what you do

Every morning when you wake up, take a notepad and write your life goals. You shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to do that. But writing it down on a piece of paper is very important.

When you start the day by wiring your goals, you start the day with purpose. Doing this every day will get these goals absorbed into your bloodstream and you will be obsessed with achieving your goals.

Whenever you have a setback in life, and you are feeling down, take this notebook or piece of paper and write your goals. Remind yourself why you exist in this world and those temporary negative feelings will vanish into the thin air.

Another reason why you’d want to write your goals is that you may want to change, remove or add new life goals. Do that whenever it seems necessary and change the corresponding action plan as well.

Habit 02 — 1% improvement on all the items in the action plan

Now that you are always aware of your life goals, start taking consistent actions in achieving your goals every day.

You don’t have to spend hours on each action item. It could be a very small action that you can start easily that may take less than 5 minutes. It’s very important to exert these little efforts on all the action items that you planned under your goals every day. Make it a race and make sure you’ll check off all the action items.

You may also feel that these little actions are insignificant. But in few months, you’ll be amazed how much you’ll accomplish thanks to the compound effect of these tiny actions.

Note: There could be days that you couldn’t engage in any of these actions. Because life happens. Skipping it for 1 day is fine. But make sure to NOT skip for two days in a row.

Habit 03 — Evaluate your daily successes and failures

Success doesn’t come overnight. It’ll take time and you have to be patient about it.

However, when you follow both Habit 01 and 02 and you’ll feel satisfied every day as you complete your actions for your life goals. Because you know, that you are on the path to success. You’ll soon realize that success is not a destination but a state of mind.

Success becomes a state of mind…

So, what is the Habit 03?

Before you sleep every day, take that same notebook and write the daily successes and failures in taking those actions.

You should always find the causes for the failures and think of new ways to complete those actions. This is a very important exercise that you must do. Sometimes, you might not see the solution right away, but it’ll hit you at the most unexpected time. E.g. Maybe in your dreams, When taking a shower etc… The reason is, our wonderful brain is searching for answers all the time.

Step 04— Finding Ways to Inline Your Goals

If you have many life goals, chances are you have many action items to complete daily. That could be overwhelming.

What can you do about it? There are two main things to check if you have too many actions to complete. Firstly, re-evaluate your life goals and make sure you have identified those big juicy life goals, not tiny small ones that won’t provide you the required satisfaction when you achieve them.

Secondly, try to inline your goals, where an action towards one goal will complement the other goal. That way, you’ll kill two or more birds in one stone.

Now, this step is a bit challenging and it’ll take a lot of trial and errors to find out how to inline your goals. Here is an example. The daily office work efforts will complement building your expertise around a certain area that matters to you.

When you evaluate the daily successes and failures at Habit 02, think of how one action could complete another action as well.

Everyone has only 24 hours a day. It’s all about using it effectively on things that matter to you.

Step 05 — Finding Continuous Learning Methods

Step 05 is all about continuous learning and training. Whichever the industry that you are into e.g. IT, Sales, Marketing, etc… you always have to learn to thrive.

Today with the internet you can find abundant learning opportunities related to any field. Invest in yourself and look for paid training. I personally prefer paid training courses since they always have a good structure. Sometimes you can also find very good free training courses as well.

When we were studying at school, college or university, we had to learn what’s there in the syllabus. But now you can choose to learn things that matter to you. Now that is a big difference!

Work hard, smartly…

The idea is to sharpen your sword. When you are continuously learning you can find effective ways to achieve your goals. The investment that you put on yourself will return in multiple folds.


When you are reading this article, you should understand that these 5 steps are not linear. They should be followed repeatedly and one step complements the other step.

The ultimate objective of this framework is to help you achieve the life goals that matter to you and live a no-regret life. Not only that, but it will also help you feel satisfied every day until you reach your goals.

I hope this article may help someone.

Books that helped me formulating this framework

  1. The 10x Rule
  2. Atomic Habits
  3. The Compound Effect
  4. Think and Grow Rich
  5. The Art of Exceptional Living

Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to the Workspaces newsletter to see the physical spaces and toolkits creatives use to do their daily work.