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The Road To Success: How To Create Your First Goal Map

Goal Map The Short Advice

The Road to Success

The Road to Success is long and winding. Along the way, there are obstacles and challenges. Each providing a valuable lesson or experience to prepare us for what is yet to come. Planning is great, but it isn’t everything. Goal-setting is great too, but again, it’s still not enough to guarantee success. In fact, success is never guaranteed, it’s only promised. A promise you make to yourself. And being the delicate creatures that we are, promises are broken everyday. So, upon reflection, success is what happens when we keep our promises. But how do we keep our promises? Combining a number of strategies is generally a good place to start, in order to give ourselves the best chance. Our ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map does exactly that, and heres how…

Creating Your Goal Map

Goal-Setting – Long-Term Goals

What is it that you want to achieve, and why? Both questions are equally as important. The ‘what’ must be realistic, and achievable. The ‘why’ is the question of motivation. You should always be working towards a goal that benefits not only yourself, but also the people that you care about, and hopefully, the greater population is included in this. Consider the result of your success, and the positive, and possibly negative, impact that it will have on your life, and others involved. Now that you have a long-term goal in mind, you need to consider the steps necessary to achieve it.

Stepping Stones Towards Success – Short-Term Goals

Once you know what your long-term goal is, you need to create some short-term goals that will help you reach it. Consider the prerequisites that you will need to achieve before reaching your final goal. If you were a sprinter aiming to qualify for the next Olympics, your short term goals might be a series of PB’s and first places in local/national races. For a game developer, short term goals might include creating your first block-coding game, to completing assessment tasks with distinction, right up to achieving a recognised qualification. Whatever your discipline, there are steps you’ll need to take in order to progress along your goal map towards success.

Time-Based Goals – The SMART Method

The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map encourages the use of twelve short-term goals, and one long-term goal, in order to create a time-based goal map. You might aim to reach your long-term goal at the end of the year, with your short term goals representing a significant monthly achievement. Of course, your ultimate goal will probably take a lot longer than one year to achieve, but the long-term goal you set for yourself might actually be a short-term goal of that larger, and far more difficult to attain goal. Also note, that each goal you set on your goal map will have it’s own timeframe to achieve. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t meet that deadline, but it’s a good indicator of how you’re progressing, and how you can improve. Check out our article on SMART Goals here for more information.

Systems for Success

The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map also requires the use of daily and weekly activities. This poses two questions; What do you need to do regularly in order to achieve your short, and long-term goals? And, what are you prepared to do? If the answer to both of these questions isn’t the same, you’ve already hit a wall. The systems that we set ourselves should create the good habits that we need to develop in order to progress along the goal map. So, carefully consider what these things are. If you’re a budding musician, you might aim to practice for an hour each day. Every week you might study a new album. There’s room for 5 weekly activities, and 5 daily activities, so make sure you only list the things that you are prepared to do.

What If I Fail?

“If at first you don’t succeed, try again” – Your Grandma. And guess what? She was right. If you haven’t managed to achieve your goals in the time you’ve allowed yourself, it’s not the end of the world. The ‘Road to Success’ Goal Map is time-based to allow you to reflect on your performance, and consider the why/why not of your achievements. Things won’t always go as planned, and sometimes life gets in the way. Whilst this might slow us down from time to time, it doesn’t need to stop us in our tracks. The good news is that the systems you’ve developed, and the steps you’ve taken towards your long-term goal has brought you closer to it than ever. Progress.

Final Note

You’re not alone. The Short Advice community is with you every step of the way! We’ve researched and written an abundance of articles to help you with whatever challenges you might face… Set yourself some SMART Goals, build your resilience and mental toughness, power your way through the ‘Road to Success’ and earn your piece of sustainable happiness. Good luck! If there’s another topic you’d like to hear more about please feel free to drop us a line on our homepage. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to checkout our Road to Success Goal Map here.

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How To Manage Lower Back Pain: 5 Painless Points

Manage Lower Back Pain The Short Advice

About The Author

John G is the owner/operator of his own courier business, which has also forced him to become a professional on how to manage lower back pain. Lifting packages and parcels for a living, he has had to manage disc bulges in his lower back, stemming from a lifting injury some years ago. This has caused severe nerve pain, muscle spasm, and other painful symptoms. Despite his permanent injury, John still manages to run a successful courier business around Melbourne’s CBD, and even plays golf most weekends – off a handicap of 8! Today, John shares with us his 5 Painless Points on how to best manage lower back pain. Thanks John-boy!

How To Manage Lower Back Pain

I’ve found that a combination of strategies working together have allowed me to continue living my life, despite my back injury. I’m certainly not saying that I’m pain-free, or that my back is cured, but it’s definitely allowed me to manage myself a lot better. It’s a constant process of improvement, and no-one strategy will solve the problem alone. Now more than ever (I’m 50 years young) I need to be more aware of what my body is telling me, in order to continue doing what I’m doing… That is lifting, driving, golfing, fishing, renovating etc. So, hopefully a few of you out there might find these tips as helpful as I have, here it is:

1. Lift Technique

Whether you’re a courier or not, you’ll no doubt be lifting things from time to time. Your technique is crucial when it comes to injury prevention and pain management. I put quite a bit of emphasis on my lift technique these days, even when I’m lifting an item that I don’t find overly heavy – it’s just not worth the risk. So remember to take your time, keep the weight of the item close to your centre of gravity, and lift with your legs, and not your back. If it’s too heavy, don’t lift it. Use a trolley where possible, or ask somebody for help. I’ve found this helpful resource on lift technique sums it up pretty well.

2. Regular (Modified) Exercise

For quite a while I neglected exercise after my initial injury. Things I was previously doing to keep fit were no longer working, so I just didn’t do them anymore. I gained weight, lost my energy, and my back felt worse. In recent years however, I’ve been on a modified exercise program that has allowed me to work within my limits, and still push me physically. Some days my back plays up, so I have to modify further, or give myself a rest. With the help of my PT, I managed to work out a program that kept me fit, and didn’t make my back pain flare up again. My motivation and energy increased, while my back pain decreased. No matter your injury, there is always a modified program that you can do.

3. Core Strength

Simply being aware of the pattern of core engagement has allowed me to decrease the risk of further injuring myself. Often, poor lumbar posture (lower back arch) can pre-dispose you to lower back pain. In order to manage lower back pain, postural corrective exercise and the development of greater core strength is crucial – and easy! These days, I practice my core exercises while I’m waiting for the little green man to cross the road… In addition, I try to do 15 minutes every second day of core exercises to support my lower back. The pelvic tilt, and the dead bug are both a part of my regular routine.

4. Eat Healthy

Maintaining a healthy resting weight was a massive factor for me when I was first learning to manage lower back pain. Proper diet is equally as important as regular, sustainable exercise when you’re trying to get fit, and stay fit. So, don’t neglect it. Healthy eating was a bit of trial and error for me. If it’s going to be sustainable, you really need to avoid fad diets. Do your research, find out what works for you, and stick to it. Remember, moderation is key!

5. Don’t Fight Fatigue

Something I need to constantly remind myself… I’m currently renovating my house, working full days, and playing golf on weekends. Even for someone without injury, it’s a big load. So, this rule becomes especially important. If you’ve been working/lifting all day, and you feel your technique and posture are starting to lapse, have a rest. You could be moments away from doing further damage, or sustaining another injury altogether. Sure, you can push yourself, but not past the point of pain, nor to the point of pain. If you’re going to effectively manage lower back pain, you need to learn this.

Final Note

It’s easy to make excuses when you’re injured, but it doesn’t make life any easier. Whatever your injury, you should consider taking action to rehabilitate, and prevent further damage. You don’t have to stop moving, just modify. You don’t have to quit chocolate, just moderate. The recipe is simple if you’re willing to give the time and attention needed to effectively manage lower back pain. I hope these strategies help some of you as much as they’ve helped me, happy lifting!

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How Regular Exercise Instills These 4 Virtues

SashaLayton The Short Advice

About this article

This week, we’ve published a guest post for Sasha Yoga & Health, to share our understanding of the benefits of regular exercise with Sasha Layton’s wellbeing community. To read the full article, you can click here to navigate across to Not convinced? Well, continuing reading below and you might be!

How Regular Exercise Instills Important Virtues

Whilst there are countless lessons to be learnt by engaging in regular exercise, we’ve picked four considerably important ones to discuss. Through the development of respect, self-esteem, discipline and resilience, one can begin to achieve balance. And a well-balanced life is a happy one. The lessons that we teach ourselves through exercise, hold us in good stead when facing the challenges of everyday life. They also help us work towards achieving our goals, whether financial, academic, physical or otherwise. So how can regular exercise help us to achieve a heightened understanding of life’s most important virtues? Lets start by discussing the most important one…


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5 Essay Writing Tips To Relieve Your Study Stress

Essay writing tips The Short Advice

Study Stress

According to results from a recent survey, the majority of TAFE and university students in Australia between the ages of 17-25 are stressed/anxious. Workload, grades, future uncertainty, career prospects etc… A long list of pressure-factors that can create an unhealthy and unmanageable amount of stress for some students. With all of these pressures, approaching a 5000-word essay can be a difficult task. Sometimes one that seems so enormous that it’s hard to know where to start. So, before you go leaving your next paper to the last minute, ease your stress-levels with our 5 essay writing tips below.

Essay Writing Tips

Hopefully you haven’t landed at this page looking for tips on how to get an essay done in one night. If you have, skip straight to step 1 now – you don’t have time to read the intro! … Of course, no one essay is the same. Sometimes, there are different requirements to meet that can make an essay quite unique, or even difficult to research. Whatever the case, the following tips will likely still apply! Our 5 essay writing tips are essay-specific, rather than being tips on ‘how to get stuff done’. So, we’ll just leave this supplementary ‘time-management tip‘ here: Don’t leave it to the last minute!

1. Preparation

Do the reading, and do the research. If you want to produce a quality piece of writing, you can’t expect to be cutting corners. Lecturers will read your bluff, and take it as an insult to their intelligence. So be sure to complete the work that has been set throughout your course of study, and familiarise yourself with the content. Once you’ve done this, you’ll find the task of essay writing far less daunting. Ideas will flow, and you’ll actually be retaining some of the knowledge which is a plus! Good grades are usually a reflection of good preparation.

2. Drafting – Key Concepts

Brainstorm the key concepts of your essay topic. Put it all down on paper (or device) and break them into ‘tiers of importance/relevance’. Consider some of the most important concepts that you’ve covered so far in your course. Are they relevant to the essay topic? If so, how and where might they be of valuable? Also brainstorm any other supporting information that will help to meet the essay topic/question. What further research is required? Remember, you’re not looking for filler-material here, but rather specific, valuable and relevant content.

3. Drafting – The Blueprint

Now that you’ve got your key concepts listed and have a better understanding of research requirements, it’s time to structure your essay. You’ll need to consider the style of essay that you’re writing; persuasive, narrative, expository or descriptive. This stage of drafting will have you organising headings and subheadings, planning out paragraphs, and considering where particular information will sit within the text. Creating an ‘essay overview’ or blueprint will provide you with the blank template to populate with your key concepts, and researched information.

4. Elaborating

Now that you’ve got a plan in place, you can begin to develop your essay in detail. When taking this approach, you’ll often find that you need to shave some words off, rather than add filler content. So, always keep the topic in mind, and be as specific and relevant as possible. Link your arguments and facts back to the purpose of the essay, and you’ll end up developing a valuable resource of information. If you do fall short of your word count, you might consider if there are any key concepts that you’ve overlooked in the drafting stage.

5. Referencing Tools

You pretty much can’t write an article on essay writing tips without listing a reference generator… There are a number of great referencing tools online, although one very trusted resource is You can reference as you go, or keep a reference list while you research and then do it all at the end. If you’re using Google Chrome, they’ve also got a great extension that you can download for free that allows you to generate a cite for the website you’re currently browsing. If you can think of a better idea, we’d love to hear it!

Final Note

Hopefully you’ve found enough value in this article to implement these five strategies when approaching your next writing piece. For some other helpful information to get you through your studies, check out some of our other tips here: Productivity vs Procrastination, Tips to Increase Your Energy Levels, and our Top Ten Time Management Tips. Thanks for reading, and good luck!