Study Abroad Corner

How to achieve your goals and dreams? The Steps to Success board method


Setting goal is important, but it’s only the first step to achieve your dream.

A Dream with deadline is a Goal.
A Goal with steps is a Plan.
A Plan with actions is when Dream comes True.

There are various ways to plan and work on your goal. People ask me which way is best, my answer is simple: Choose the one that is inspiring and fun for you to do. As long as it makes you work, it is the best for you.

In this article, let me show you one simple effective tool to help you enjoy your journey to your achievement: How to achieve your goals and dreams using the ‘Step to Success’ board. I’ve been using this for months and I’m seriously in love with it <3!




If you know me personally, you would know that I love to plan, and explore different effective ways to achieve my goals. I guess you have seen people who are unstoppably motivated, they just aim for a target and then die-die go for it. I admire those – they are just completely different from me LOL – I’m the lazy and procrastinating type. I’m also easy to get distracted and my attention time span is short. That’s why I always try to find the most effective way to do things, or else I’ll give up before I can complete it.

Believe me when I say I have tried tons of things from tons of books and advices: Day-runner, GTD (Get Things Done), 4 quadrants, Priority list, Pomodoro, 80/20, Weekly planner, etc. Some really work well and some are not suitable for me. However, I’m still looking for a better method – something that is vibrant, flexible, meticulous yet holistic and easy to maintain. It takes a long time, but I guess you would eventually find what you keep looking for. I came to this Success Board, twisted it a bit, and fell in love with it completely. It’s fun, and it works! What else can you wish for?


You would agree with me that no matter what method you decide to use, there are 4 essential principles to make sure you reach your goals:

  1. Remind yourself of your goals. Every single day.
  2. Be super duper clear on your immediate next step.
  3. Know what’s important to do first.
  4. Have fun!

Steps To Success Board follow exactly those important principles. I put my STS board besides my table, and it is the first thing I check to start my day. I like how you can see all tasks at one glance, and with just a pin, you can rearrange the tasks according to your circumstances. The best thing I like is the incomparable sense of achievement when you move one task from Doing to Done section. You have to try it to truly feel it. It is so satisfying that it makes me overcome my procrastination. Somehow you feel like you are playing a game, and you keep doing your best to move all the tasks to Done section! That’s how you achieve your goal effortlessly.

In the beginning I used this board alone, but these days I find that it even goes along well with other systems – like the weekly planner that I’m using now. You can use STS board for your daily planning, weekly planning and even goal setting.

The only setback I’ve seen is this method lacks of mobility. I often fly to other countries, and when that happens, I have to make a ‘mobile version’ in my A4 notebook to bring all the post-its around. If you station in one place most of the time, this would not be a major issue.

In short, if you look for a fun, effective and vibrant method to achieve your goals, I would highly recommend you give STS board a try :)!

Ok… now let’s learn how to make your awesome Steps To Success Board!


  1. 1 pin-able board (or magnetic board if you like)
  2. Sticky notes (best to have 6 different colors) or color papers
  3. Pens of your choice
  4. Push pins (or magnetic pins – depending on your board)
  5. Adhesive tapes



Step 1: Make the board

Use tapes and color papers/ sticky notes to design the board like below. Let your creativity flyyyyy~~

Steps to Success Board

Step 2: Write down your top projects

Now we need the sticky note stacks. You can use as many as you want, but the best number in my experience is 6:

  • 3 for your top 3 projects (if you are committed to more than 3 projects at the same time, you may be pushing yourself a little too much!)
  • 1 for other projects
  • 1 for personal commitment
  • 1 for ideas and everything else (I’m using the bigger note for this one)

When you have them prepared, just turn to the back and write your goals there:


Step 3: Write your action steps for each project

Now for each project, just write down all the tasks you can think of to reach your goal. Each task should be written on 1 sticky note of the respective color. If your task has several steps, write all steps under the task with check-boxes.


Don’t mind the order, just throw everything in your mind out. This is what we call BRAINSTORMING.

Step 4: Prioritizing

OK, this is a fun part! What you need to do is put all tasks on a table and assess them again. You have 5 categories:

  1. DOING: The immediate next tasks that you need to do NOW in order to move closer to your goals
  2. HOT: Important tasks or upcoming deadlines
  3. WARM: Important tasks or tasks that are waiting to be processed
  4. COLD: Other tasks or your delegation
  5. OTHERS/ IDEAS: Other tasks that are not important or urgent – you can do at your free time (e.g: book movie tickets, return book to library, etc.)

After categorizing all tasks, just pin them up to the board.

Step 5: ACTION!

Hang your board up at the place that you reach every day, for example your working/ studying table. Always focus on your “DOING” tasks, finish them at fast as you can. When you complete the task, move it to the DONE section and enjoy the thrill of achievement!

Step 6: Keep moving forward

Some tips to integrate this tool into your life:

  • Assess and add/delete/change your tasks on weekly basis.
  • Place the sticky note stacks on your table or bring them along with you, so that whenever a task pops up, you can note it down right away.
  • Bring the big sticky notes with you and write down all thoughts and ideas you have daily. This will boost your creativity tremendously. It’s also convenient in meeting/ group discussion to remember your responsibilities.
  • Glance a your goals (written on the back of the note stacks) frequently, it helps reminding of what you need to do to reach these goals faster
  • Decorate your board to make it personal and inspiring to you (I use quotes and colors!)
  • And finally, enjoy the journey!

And that’s how easy it is to create your ‘Steps to Success’ board to plan and take actions towards your dreams.

Have an awesome day!

What do you think about the Steps to Success board? Any other ways to achieve your goals and dreams that you recommend? COMMENT BELOW!

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Tu Hoang

About Tu Hoang

Helloooo, I'm Zoe Hoang and I'm the Founder of Good Becomes Great! where I share my favourite lessons and tips on how to live happier, smarter and more fulfilled. Get your free 5-part series on How to Find Your Passion by signing up for my free newsletter.

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