10 steps to turbocharge your research success

You may have heard that getting a PhD is really hard. It takes a lot of time and effort to succeed. This is true, no doubt about it. However, there are certain things you can do to succeed quickly.

Here are 10 simple steps you can take to accelerate your success.

1. You need to be clear about your goals. Is it to get a PhD and get 3 papers published? If you have enrolled then you have a made a choice to do a PhD. Your overall goal has already been set. Clearly state your goal by writing down in a very specific positive and empowering way. Keep the statement simple. In this case simple is powerful. State the goal as if it has already being achieved.  State it in the present tense. Don’t say “I will have a PhD is 3 years time and hope to get some papers published”.This is a weak goal. State it positively and in present tense. Instead say, “I am a PhD holder with 3 research papers published in high impact peer reviewed journals”

2.Develop a plan and timetable to achieve your goal. What actions will you have to take to achieve your goal. This is simple. You can do this with your supervisor. If you follow a good plan you will get a PhD. The success formula is simple and tested but it’s not easy. Produce a Gantt chart with steps and time lines.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder

3. Put your plan on a single sheet of paper. Put it up on your wall so that you can see it. Have a picture of yourself in your graduation gown on the wall as well. You can do this using your computer and bit of creativity. How do you feel having a PhD? How does it feel to publish three very good papers in good journals. If your goal is complex then break it down to tiny sub goals. Put these on a sheet of paper

4. Decide on what kind of a person you need to become in order to easily achieved your goals. What personal qualities will you need? Is it persistence? Is it confidence? Is it knowledge? Do you have to be hard working? Write down three personal qualities you must have in order to achieve your goals.

“Clear thoughts produce clear results” – Ramez

5. Right down clear statements or positive affirmations. It may say, “I am a hard working, confident and highly successful researcher” Look at these statements three times a day. Say them out loud as if you have already achieved those goals.  Visualise yourself having these qualities already. Imagine carrying out these actions with the new qualities you want.

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else  – Albert Einstein
6. When you are doing the action steps focus on the now.  Do not multitask, do one thing at a time.  Develop a sense of urgency in doing the tasks.
7. Do the most difficult task first so that you will develop momentum. You will get into the flow. This will raise your self-esteem and confidence
8. Cut out all distractions.  Switch the phone off.  Don’t let anything interrupt you. Complete the tasks you have set yourself
9. Be very positive. Keep your enthusiasm high. Be passionate and have fun. Really enjoy yourself. Increase the intensity of your emotions.

“Positive thinking is expecting, talking and visualizing with certainty what you want to achieve, as an accomplished fact” – Ramez

10. When you achieve what you want then celebrate. Go to movies or go for a meal. Do anything you want that is fun and enjoyable.

When you feel great about achieving your goals you will condition your mind for success. You will want to do more and more of the same thing. You will crave success. You will achieve great things.

How to eliminate negative beliefs?

Negative beliefs act as breaks do on a car. They slow you down or stop you getting to your destination. You need to get rid of them. There are several steps you can take to overcome negative beliefs and patterns. Once you have done that then you must replace these with positive empowering beliefs and habits.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

 How do you do this? You can use a technique from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).  It is a simple technique. You can apply it straightaway.

Here are the steps to this technique. It’s called a swish pattern.

i)  Think of a limiting belief you have. For example, you may feel that you don’t have the skills and patience to be successful.  Behind this is a global belief. It is common, “I am not good enough”.  This belief will hold you back. It is like a large mountain you have to climb. We need to eliminate it to accelerate your success.

ii)  Now think of a powerful belief that you have.  For example, something that will get rid of your problem. Some quality that will make it easy for your and drive you towards success. State this belief in a single sentence. It may be, “I have all the skills and resources that I need to be an excellent researcher” or “I am intelligent, hard-working, resourceful and brilliant” or “I have a wide range of talents, abilities and a brilliant personality that will guarantee my success” or  “I am a successful, confident and intelligent person”.

iii)  Study the study the submodalities of negative the belief and the new empowering belief. Examine the differences.


Look at them in terms of pictures what you will see. Examine the images, sizes, shapes, colours, brightness, location, 3-D, associated or dissociated, close or distant.


Look at sounds you will hear.

Examine the volume, pitch, tempo, tonality, loudness, direction of voice and harmony.


Examine the feel, location in the body, temperature, rate, pressure, intensity, weight, movement and direction.


Examine the smells.  Are they sweet, sour, bitter, aroma, fragrance, pungent.

Write down the difference between the old belief and the new one you want to install.

iv)  Imagine the limiting beliefs that you want to get rid off.  Put it in a slingshot and fire them into the skies. See the old belief in the sky. Now fire the new beliefs into the submodalities of the old belief and destroying it. See the new belief replacing the old one. Hear a big bank as the old belief gets replaced be a new one. Repeat this a dozen times.  Do this really fast. As fast as you can. Now when you think of the old belief you feeling will have changed. They won’t be so powerful. The new one will be vivid and powerful. You will feel driven towards success.

As you have done this many times your feelings of uncertainty will decrease. At the same time your feelings of certainty will increase. Whenever the old beliefs come back, to the swish pattern again and repeat several times of the old beliefs. And then replaced them with the new empowering beliefs. These beliefs will support you and help you to achieve all your goals.

Follow the steps and I’ll see you on stage with your PhD feeling proud.


One response

  1. Reblogged this on Computational Physics Group and commented:
    Another great post from Prof Waqar Ahmed

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