Have you heard of the old expression, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”? I don’t know about you, but I view luck like I do hope — some far-off, distant thing, outside my control.

As a coach, I help people every day take their goals and aspirations to the next level, and to be honest, hope and luck have nothing on the determination in my clients’ faces when they have set their intentions and are ready to move fully into their goals and dreams.

Success is built on preparation and opportunity for sure, but there is one element missing from this formula. And without it, our odds of success are greatly reduced. And what is that secret sauce? I call it positive expectancy — the confidence that things are going to work out in our favor, and if they do not, we will be able to roll with the results.

Now, that is not to say that things don’t go wrong. No matter how positive a mindset I have, situations still fall apart and I end up failing ... a lot. We all do. Failure is a way of life for the most successful. As the saying goes, “The road to success is paved with failures.”

At a recent speaking event, a participant shared a story about how she has used positive expectancy in her favor. Her coach helped her create a system where she approaches her golf swing with confidence, and whether she nails the swing or not, she knows she is doing her best, and it generally makes her ability to accept a poor swing with less angst.

The game of golf could be a great metaphor in how we can approach challenges in any area of our lives, whether we are speaking of our health and wellness, relationships, or even business goals.

As long as we come prepared in life’s events with a clear vision of our desired outcome, the end result becomes way less dramatic, especially if you have learned how to adapt your strategy and keep on swinging through the highs and lows in this wild game called life!

So are you ready for a change-up? Are you ready to get fit, lose weight or improve your relationships? How about finding more fulfilling work? Are you itching for more and yet have been hesitant to say it out loud because you fear judgment or at some level feel that deep down you are not worthy? As a lifestyle and business coach, I have seen this time and time again: that feelings of unworthiness or lack of confidence are often at the root of people’s unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

This is the reason why I have created a system of success based on the acronym POP, which outlines winning strategies that you can apply to any area of your life.

I want to see you win. Let’s take steps together to achieve the life you deserve. Are you ready?

Here goes:

1. Preparation — what is it that you want? Really. Like “embarrassed to say it out loud” want? What I suggest to my clients is to write it down. Journal, and then share this goal with a mentor, a coach, a friend you can trust.

A big part of beginning a success journey is putting it out there in the universe and then taking small daily action to get there. And then being on watch for gifts on your path to start showing up. Be flexible on your path, but stay focused on what you desire as an outcome.

For example, you wanted to lose 5 pounds last month, and you ended up losing 3. Yet, you feel amazing and scored your first pushup. That is a win. Or you applied for a new job, and you were rejected, yet “out of the blue” you were offered a new position at your company that challenges and delights you. Another win.

At the front end, you may not know exactly what the gift will look like, but trust that setting your intention and putting it out there really does have some magic in it.

2. Opportunity — a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. In other words, opportunity is something that you create and not something to wait for. Success does not grow in a vacuum; you must actively live into it. What must you put into place now so that you can achieve all that you desire?

Creating the right opportunity means having the necessary items gathered and ready to roll. For example: You want to get fit so you can have a more enjoyable summer. Decide on an exercise plan that works best for you; hire a coach to keep you on task and/or a trainer to design your fitness plan; remove all the junk food in your house so that you are not tempted to binge; set your workout clothes out the night before so you are ready to go first thing. A new job? Redo the résumé that needs updating, reach out to people you haven’t talked to in a while in your chosen field, join a networking group. Be and do things that will put you in the right place, at the right time. And when opportunity does knock, will you be ready?

3. Positive expectancy — the belief that things are going to work out in your favor, and if they do not work out according to plan, you will be nimble in your ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity. Because the truth is it is not enough to be motivated by external factors (i.e., how you look, how other people perceive you).

We must focus on internal beliefs that help lay the groundwork to achieve what we truly want and desire. And by focusing on your outcome in a positive light, from the inside out, you are far less likely to be swayed by peer pressure, negative self-talk and repeating old patterns of behavior that no longer serve you.

Also, approaching situations in a positive light adds joy to our lives. Fun is motivating! Plus, we can’t fake fun; have you ever tried? It just doesn’t work.

Approaching life with positive expectancy doesn’t mean we think life is just all about unicorns and rainbows. I’m certainly no Pollyanna. However, I do believe my ability to shift my energy internally to a more positive state has allowed me to succeed at a much higher level and have way more fun doing it. If I can do it, so can you.

What does success look like to you? Are you ready to live it? As always, I am here cheering you on from the sidelines.

By applying these steps outlined above, I believe you can shift your life from ho-hum to outrageous. Start today to open your channels to a better life. The fog will lift, and I guarantee you will be pleased by what you see and experience. It probably won’t look like what you expect, but trust that you deserve and are ready for way more than what you have been settling for.

Have a wonderful, joy-filled summer!

Kate McKay, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, motivational speaker, author and business consultant, resides in Newburyport. Contact her at katesiena@comcast.com.