If you are like many people, we start goals or new year resolutions with the idea of improving in some area of our lives. However, after a few days, weeks or months, we stopped without accomplishing what we had planned. So, you may ask yourself, can I be more persistent in following through on my goals?
In today’s article, we will discuss Persistence and review five guidelines for becoming more persistent. These guidelines include the following:
- Change how you think
- Define what you want to achieve
- Set attainable goals
- Maintain a journal to track activity
- Stay the course
What is Persistence?
Vocabulary.com defines Persistence as “the ability to stick to something.”
Persistence is the thing we struggle with and sometimes would instead not do. It can be studying to pass an exam, exercising to lose weight, or eating healthier. We all may have different things we are trying to accomplish but have difficulty sticking to it.
Let’s look at what you can start doing to change and become more persistent.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
1. Change how you think
A large part of change involves our mentality. We can say verbally that we want to change something about ourselves, but until we take action and accept it in our minds, it usually does not happen.
Changing your mindset about doing something involves creating an image of what you want the result to be for your goal or challenge. Focusing on the desired outcome of these results motivates us to work towards seeing it through.
A great example of this is seen in sports. We see teams practice to become more skilled and proficient at competing against other teams. However, the motivation behind the practice and preparation to play other teams is to win the ultimate championship for that particular sport.
Shifting their mindset to think about winning a championship motivates them to practice hard, play at their best, and not give up. Likewise, we can use this same mindset in our lives to focus on the result of reaching the goal to inspire us not to quit.
2. Define what you want to achieve
Writing down your goals and defining what you want to achieve clarifies the reason for seeking change.
Sometimes, we do not realize our true potential because we are unclear about what we want. Defining what you want involves developing yourself to grow and reach beyond your comfort zone. This is a chance to ask yourself, what am I pursuing and why?
Do you have a dream to do something and are afraid? Does the fear of failure or procrastination keep you from getting started? Whatever causes you to hesitate to change, turn it into a vision of the person you desire to become, the dream you are pursuing.
Defining what you want to achieve will cause you to dig deeper to discover your talents and create opportunities you may have never known.
3. Set attainable goals
An old cliche asks, how do you eat an elephant? The answer is to eat it one bite at a time.
The easiest way to give up on a dream or a goal is to try to accomplish everything quickly. Instead of trying to do too much too soon, set your ultimate destination for yourself and then break these down into smaller goals.
Next, set a timeframe to work with and use this as a measurement of your progress. If you cannot maintain your selected pace, you can make adjustments to align your pace with what you can handle.
It is important not to set goals too high that they become unreachable. Instead, focus on making incremental goals that help you develop over time and ultimately achieve more incredible things.
4. Maintain a journal to track activity
I have discovered that using a journal to document what I do daily helps me hold myself accountable for reaching specific goals. For example, some plans involve exercise, reading, and projects around the house.
Tracking my progress through a journal has helped me identify when I am falling short of a goal and highlight time wasted on things like TV or other activities.
Each day and week, I review opportunities for improvement and can decide how much time to allocate to performing necessary actions to achieve what is part of my goals. This is very helpful because it provides a quick and easy way to remain focused.
5. Stay the course
Napoleon Hill tells a story that has inspired me to remain persistent in his book, Think & Grow Rich. Hill tells about the uncle of R.U. Darby, who had invested money that he had borrowed from family and friends into a gold mining exploration in Colorado.
Darby and his uncle were trying to secure enough gold to pay back their debts and make a fortune from the profits. So they purchased a machine to help with the digging. Initially, they were successful and found some gold, but not enough to pay back all their debts.
As they continued digging, they reached a point where no more gold was found. So they gave up and sold the machinery to a junk dealer for three hundred dollars. The junk dealer hired a mining engineer to study the ground more closely. The engineer’s calculations found that there was still gold about three feet beneath the surface where Darby and his uncle had stopped.
If Darby and his uncle had kept digging three more feet, they could have made a fortune in gold.
This is the story of many people who stopped just a few feet from their goal before reaching success. The lesson from this experience is not to give up too quickly. Success does not happen overnight. Whenever you get discouraged, pause and re-evaluate your goals or situation before proceeding but don’t quit.
Stay the course and stick to it until you have accomplished what you have set out to do.
The story of our lives revolves around accomplishments and disappointments. When asking the question, can I be more persistent? Each individual determines the answer.
We have reviewed guidelines such as changing your thoughts, defining what you want to achieve, setting attainable goals, maintaining a journal to track progress, and staying the course.
Our society has become faster-paced to the point that we want immediate results. However, success in a new activity, venture, or goal takes time. The challenge for each of us is to apply these guidelines to our life and continue following through daily to achieve our goals.
Are you ready for the challenge? Please feel free to share your comments or suggestions on how you were able to be persistent in your life journey. Thank you for your time.