Category: Goal Setting

Today, I wanted to share my views on the power of persistence and how it impacts our personal success. A favorite quote of mine that really puts this power into perspective for me, is from American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He said, “The heights by great men reached and kept – Were not attained by sudden flight, – But they, while their companions slept, – Were toiling upward in the night.”

Isn’t this true? Success is for sure not an over-night experience. At least some toiling or hard work is certainly required. Look, can we succeed by trying once or twice, not getting the exact result we wanted and giving up? It’s obvious that to be successful at anything worthwhile, we need to keep working at it. However, many of us decide it’s to painful to continue putting in the necessary work. We simply fail to keep following through instead of going back to the drawing board, adjusting and trying again until we succeed. Why does this happen? Well, I certainly have some experience in this area. My list of excuses is likely too long to list so, I’ll keep the list brief:

  • There is just not ever enough time
  • I have to do this, or that
  • I am too tired right now, I will do it later

If you have ever used this type of self-talk, how did it make you feel? I know how it makes me feel – exhausted. I also know it’s almost impossible to achieve anything of importance when I’m in this exhausted physical and mental state. How can being persistent help? Also, how can we become “persistent”?

Persistence, to me, is a core personal ability we all have used at some point in our lives. We have likely used it when our backs had been against the wall and we needed to produce a result now, or else. We needed to be persistent to overcome the obstacles that stood in our way of some end goal. Once we committed to being persistent in that situation, we kept on going and did not give up until we completed what needed to be done.

Practice Persistence

How can we become better at persisting? Well, what is the goal you are trying to achieve? Why are you trying to achieve it? Who will benefit when you achieve that goal? How positively will it impact their lives and yours? Are you 100% committed to doing what it takes to achieve that goal? Do you know that oftentimes, people are so close to achieving a goal, but give up moments before they may have had a breakthrough that would have propelled them to succeed? Inventor Thomas Edison is a great example of someone who practiced the power of persistence. He worked relentlessly to create his inventions and succeeded greatly, but only after many failures. How successful would he have been if he did not persist? Quoting Edison himself, he said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” What a great truth that is. If we keep working and adjusting and get a little farther each time, we will get closer and closer to achieving our ultimate goal. However, if we don’t persist and make those last few efforts, we just won’t get there. read more

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Welcome back! Hope you’re doing well and making steady progress on your journey of self improvement. If you’re having trouble getting started in the right direction, you may feel stuck and discouraged. Firstly, we all do at times and an effective way out of that stagnation, is to have an effective goal setting strategy. We need to set goals, but more specifically, the right goals. Without setting these targeted short, mid-range and long term goals, we’re lowering the chances that we will ever achieve them. I think there’s a Yogi-ism that illustrates this point. “You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” Simple, yet very true…

Key Goal Setting Principle #1: Choosing the Right Goals

Diving right in, there are many types of goals we can aim to achieve, but which are the right ones? Depending on our current circumstances, we may feel that some goals are more important than others, however, a certain balance in setting goals is needed so we don’t neglect other significant areas of our lives. I have focused on setting goals in the following seven specific areas to achieve this balance.

  1. Health & Fitness
  2. Relationships (Spiritual, Family & Friends)
  3. Self Improvement
  4. Personal Organization
  5. Career
  6. Personal Finances
  7. Leisurely Activity

However, how do we know that we are setting the right goals to begin with in these areas? How do we know that it’s the right time to go for that goal or if we can achieve it at all? Firstly, when choosing our goals, it helps to think about or analyze the goal. Why have I chosen to make this a goal? Is it realistic? Who is the goal going to benefit? What needs to happen in order for the goal to be achieved? How will the pursuit and achievement of this goal change my life for both better and not so good? Is the achievement of this goal an absolute must? Is there anything I must do before I begin to pursue this goal? What are the smaller goals that can help me achieve this bigger goal?

These are just a few questions that can help you gain some clarity and help you decide if a goal is the right one to put your best efforts into. Also, goals should be aligned with our life’s purpose and congruent with our values and beliefs. Also, my previous post, What Do You Want in Life? 10 Steps to Help You Decide can also help you get clear on setting the right goals for you.

Key Goal Setting Principle #2: Setting a Due Date

When you decide on your goal, it’s time to set a due date for it. If no date is set, it’s simply NOT a goal. Goals must always have due dates. If it’s important enough to be a goal, it’s very important that you know when the goal needs to be achieved by. For example, if Mary has a long term goal to save up $50,000 by January 1, 2020 and Johnny over there wants to save up $50,000 by, I don’t know, maybe in a few years from now would be nice- who has the better chance of getting the $50,000? (it’s Mary) Also, in the end, is it hitting the due date that’s ultimately important or the achievement of the goal? Right it’s the goal. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit the target by the date. The date is a guide and helps you keep track. Thus, having smaller goals in between with their own due dates is how we keep ourselves moving toward the bigger goal in the horizon. As you will see when you get consistent at setting goals, the smaller goals are the ones that get us to finally realize the bigger goals. Once again, due dates are a must! read more

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