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The Power of Persistence:
4 Steps to Reach Any Goal

By Valerie Greene

If you had the power to see your future, and you discovered that you would be victorious over all your challenges and living the life you always dreamed, would you give up after encountering your first setback? Of course not! You would persevere through any adversity, knowing the wonderful outcome you would experience. Unfortunately, no one really knows what the future holds. And when we’re in the midst of a challenge, getting through it sometimes seems impossible. So while few people start a task or endeavor expecting to give up, we often do simply because we lose sight of what’s possible—of the final victory.

Everyone’s life is like a large, round key ring, holding all the keys to unlock the doors you want to open. You have many keys on your key ring, but only one will unlock the door you seek. When you become discouraged of trying key after key and not making any progress, just realize that the next key could be the one that unlocks the door.

Persistence means refusing to give up. Just when you’re ready to give up, the next phone call, the next person you meet, or the next step you take can be the one that leads to success. Remember that everything changes every moment. So while we all get discouraged from time to time, tell yourself that giving up is simply not an option. You must always try one more time.

No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s recuperating from a major illness, finding a new job, or looking for a new romantic partner, having persistence can make all the difference. Following are some tips to help you stay focused:

1. Set a goal and have a plan: You won’t get very far if you don’t know where you’re going. That’s why you need to identify the ultimate end point you want to achieve. See the big picture in your mind, and then write down that grand goal. If you’re a visual person, find pictures in magazines that represent the goal you want to achieve, cut them out, and paste them on a wall so you’ll see them every day.

Once you know what you want, you can determine the specific steps you need to take to make that goal a reality. Be specific. For example, suppose your goal is to get a new sales job. What specific steps do you need to take to get that new job? Depending on your situation, you may need to update your resume, buy a new suit, join some networking groups, etc. So now rather than say, “I need to get a new job,” which lacks clear direction, you can say, “Today I need to update my resume; tomorrow I need to buy a suit.” Now you have specific action steps that will get you to your goal. The more action steps you take, the more progress you feel that you’re making, and the more likely you are to persevere to the final outcome.

Whatever goal you make, be sure it’s realistic yet a bit lofty. Why? Because if you make a lofty goal and come shy of it, you’re still further ahead than if you had made a smaller goal. Remember that few goals are attained overnight, so be patient and take small steps.

2.  Recognize your accomplishments: In order to keep your motivation high and your perseverance going strong, honor the small milestones you accomplish on your way towards your goal. Celebrate key accomplishments by treating yourself to something special, such as a nice dinner, a trip to the movies, or whatever helps you realize that your accomplishment, no matter how small, is important.

Another option is to track all your small accomplishments on a progress board, much like how fundraising companies track how much money they’ve brought in throughout the year. Display the board in a place where you’ll see it often. That way when you feel your perseverance waning, you can quickly remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and that success is just around the corner.

3. Set up a support network: You likely have friends and family who constantly cheer you on and encourage you to reach your goals. Identify these people in your life and make them a part of your support network. Share with them everything you want to accomplish, and ask them to hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

Why is a support network so important to help you persevere? Because most people give up too soon. We have so many things going against us, such as tough competition in business and negative messages about life in general coming at us from many different fronts. All that negativity works against us and causes us to give up too soon. That’s why everyone needs support systems. Even if you’re only able to advance a little bit, share that with your support network so they can congratulate you and help you stay true to what you ultimately want to accomplish.

4.  Make a commitment to yourself: Decide once and for all that you will see this through to the end and that you will reach your goal. Commitment comes from within. So commit with all your heart and muster all your willpower to persevere, no matter what. Remember, if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to achieve it. Decide that you will make it and claim your victory!

Press On…And On…And On:  We all have challenges to overcome. While some people have what seem like bigger mountains to climb, all our efforts are equally rewarding once we reach our goal. The human spirit is powerful beyond comprehension. So decide to start taking steps towards your goal, and soon you’ll be looking back at them and admiring all you’ve accomplished. Whenever you feel like giving up, just remember that it’s always darkest before dawn. Believe in yourself, and never give up! 

Read other articles and learn more about Valerie Greene.

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