How To Stay Committed To Your Goals

Published on: June 25, 2012

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Life Will Test Your Resolve

“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.” – Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

The difficult task people often face is remaining steadfast in the pursuit of their goals.

Life is demanding to say the least. To manage ones finances, health, relationships, career and a host of other things makes it arduous at the best of times. It’s any wonder we often neglect those things that are important to us.

You might find your relationships fall apart when you least expected, your health deteriorates or your finances take a beating. At this point you’re perplexed how this all came to pass without seeing the writing on the wall.

Rest assured managing life requires vigilance, dedication and commitment. After all, you’re only human and from time to time things will slip past you. The following quote serves as a reminder of the importance of the bigger picture: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the end its only small stuff.”

The following points are intended to encourage you to stay committed to your goals. Life will often test your resolve to see how much you desire your goal. I’ve written about and produced video blogs about how giving up is easy. In fact, it’s become fashionable – as a rite of passage for some.

I hear the reasons people recount why they gave up. It typically follows this course of dialogue: “It wasn’t meant to be,” “It wasn’t fun anymore,” or “Life is all about having fun.” The point worth mentioning is, our minds have the ability to create any mental state we impose upon it.

Through belief, you create the circumstances to give up and validate it by looking for evidence to substantiate it. Think about this for a moment. How many stories or biographies about successful people have you read where the narrative involved smooth sailing or an easy path toward success? Very few I would imagine.

Success requires discipline, hard work, perseverance, tenacity, will, courage and faith. With that in mind, here are some points for persevering with your goals – no matter what life throws at you.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”—Peter Drucker

1.       Create Powerful Habits

In a video blog post titled Good Habits, I spoke about the importance of establishing sound habits for long term success and results.

Many of your current day to day tasks are habitual in nature. You may have started them months or even years ago. Some of them have remained with you since childhood. The key element is to create daily habits that will draw you closer to your goals.

If you’re aware of negative habits, replace them with better ones. To illustrate my point, when I sit down to write or research I often waste time surfing the internet before I start. I know I’m buying time from the real task at hand – writing an article.

In recent times, I stopped this habit by disabling my internet connection so I could focus on the task at hand. I continued this process for twelve straight days before the NEW habit became ingrained, thus disabling the old negative habit. I now work unaffected writing with the internet connection active, since I know I won’t aimlessly waste time surfing the web until I have completed my work. I have solidified the new habit by persisting with it.

Continue your new habit until it becomes second nature – until you have a firm grip on it. Phase out the old habit by replacing it with the NEW, empowering habit.

2.       Be Accountable To Someone

I’ve always been an advocate of being accountable to someone, irrespective of how disciplined I am. Some time ago I used a number of mentors to help me stay focussed. I gained valuable insight into my work as I had the luxury of having someone else critique me as well as make creative suggestions on areas for improvement.

Being accountable entails making declarations of your commitment to those close to you. You might verbally or in writing, declare your intention to achieve a certain goal by a specific date. We’re likely to stay focussed on the task at hand since we don’t want to disappoint others.

Being accountable allows an impartial observer to assess your work. It is advisable to work with people who have walked your path or who have similar experience. Alternatively, someone who is completely unrelated to your interest may also serve as a watchful eye as they can offer an unbiased perspective.

3.       Focus On Smaller Victories

Depending on the size of you goal, focus on smaller victories that draw you closer to the end result. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, you might allow a specified period in which to realise the goal.

It might be a ten month project or more in which you undertake smaller goals along the way. Completing your first 10km run and gradually building up to compete in a longer distance event is a logical progression.

Focussing on smaller victories along the way gives you the self confidence to forge ahead. It is self empowering and a testament that you’re on the right path. You might stumble upon setbacks along the way during the pursuit of smaller goals.

These are valuable lessons since they allow you to iron-out the creases before pursuing the larger goal. The opportunity to get it right in the build-up phase is advantageous than getting it wrong when it matters.

4.       Develop An Insatiable Hunger

Undoubtedly this remains the most challenging aspect of successful goal attainment. Why do some people pursue their goal vehemently while others give up when the going gets tough?

This has been my interest for the last few years – studying human psychology and behaviour relating to success. I’ve observed that there’s an insatiable hunger to succeed that is common to both.

Successful people are unrelenting towards the pursuit of their goal. Sure they experience setbacks and failures like everyone else. What sets them apart is the ability to get back on track and learn from their mistakes. It is the ability to do this time and time again until they gain the prize that sets them apart.

You see, successful people believe in themselves. They’ve developed an inner resolve – an inner dialogue that feeds them with successful images, thoughts and beliefs. Their inner dialogues has the power to cancel any external misgivings that arise in the pursuit of their goals.

I invite you to find your inner conviction. Discover the reason for pursuing your goal.

Why do you want it?

Who will you become once you’ve attained it?

What will life look like when you reach your goal?

Model the people who’ve attained a similar goal and pursue it with passion. Successful people are adaptable. They know what they want. They’re open and receptive to allowing life to show them the HOW’S.

When you develop an undying commitment to achieve a goal, roadblocks and failures are merely speed humps instead of stop signs.

I’ve often said, your goals must feed and ignites your soul with purpose and meaning. You embody the goals in every cell of your being and are inspired to attain them. You cannot rely on motivation to succeed because it wanes and requires someone to light a flame beneath you to keep you on track.

Inspiration on the other hand, transcends motivation because it is closely aligned with your intrinsic values and purpose.

So find your inspiration to achieve all your goals and pursue them with a steadfast commitment that you will prevail no matter the setbacks or obstacles that show up.

ONE DAY OR

DAY ONE?

YOU DECIDE!

Do you want to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of your success and happiness? If you are truly committed to improving your life, I currently have places available in my Online Coaching Program.  Simply click on the button below to book a complementary 20 min Discovery Session via Skype. You will be redirected to my online booking system.

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6 Responses to How To Stay Committed To Your Goals

  1. cinda aery says:

    Tony,
    I just came across your site when I decided to research commitment. I have tried for the past 5 years to change my eating to become healthy. I’ve ready so many books and started over every day since only to not be successful, not even one day!

    MY question has been How can someone who has the Knowledge and the Desire and not be able to do the right thing? I decided it was the lack of commitment that is the reason. So I want to learn how to become committed!

    I read your comments and I think it may be helpful for me. Thanks
    Cinda

    • Hi Cinda,

      Thanks for your comment and questions.

      A number of points worth considering. Firstly be compassionate with yourself by noticing your inner dialogue when things don’t go according to plan. Remember your subconscious mind is always listening. Mark Sisson wrote and article about this in his blog today, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-stories-we-tell-ourselves/#axzz2pwAKSZGs

      Secondly the journey to health is a process and not an event. You’ll make heaps of mistakes – factor those in. Successful people know they will fail 8 times out of 10, so are prepared for it. Ironically, those last two attempts is where success is found.

      It took me 5 years to give up eating grains despite trying everything. Thirdly understand and befriend your emotions as you make changes. Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to help you with this. Also, keep a log of what works and doesn’t work. You are probably closer than you think but the inner self talk is sabotaging you.

      Finally and this is the BEST part, discover your WHY? Why are you doing this? Who will you become? What will life be like once you have achieved your goal? Connect your conscious intentions with your emotions. Clients I’ve worked with have been brought tears during such sessions since it brings back childhood memories. Your WHY? will be the single biggest reason why you want to change and will override any self-sabotaging efforts.

      Daily self-development is paramount and nothing is ever a waste. Your subconscious mind, nervous system and cells listen in to every conversation you have with yourself. Read my “recommended book reading” list blog post which I will upload today and consider buying the book “Succeed” by Heidi Grant Halvorson.

      Best of luck – you will get there!

      Tony

  2. Steven Phillips says:

    Interesting article on staying committed to achieving my goals. I was particularly interested in your perspective of inner conviction & hope to gain more insight into how to do this.

    Steve.

    • Hi Steven, thanks for your comment. Inner conviction is also defined as willpower and the ability to remain poised and certain despite external conditions. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I address these aspects in greater detail. Best wishes!

  3. Emma-Lee says:

    Hi Tony, really hard to be disciplined, stay focussed on your goal and change your negative habits. Maybe I’ll just try one at a time 🙂

    • Absolutely Emma-Lee. Tackle one item at a time until you feel confident in yourself that you’ve mastered it. You’ll know when its time to move to the next one. Great work!

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