To achieve your goals, you must take action – and REMAIN in action, moving persistently in the direction of the results you want to create.
But sometimes you run into roadblocks that seem too big to overcome, setbacks that knock you down so hard you begin to wonder if you’ve been wasting your time chasing an impossible dream.
How do you persist in the face of such seemingly insurmountable obstacles?
Here are my top 7 tips:
1. Know that adversity is inevitable
No matter how well you plan and how well you execute your plan, you are bound to meet with disappointment, setbacks, and failure along the way to your ultimate triumph. Sometimes, you will encounter what seem like overwhelming odds. At other times, the Universe will test your commitment to the goal you’re pursuing. It’s inevitable – and it’s a good thing.
Why? Because adversity is an excellent teacher. It gives you the opportunity to develop your inner resources of character and courage, requiring you to learn new lessons, develop new parts of yourself, and make difficult decisions.
So instead of worrying about setbacks or letting them put the brakes on your momentum, know that they are bound to happen sooner or later – and when they arrive, welcome them as the learning opportunities they are.
2. Talk to people who have walked the path before you
Every challenge you encounter on your journey has already been experienced – and overcome – by countless others before you. Do your research and find out who these people are. Talk to them one-on-one if you can and ask them what they did to overcome that problem. Read their articles, watch their videos, buy their books – whatever it takes to find the answer to your problem.
The clues to success are out there in plain sight – if you look, you will find them. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)
3. Chunk it down into achievable short-term goals
When you’re faced with a big challenge, the best way to deal with it is to chunk it down into simple, achievable steps. This is true for any goal you want to achieve, really – by breaking it down into a series of smaller tasks, and accomplishing them one at a time. Be sure to set measurable goals with specific deadlines and then determine all of the individual action steps you will need to take to accomplish your goal.
Maybe your first step will be to google, “How do I [solve this problem]?” Maybe it will be to do some research, find someone who has solved the problem before, and set up a meeting with them. Or maybe it will be to download a tutorial, or watch a YouTube video. As long as the action is carrying you further along the path toward your ultimate goal, it’s a step in the right direction.
4. Come up with 3 possible solutions for every problem
When you run into an obstacle or roadblock, a great way to resolve it faster and with less hassle is to brainstorm three possible solutions to it. There’s always more than one way to solve any problem, and in order to find the one that will work best for you, it’s smart to give yourself some options.
That way, if the first solution doesn’t work you don’t have to go back to the drawing board or waste time getting discouraged all over again because you already have two more solutions lined up ready to go.
5. Set ambitious goals that help you stay focused on the big picture
When you’re scaling a mountain, it’s the breathtaking views from the peak—and the triumph you know you’ll feel once you’ve reached the summit – that keep you climbing toward the top. Don’t get stuck thinking only about your next few steps. Remember the ultimate reason why you’re doing this.
What kind of life are you striving to create for yourself? How will you feel once you are living that life? This is the fuel that will keep your motivation burning bright even when it feels like your luck has run cold.
6. Be willing to pay the price
Achieving your biggest goals and dreams will require some level of sacrifice. It might mean putting other things in your life on hold while you devote your evenings and weekends toward your dreams. Or it might mean investing some of your savings or giving up a few hours of sleep each night for months on end. Are you willing to make that effort?
Many people proclaim to want to achieve their goals, yet are unwilling to pay the price it takes to make their dreams a reality. No one knows this better than Olympic athletes. According to John Troup, writing in USA Today, “The average Olympian trains four hours a day at least 310 days a year for six years before succeeding. Getting better begins with working out every day. By 7:00 AM most athletes have done more than many people do all day.”
Although becoming an Olympic athlete is probably not in your future, you can become world class in whatever you do by putting in the time and disciplined effort required to excel.
But before you choose to pay the price, you must know what the price is. If you don’t know what will truly be required to make your dreams a reality, investigate what it will take to achieve your desired goals. Research the costs other people have had to pay to achieve dreams similar to yours. You may even want to interview these individuals to discover the sacrifices they had to make along the way.
You may find that some costs are more than you want to pay. Only you can decide what is right for you and what price you are willing to pay.
7. Never, ever, ever give up
If the price is something you are willing to pay, commit yourself to achieving your dream – no matter what it takes. The willingness to do whatever is required is the magic ingredient that helps you persevere in the face of challenges, setbacks, pain and even personal injury.
Consider these examples:
- Admiral Robert Peary attempted to reach the North Pole seven times before he made it on try number eight.
- In its first twenty-eight attempts to send rockets into space, NASA had twenty failures.
- Oscar Hammerstein had five flop shows that lasted less than a combined total of six weeks before Oklahoma!, which ran for 269 weeks and grossed $7 million.
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from an early television reporting job as “she was not deemed suitable for television.”
- Tawni O’Dell’s career as a writer is a testament to her perseverance. After thirteen years, she had written six unpublished novels and collected 300 rejection slips. Finally, her first novel, Back Roads, was published after being chosen by Oprah Winfrey for the Oprah Book Club, and the newly anointed novel rose to number two on the New York Times bestsellers list, where it remained for 8 weeks.
Can you imagine if any of these people had given up along the way?
The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favor. No matter how hard it seems, the longer you persist, the more likely your success will be.
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
Image courtesy of Mars Williams.