How to Stick to Your Goals: Determination

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When we choose to try achieve a goal for ourselves we usually have the small concept of an idea for what we want to achieve. A large problem with this is people stick to the vague idea they’ve thought of. Sticking to the vague idea leads to lack of action, it causes the vague idea to be ignored as nothing but an idea.

Disclaimer: Names and persons in this post are entirely fictional. They bear no resemblance to anyone living or dead.

1. the quality of being determined; firmness of purpose.

2. the process of establishing something exactly by calculation or research.

Definition: determination

Everyone should have their own personal list of goals they’d like to achieve. You might ask someone to assist you with achieving your goals, when you ask the right person for help they will do their best to help you.

Start with being SMART

SMART

The idea is simple, you can be SMART with your actions:

  • Specific: choose a specific goal you want to achieve
  • Measurable: make sure your goal has a measurement you can use
  • Attainable: make sure your goal is something you can achieve
  • Relevant: make sure your goal is relevant to what you want as a person
  • Time-bound: allocate the time you need, and when you want to achieve it by

The post image above was part of my SMART plan for how I managed to write the first draft of Accidental Distances. Now, I should probably use SMART again to publish.

If you take the time to plan a little, pay attention to what you want to, and can, achieve, you will finish the first step. If you don’t take any steps you will never reach the goal you want, as harsh as it may sound. Make the effort and the results will astound you.

Specific

Start by thinking of what you want to achieve. Get yourself a piece of paper and write down a sentence that best describes the goal you’d like to achieve.

Short, and sweet.

Be as descriptive in the short space as you’d like.

e.g. I would like to fix my diet to get the most food I love to be good for me to eat.

That’s it. There are tons of things in this example we can use to achieve the goal. Being descriptive will help you understand more of what you need to do already.

  • Fix diet: what I eat isn’t the best for me
  • Food I love: stick to whatever you prefer to eat
  • Good for me to eat: I’ll make sure I get the food I need

Your descriptive way of expressing your task can help you see more you can do to achieve it. Don’t let it intimidate you, there are always more ways to achieve your task.

Measureable

With your sentence or two you then take a moment to work out how it can be measured.

e.g. Joe Soap is focused on weight loss, so he can measure his body weight at the start. The goal can be to go from something as sime as 110kg down to 90kg. The goal will succeed when that is achieved.

Write down your goal, to have a definitive end result for the goal will help you. It gives you the plan for your future with said goal. It is always lovely to motivate yourself with the lovely end product you want out of the goal.

While the focus is to keep it Measurable, it also helps you with Motivation. The great result from your goal can be seen as what you want to achieve. Work out how your goal can motivate you to stick to the plan.

Attainable

That being said, it doesn’t help of your goal isn’t achievable. Make sure you consider how achievable your goal is. It doesn’t have to be later today, or tomorrow, or fast at all. Consider life as a whole, and see what can help you obtain your goal.

e.g. Joe Soap realises that to fix the problem a drastic change is needed. Instead of only eating meat, his prefered food, he needs to adjust his diet to bring better food groups in.

While it might seem intimidating, take a while to look up what you can do to achieve your goal. You can always research your needs to avhieve it.

It might look like there is too much you need to do, or buy, to achieve the goal. Take a moment breather, remember you want to achieve the goal. You can read through tons to help you find what you need.

e.g. Joe Soap realises he must exercise, he never did since high school. He spent an hour reading through a recipe book he bought and found 35 of the 100 recipes in it intrigued him. He made a weekly map of dinner, and lunch, to follow. 5 options for recipes every day of the week he could choose from.

You don’t need to map things out exactly, just make sure you work out how to map your plan to achieve the goal into your lifes timeline. Create a simple, understandable, map for yourself. You can create a graph of dates you can tick every day you succeed with what you need for the goal.

Try never skip any day on your map. Forgive yourself if you accidentally skip a day by making sure you do it the next day. It will eventually move you towards making achieving your goal a habit for you.

Relevant

Now, take a moment to write down everything that achieving this can do to benefit you. It can be equal others told you it will give you, it can be what you want personally out of it, describe all the good things it can do for you.

e.g. Joe Soap considers what it will do for him: his doctor shares how he’s overweight can be detrimental for his heart; his other half wants to help him achieve this goal; he doesn’t want to be embarrassed by how his body looks again.

If you can write down whatever it is that explains how it is relevant to you, it can help motivate you more. You can always look at the good things you can get for yourself. Think of the goal as your golden 1st place, and what makes it relevant can also be the bonus rewards that come along with the trophy.

Time-bound

It can be difficult for you to build the habit which can help you achieve your goal. For instance, people share a habit can be made in 21 days. Not even a month, then people get demotivated because it isn’t always true.

e.g. Joe Soap was never able to stick to his goals before, so he decided to take it further. His plan woth the graph of dates he made before is to stick to this daily checkup for 3 months, totally 92 days. Instead of 21 days, he decides he must get 40 in a row to feel as if he’s starting to succeed.

Never beat yourself up for missing it, just start again on the next day. If you skip 2 days challenge yourself to not skip any of the 4 next days. Always remember a cheat day isn’t the worst thing for you, rather ration yourself with them.

Make it your daily challenge to achieve your goal, and remind yourself with what you’ve noted in the SMART steps above. If you need to, make yourself read your trophies you will get when you achieve the goal daily.

Find A Friend

It can always help to check in with your friend, and/or family. Find someone who either (a) wants to stick to the same challenge as you so they can achieve the goal themselves; or (b) always enjoys helping you achieve your goals.

It never has to be about them, just consider once a week they can call you to check in. You can find people around you that can help motivate you to stick to whatever you need to achieve the goal.

e.g. Joe Soap knows Jane Doe wants to also lose weight, but they regularly argue, so it wouldn’t help to ask his sister. Joe’s best friend Sheela helped him learn about X, which he struggled with, for his degree in Y. She’s ecstatic since her husband shared he’d try it when Joe shows good results.

That being said, it might not be what some people ever want to do. Everyone’s life has tons for them to do every day, you just need to hang in there. Always focus on what achieving your goal will give you. If you can’t find someone to help motivate you, perhaps someone new will enter your life and choose to help you without you even asking.

Helping Others Achieve Their Goals

When someone asks you for assistance, then you can put in all the effort you’d like to help them, what if they then ignore it? Don’t dwell on it, focus on new goals for yourself, don’t let them treat you badly.

You’re the better person for avoiding conflict and moving on. Always remember if anyone asks for help it doesn’t mean they will use your help. Too often when I’ve assisted people with the information needed for the goal they want, for instance often it’s to do with diets for weight loss, they fight me for no reason when the disagree.

Keep your assistance you offer others simple. Offer them a personal general solution, if they don’t take action it isn’t on you. It’s their goal, they need to make the efforts you suggest for themselves.

Case study: Joe Soap has a goal to get rid of a medical problem that’s caused by bad eating habits. I offered a recipe book I have for a diet for said medical problem, to Joe Soap, when Joe Soap asked for my help. Joe Soap never even looked at it, Joe Soap complained about the medical problem more. Joe Soap says ‘I don’t get any help I asked for.’ Simple assistance was offered, that’s all I will allow. I distanced myself because Joe Soap made no effort and says I did nothing. Don’t let Joe Soap stop you helping others, don’t beat yourself since Joe Soap didn’t take action. Find your Joe Soap that rather makes effort towards the goals they ask you to help with.

This is shared last for simple reasons.

If you chose to follow SMART to choose your new goal: always remember when you ask for help the person trying to help you isn’t your enemy.

If someone is SMART for their goal and asks for your assistance: help them with it as much as you can. Don’t ever hold it against them if they don’t take action, don’t let it be heavy on your shoulders.

Afterthoughts

Disclaimer Reminder: Names and persons in this post are entirely fictional. They bear no resemblance to anyone living or dead.

Always remember, you shouldn’t let your goal intimidate you. Hang in there, and if you planned time doesn’t go as planned, make a new checkerboard of dates. Research new options which can help your goal. Work out a new way to motivate yourself.

Much like the movies: yesterday’s gone, tomorrow we don’t know what will happen. Today is the gift, the present, we need to achieve our goals.