Advertising

Last Updated on January 25, 2021

How to Be Determined and Achieve Your Goals

Advertising
How to Be Determined and Achieve Your Goals

You have set yourself a new goal. You’re excited, inspired, and motivated to achieve your next level of success. Things are going great, and you’re making progress. Then, it happens—out of nowhere, you find yourself stuck, stalled, or stopped. You can’t believe that just a short time ago you were on fire and crushing it, and now you’re not getting any closer to achieving what you want. You’ve hit “the wall.”

How can you stay determined when you hit the motivation wall?

It’s common to feel great about starting a new project or goal. In the beginning, we feel like we have the energy and passion to get something or accomplish something that we want. Willpower is what most people rely on to get started. However, willpower is not enough. It has a short life, and it alone cannot sustain the effort needed to reach the finish line when obstacles get in the way. You need a better strategy.

Here are 3 keys to staying motivated and determined no matter what, so you can use your time right: set S.M.A.R.T. goals, set tour “Why”, and set your schedule.

Key #1: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Your “GPS S.M.A.R.T. Goals” are specific goals meant to move you in the direction of your overall success. To be successful, you have to first make sure your goal is set up correctly.

Take the time to craft written goals and put them down on paper. This is the first step to make sure you have the highest chance of success. It’s like setting the right address into your GPS.

S.M.A.R.T. goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-centered.

Specific

Create your goal with as much detail as possible. It should be written with precision, clarity, and specifics by focusing on the five W’s:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?

Measurable

Establish specific criteria for measuring your goal so you can track your progress and stay motivated.

  • How will I measure progress?
  • How will I know when my goal is achieved?
  • How much?
  • How many?

Answering these questions will give you the details on how to measure progress and see that you are always moving forward—for example, in income, pounds lost, hours saved, etc.

Attainable

Make sure that your goal is achievable and realistic. It should stretch you and push you to your limits but still be obtainable.

Advertising

  • What appropriate and inspired actions do I need to take to meet my goal?
  • How can I achieve this goal?

Relevant

Choose a goal that you are willing and can put the appropriate time and effort into. Also, that goal should be something that actually matters to you and/or the collective.

  • Does it connect to my overall short-term and long-term plans?
  • Is this goal going to make a positive difference for me and/or others?
  • Is this aligned with my “why” or purpose and my values?

Time-Centered

Have scheduled and trackable tasks and timelines. This inspires action and holds you accountable while also helping you stay determined. Also, you should set a specific time frame for accomplishing your goal.

  • When will this goal be completed?
  • Am I committed to investing the time needed?

Use these questions to make sure that every goal you make is a SMART goal.

Key # 2: Your “Why”

The bigger the “why” the easier the “how.” —Jim Rohn

Clients come to me when they’re stuck, stopped, or struggling to have the life they want and when they want to accelerate their progress or have more consistent results than they’re getting, whether it’s in their business or their personal lives.

One of the very first things I ask any and every client is this: “What are you committed to having?”

That can be anything from their life purpose, a specific business goal, or a life goal. Most people have a clear understanding of the goal, such as “building my business,” “having a better relationship with my spouse,” or “being healthy and fit.”

The big question comes next. I ask them the simple question, “Why do you want that?”

The typical response is a generalized surface answer with no deep emotional connection to their core motivation and purpose. It has been pre-programmed for so long that it doesn’t have a current and relevant emotional connection. This gap between their obvious answer and their core motivation is the primary reason why so many people get stuck, stopped, struggle, or lack consistency and motivation.

Simon Sinek, one of the leading thinkers on this topic, tells us in his book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, that “everyone knows what they do 100 percent of the time. Some know how they do it. Very few people in organizations, in the world, and their own personal life know why they do what they do.”

His definition of “why” is “the purpose or cause—the single driving motivation for action.” Knowing your own “why” is the key to connecting with the deep motivational centers of your brain that inspire action. Your “why” gets you to connect with your purpose. Your “why” then becomes your purpose identified, and this helps you stay determined.

Advertising

Why Is Your “Why” So Important?

Your “why” gives meaning to everything you do. You can appear to be successful on the outside, but if you are not internally aligned with your why, you will never truly feel satisfied in life.

Your “why” directs and guides you. Not only can your “why” give you meaning, but it can also give you a clear direction about where to go in life. It can help you make both big and small decisions and take the next step.

Your “why”motivates you. In life, there will be difficult times to go through. You may experience setbacks, rejection, and failure. In such situations, your “why” can give you the motivation you need to keep going. It also becomes your GPS guide in everything you do with your time and schedule.

Identify Your Why

I have a specific process you can use to uncover your purpose. It involves answering the questions below. You must ask yourself the key question 4 to 5 times.

As an example, I’ve provided my own answers as a way for you to understand what the process is like.

“What am I committed to having?”
My answer: “To be the best researcher, speaker, and coach.”

  1. Why is this important to me?
    My answer: “So I can feel good about helping people improve their lives.”
  2. Why is that important?
    My answer: “So they feel someone is in their corner supporting them.”
  3. Why is that important?
    My answer: “So they believe that they can have the life they want.”
  4. Why is that important?
    My answer: “To help people discover and live their true purpose.”

This last answer finally got me to the core of my true motivation. It can take 4 to 5 tries asking yourself “why is that important?” until you really hit on your core reason or belief that’s motivating you.

Determining your “why” can apply to specific goals in any area of your life. For every goal you have or anything you want to achieve, you need to know the “why” to align your efforts and motivations to achieve your goals.

Here is another example:

I had a client come in for wellness and health issues that were affecting her business performance. Audrey is an executive in her late forties. She believed she had 20 pounds to lose and knew she was not in good physical condition.

When she walked in, she said, “I’m having some barriers to losing weight.”

Advertising

“What’s your goal?” I asked.

“To lose 20 pounds.”

“Why is that important to you?”

“Well, so I can feel good,” she answered.

“Why is that important to you?”

“You know, so I can feel healthy.”

“Why is that important to you?”

“I need to be more active to keep up with my kids.”

“Why is that important to you?”

“Because my mother passed away when I was 20, and I want to be there well into adulthood for my kids.”

I could literally see the shift reflected in her eyes. Audrey’s purpose was not just about losing 20 pounds so she could be more active and feel better. Instead, her “why” for this particular goal was to be present and have an enriched long life with her kids. When she realized that, she became highly motivated and easily lost all the weight after trying and failing in the past.

Advertising

If I had let Audrey’s purpose be to just lose some weight over time, she would have failed. There would have been no connection with the deep motivational centers of her brain—the area that motivates her to take action.

Your “Why” Makes Your Time Relevant

Connecting with your why ensures that you are using your gifts and talents in a way that connects you with your true purpose, making a positive difference for you and your community. This is key to learning how to be determined because it directs and maximizes your time in a purposeful and meaningful way that gives relevance to everything you do.

Key #3: Schedule Everything

Now that you have established your SMART goals and determined your “why,” it’s time to schedule what you need to do to accomplish them. You can do this successfully by making sure you put your tasks on your calendar.

Your calendar is where you are committing your most valuable asset—time—to your most important priorities. If your tasks are not on your calendar with the appropriate time scheduled for them, there is a good chance in our 24/7 hyper distracted world they won’t happen.

Your daily schedule should be written as a visual reminder of what you have chosen to do on any given day, which guides the intentions you set for each day. It represents what’s important in your life and business.

There is an old productivity saying that I live by: “If it’s not on the calendar, it didn’t happen.” Live with this mindset and calendar everything important, and scheduling will be the key to unlocking your motivation and potential and staying determined.

Final Thoughts


Knowing how to stay determined despite the hardships you’ll face is not an easy task. So, the next time you’re lacking motivation, set yourself up for success by using these 3 steps: set S.M.A.R.T. goals, connect to your “why”, and schedule everything. Doing this will ensure that you start strong, build momentum, and stay determined in reaching your most important goals.

More Tips on How to Be Determined

Featured photo credit: dylan nolte via unsplash.com

Advertising

More by this author

Steven Griffith

Steven is an Executive Coach. He's been helping the world’s most successful people perfrom at their peack level.

27 Strategies to Achieve Your Goals Fast 20 Essential Leadership Qualities Of A Great Leader How To Start Small And Make Your Goals Happen How to Be Determined and Achieve Your Goals How To Exude Confidence Effortlessly in 5 Easy Steps

Trending in Goal Getting

1 What Are Process Goals? (With Examples) 2 8 Simple and Effective Ways to Start Reaching Goals Today 3 How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Personal Goals 4 20 Excuses Most People Make That Stop Them From Reaching Their Dreams 5 Goals vs Objectives: What Are Their Differences?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 16, 2021

What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Advertising
What Are Process Goals? (With Examples)

Ready. Set. Go. For years, this was my three-step mindset when it came to goals. I would reach for the moon and hope to land among the stars without feeling the pain of the fall. This approach was all or nothing, and as a result, I experienced loads of burnout and almost zero productivity. In short, my task list was filled with high-level intentions, but I hadn’t taken the time to create a map to reach the destinations. I was lost in the planning stages because I didn’t understand process goals or have any examples to follow.

Since then, I’ve learned how to embrace the journey and break my outcome goals into smaller and more manageable process goals. This approach has improved my focus and reduced frustration because I’m now working towards a surefire strategy that will take me where I want to go––I’m creating a plan of action with achievable daily targets (a process goal).

What Is a Process Goal?

A process goal is not a destination, it’s the path you plan on taking to get there. For example, if you want to become better at writing, your process goal would be to post one blog article per week and learn from the feedback you receive. The destination is a monthly goal of 12 articles.

This distinction is important because it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that these types of goals are not all or nothing. Think about it. You’ve heard it said: it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Well, a process goal is an actionable target with what we call SMART criteria:

Advertising

  • Specific – The more detailed your goal, the better. For example, instead of “I want to be fit,” you would say, “I want to lose five pounds.” Make sure your goal is crystal clear.
  • Measurable – You need a way to measure progress and success, so it needs to be quantifiable. This is where you decide what “fit” actually means for you (more on this later).
  • Achievable – If your goal isn’t challenging, then it’s not going to be motivating. On the other hand, there must be a steeper mountain to climb if you want substantial results.
  • Realistic – “I want to run a marathon” is not practical for most people. Ensure you have the time, energy, and resources (e.g., training program) required to achieve your goal.
  • Time-Bound – Your goal needs an assigned deadline or it’s just a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but what happens when the fantasy ends?

To summarize, these are the essential components of any process goal: specific, measurable, achievable within a certain time frame, and realistic.

What Is a Destination Goal?

A destination goal is a point in time when you plan to be at a particular destination. For example, if your goal is to get to represent your country at the 2025 Summer Olympics, you right need to focus on smaller increments to attain that success. On your way to that goal, you need to focus on smaller destinations. First, make the national team. Then, compete in a few events and so forth.

If you try to make it to the Olympics from the very start without any milestones along the way, it would be too daunting. On the other hand, if you focus on each milestone as a destination goal, it will all seem possible and achievable.

Process Goal Template

Let’s say you want to become a better cook. Here is one way of writing the process goal: “I will save $100 per week by cooking all my meals at home for 12 weeks.” This would be your destination (monthly), and the steps required to achieve this goal (weekly) would be:

  1. Spend one hour on Sunday planning my meals for the week.
  2. Shop for groceries after work on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  3. Cook all meals at home on Wednesdays through Sundays.
  4. Pack my lunch for work on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  5. Save $100 per week in cash by cooking at home.

This process goal will help you become a better cook by teaching you to save money through planning, shopping, cooking, packing your own lunch, and trying new recipes. It also includes a weekly reward (saving $100 in cash) that will help you stay motivated.

Advertising

Process goals encourage you to reach your ultimate goals. When you feel like you can accomplish smaller goals along the way, you gain sustainability and confidence to move forward.

In many ways, process goals are a lot like faith. Each accomplishment brings you closer to seeing the fullness of the life that you desire––it breaks through the fog and makes things clearer.

What Questions Helped Me Find My Process Goals?

After several years of setting lofty goals and becoming increasingly frustrated when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, I decided to take a closer look at my approach.

Now, there are many ways you can do this, but here’s how I went about it. Last year, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What am I doing right now?
  • How can I get better at this?
  • Is this process goal leading me closer to my ultimate goals?

The choices I made from the answers to these questions became my process goals. They were the driving force that kept me motivated and moving forward when I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Since then, I’ve been able to accomplish lifelong goals that I had given up on years ago. For example, I’ve been able to obtain a publishing contract, create more digital products for my business, and enjoy the moment.

Advertising

Before I broke down my goals into smaller ones, I was struggling to just get out of bed. The thought of my endless list kept me stagnant. Now, I look forward to each morning and taking on smaller projects to reach profitable outcomes.

What Are Some Process Goals You Can Try?

So, now that you understand the importance of process goals, let’s get you started with some examples that you can utilize this week:

  • Sign up for a new class.
  • Complete one portion of your project by Thursday.
  • Start walking around the block instead of running a mile.
  • Improve your writing by spending 30 minutes everyday journaling.
  • Practice your interview skills.
  • Read at least one book from the library this week.
  • Do ten push-ups each day before you leave for work.

You get the idea. These process goals don’t have to be complicated. If anything, you want to break down your plans to the point of them feeling easy or at least doable without needing a week’s vacation. By breaking your goals down into smaller pieces, you can accomplish a lot more in a shorter period. You’ll also feel more confident that you’re able to accomplish something within the moment.

It isn’t easy to continue towards your goal if achievement feels too far away. You need to celebrate the small things and embrace the process.

What Do You Need for Process Goals?

Think about how much time and money you’ve spent on new clothes, books, technology, etc. Many of us want to keep up with the latest trends and purchase the best gadgets from Apple or Microsoft. But all of these extra investments come at a steep price.

Advertising

To find your process goals, you may have to face some difficult emotions or situations bravely and confront them head-on. You might need to forgo the new outfit or the latest Mac book to meet your overall objectives.[1] Remember, process goals not only protect you from feeling overwhelmed, but they also keep you from being distracted.

Final Thoughts

You may feel overwhelmed at first when trying to set a process goal. Sometimes, just thinking about change triggers stress hormones, which only leads to more worries and anxious feelings. However, if you keep yourself focused and take small steps in the right direction, you’ll soon realize that goals don’t have to be complicated.

You can achieve your process goals one day at a time, and you can start today by breaking down your larger goal into smaller steps. It doesn’t matter if the process takes a week or six months, what matters most is that you’re moving forward and doing something to make yourself better.

Now, go on out there and achieve one of your process goals!

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

Read Next