When reaching goals, big and small, it is easy to fall into the trap of getting discouraged to continue working on that goal when you feel like you are behind or failing. It is important to have an open mindset when reaching any goal because anything worthy will take a lot of effort, and not everything will go smoothly or the way you expect it to go. Nevertheless, with the right amount of effort, trial and error experience, and the right strategy, you will reach your goal and feel accomplished because you never gave up. Perseverance is a great tool for anyone with a big dream or goal because failure is almost guaranteed without it. In the 21st century, it is easy to give up whenever something is not going the way you want it to, but if you care about achieving your goal, it is essential to find the willpower to keep going. Failure should be treated as a lesson to success, not discouragement. If you learn to persevere, you will reach any goal you set your mind to. This topic can help any individual keep going when it is easier to give up. Tip #1: Assess what’s causing you to fail, reflect, and develop a new plan. Very often, failure is the product of the wrong action plan. Reflection is a huge part of achieving any goal. You have to take the time to reflect on what’s causing you to fail and how you can fix/change that to better serve your goal. This is a practical tip that requires action because once you do that, you will have a better plan for executing your goal. A better plan leads to more progress and better results. It helps increase creative ways to approach your goal. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and the number on the scale won’t ever go down, stop yourself and ask, “What steps am I taking to achieve my goal?” You might say, "I run for 30 minutes every other day, but I do not really control what or when I eat.” You might realize that this plan is not efficient enough for you to achieve your goal. That’s where the reflection part comes in. How can I tweak my current plan to better serve my goal? Well, you might want to change your eating habits; consider an Intermittent Fasting program and/or reduce the carbs you consume. Whatever it is, it is a new plan to help you move closer to your goal. This tip can apply to any goal, therefore serving any individual struggling to progress toward their goal. Tips #2: Appreciate how far you’ve already come. Appreciating your progress allows you to reflect on what you did RIGHT! We often tend to focus on what went wrong, but there is much to appreciate in everything you did correctly. When you see everything you’ve already done, you will get inspired to go out of your comfort zone and achieve even better results. Any progress, no matter how small, is still progress in the right direction. Let your progress inspire you to keep going forward. Take a moment to reflect on the things you have accomplished already. Back to the example above, the person runs for 30 minutes. That’s something! When you run, your heart muscle strengthens, your breathing improves, and your mind relaxes. These things would not be possible if you did not commit to running every other day. Pat yourself on the shoulder because you have made the steps in the right direction. Being grateful for what you already have, gives you a positive mindset, which results in more positive action. This tip can serve anyone who made progress toward their goal(s).
Tip #3: Remember why you had the goal in the first place. Why is it so important for me to achieve my goal? Now everyone will have a different answer to this question, regardless, it is essential to have a reason for having a goal. When you remember why you started pursuing a certain goal, you realize why it is important to keep going. Dig deep when trying to answer this question. Going back to the example above, ask yourself, “Why is it important for me to lose weight?” You might say, “I want to fit into my favorite dress,” take it a step further and ask yourself, “Why is it important for me to fit into my favorite dress?” Your answer might be, “I want to feel comfortable in my own body.” Take it even further and ask, “Why is it important for me to feel comfortable in my own body?” You might answer, “I want to feel confident about myself.” Regardless of the answer, you will get inspired and motivated to keep going because you will understand the root cause of why you started in the first place. You will take consistent action toward your goal. For example, you will exercise consistently Monday-Friday without an exception for a month and Intermittent Fast following a plan that works best with your schedule. This is a great tip for anyone with a goal which feels discouraged to keep going.
Tip #4: Be kind and patient with yourself. Being kind to yourself allows you to make mistakes and learn from them instead of believing that you are a failure and that your mistakes cannot be fixed. Being kind to yourself means you give yourself the benefit of the doubt and move forward with a positive mindset, knowing that what comes next is not defined by what happened in the past. Patience is also an essential component when reaching goals. You must realize that being patient with yourself means it is ok to move at your own pace. It is important that you do not compare your results and progress to other people and instead focus on your journey, however fast or slow it takes you to reach your goals. Realize that goals take time, and it is ok if you take longer to achieve yours. Don’t feel bad if you fail, reflect on it, and keep going with the growth mindset (It didn’t work this time, but it doesn’t mean it will not work the next time). Give yourself the same amount of compassion as you would for your close friends and family. Don’t be hard on yourself because something is not working out now. Being kind to yourself could be taking a break to reset your mind, where you come back with a clearer purpose and more strength to tackle your goals. Know there is always a place to improve and keep going. From the weight loss example above, when you add a new exercise routine or diet plan/eating pattern, give yourself time to adapt to these changes and gradually add complexity to your routines or eating patterns instead of jumping into them. Being kind and patient with yourself allows you to move forward regardless of the circumstances without letting the past define your future. This tip is great for anyone in general.
Youth Author: Sona Khachiyan
Sona Khachiyan is a 20-year-old student at UC Davis, majoring in Biological Psychology and minoring in Russian. She recently graduated from Folsom Lake College with five associate degrees (psychology, transfer psychology, interdisciplinary studies, STEM, and health-related sciences). She is a first-degree black belt in taekwondo. Her hobbies include reading books, running, drawing, practicing martial arts, and dancing. And I love helping people!