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Determination: 12 Tips on How to Achieve Your Own Goals

Determination has many names: ambition, perseverance, determination, tenacity, discipline, imperturbability, strength of will, doggedness, volition ... But behind everything is the same: the ability to set (your own!) Goals, to pursue them consistently and finally to achieve them.

If you have no goals, you cannot achieve anything. Only goals make success or career measurable. They are the core of the determination, give orientation on the way and help with focusing. “I know what I want.” - This sentence alone as a life motto extends life by a few years. Completely regardless of what goals we are pursuing. The only thing that matters is THAT we have goals and are determined. We'll show you how to do it here ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Determination: Those who have goals live longer

What do i really want - It always starts with that. You can plan a lot and still achieve none of it. When ideas are vague. If the wishes remain pious. A real goal and determination are different:

  • Not an interest, just an intention.
  • Not a spontaneous thought, but a concrete endeavor.
  • Not an expectation, but a firm belief.
  • No rational knowledge alone, but and above all a matter of the heart.

When the Canadian scientists, led by the psychologist Patrick Hill from Carleton University, evaluated the medical data of 7,000 Americans between 20 and 75 years of age over a period of around 14 years, they were amazed to find that single-mindedness extends life. The determined lived consistently healthier, they paid more attention to their fitness, they were happier and more satisfied with their lives. And most of them had outlived their aimless colleagues.

Having goals and pursuing them, Hill is convinced, gives life an important orientation and this gives those affected a few extra years - "regardless of whether they are still working or have already retired."

Is determination innate?

Determination is one of the so-called soft skills. This makes it an interdisciplinary competence that is reflected in a person's personality and behavior. There are indeed people who were born with this quality and who find it easier to stick with it or to be determined. Determination can be learned at the same time. The will is there in every human being. That is why an essential step towards more determination is not to step on the gas, but to take off the brakes. In other words, identify the factors that are preventing you from pursuing your goals, that are distracting you - and eliminate them first.

Why it must be your own goals

In spite of all determination, one thing must be observed: It must always be about YOUR OWN GOALS. Not about the expectations of others that we are trying to meet. Whoever tries the latter gives up the lead over his life and leaves the route and assessment to his environment as to whether and which goals have been achieved. Others then determine what their own (!) Success is. Sheer madness.

Determination is an essential key qualification for success and a career. This applies in private as well as in professional life. But that only applies as long as we pursue and achieve life goals we have set for ourselves.

If it is not YOUR very personal intention, even the best methods will not help. Then at some point you will run out of motivation and the necessary stamina. Not because you are doing too little, but because you are not really committed to these goals.

But how do you do that?

In the following we present a few methods, tips and ways how you can find your own goals, learn to formulate them correctly, to focus and finally to achieve them and thus make your dreams come true.

Aim high. Even if you lack the skills today. Those who only think, plan and aim within the framework of their (current) possibilities can never outgrow themselves.

Find and achieve goals

If you want to achieve what he or she intends to do, the so-called W-E-G-E method is recommended: There are the four essential ones waysto find and achieve your goals:

Really want.

You know the problem of good intentions: the next day they will be forgotten. It is not enough to say: "I want to have a bikini figure." or "I want to write my first book this year." You have to really and deeply want it, in short: It has to be a real heartfelt desire. At the same time, check your motivation as to why and for what purpose you want this: It could be that you will achieve the actual (hidden) goal much better in a different way.

Keep it simple.

Whatever you want, don't make things too complicated. Nothing against to-do lists or mind maps. But the finer you unravel your goal, the more unfounded it becomes. Give it enough weight, plan BIG, not only great. Keep it as simple as possible and as specific as necessary.

Completely prescribe.

Once you have formulated your clear, simple, really important goal, don't take your eyes off it: Make it your top priority - in everyday life, in the office, in your free time and do everything possible to achieve it. Remember the first time you were madly in love: you had only one thing on your mind - to win this person's heart. It must be the same with your goal. Everything else is secondary.

One after the other.

Now that you know how to do it, try not to cram as many goals as you can into a day, week, or month. The result is undercooked food, chaos and frustration. Better concentrate your energies. For your determination, less is more: A goal in its time - with the time it takes. Not more but also not less.

What goals you set yourself in life - everyone has to find out for themselves. After all, our expectations, hopes and dreams are as complex as earth sediment. These goals and priorities can change again and again in the course of life. For example, when we get married, have children or retire. None of this is set in stone. It is crucial that we are “aware” of our goal. You consciously get stuck or change and only then pursue it purposefully. The best way to be clear about your goals is to reflect on yourself. It takes time and honesty with yourself.

SMART method: formulating and structuring goals

The so-called SMART method was developed as early as the mid-1950s. It is primarily used to better achieve goals by first realistically planning them, formulating them in concrete terms and structuring them. Finally, set yourself reasonable deadlines for this. The SMART method - you guessed it - is an acronym. The letters stand for:

  • Specific
    Generalizations and ambiguities are the natural enemies of any goal. Vague formulations and unclear ideas are not enough. Determination needs concrete and precise announcements that leave no doubt as to what exactly is to be achieved. In the best case, the goal is summarized in a concise sentence that gets to the point.
  • Measurable
    In order to be able to determine in retrospect whether you have achieved your goal, it must be formulated in such a way that it can be measured. In some cases this is particularly easy: for example, when it comes to cost savings. For other destinations, you need to find substitute sizes. Example customer satisfaction: Here you can either look at the sales figures or carry out surveys.
  • Attractive
    Goals can only be achieved if you stand behind them and have the desire to put the goal into practice. This works through a positive formulation. The idea behind this SMART formula: Hardly any goal can be achieved easily. You usually have to work hard to get through, and deal with setbacks. Only when the goal is attractive will you retain the incentive you need.
  • Realistic
    Excessive ambition is more likely to lead to frustration. Castles in the air to disappointment. Goals must therefore not be completely unrealistic. In the best case, the objective is chosen in such a way that it challenges you, but the result remains feasible.
  • Terminated
    Every goal needs a time frame, a deadline. The appointment isn't just an important control point for success. He encourages at the same time. You know it: the closer the deadline gets, the harder everyone tries. Therefore, here again: plan partial steps, set partial limits, achieve more faster.

More tips for more determination

  • Fix your goals
    Above all in writing. It is crucial that you choose a form that is highly binding and important to you. For some, this is the entry in their (success) diary, others write themselves a letter, and still others put their goals in a list on the computer. No matter how you do it, the shape should be comfortable for you.
  • Publish your goals
    This also helps to commit to the goals that have been set. Post your goals on your blog or share your goals with all friends and the important people in your life. Failure is therefore associated with negative consequences - loss of face. This can be a motivation to absolutely achieve your goals.
  • Look for role models
    Do you want to achieve a certain position? Then research as much information as possible about people who have already achieved this and learn from their mistakes and successes. Surely you shouldn't blindly take over everything these people do. But you can learn a lot from role models, both positive and negative.
  • Gather supporters
    There are always success stories of people who at first glance have achieved great goals all on their own. But on closer inspection it turns out that their successes were only possible with the support of others. It is definitely easier with support. Therefore, gather supporters who will accompany and remind you on the way to your goal.
  • Avoid pessimists
    Unfortunately, it is like this: There will always be people who doubt their goals and only see the chance to fail. So this goes beyond critical questioning (which would be okay). If you constantly surround yourself with such pessimistic and negative people, sooner or later it will damage your motivation. Even if it sounds harsh, avoid such people as best you can.
  • Make up for it
    Ambition is very important - especially when it comes to achieving your own goals. But if you overdo it and work doggedly every day to get closer to your goal, sooner or later you will burn out and don't want to know anything about your goal. To prevent this from happening to you, you should also create relaxed days and moments with which you can balance.

This trick will help achieve goals faster

The so-called goal gradient effect has long been known in psychology: the closer we get to our goal, the more we try. Success attainable close in front of our eyes - that gives us an enormous motivation kick. This psychological trick can also be used differently: Do not formulate a fixed goal but a target corridor.

For example, let's say you set out to lose ten pounds in the next three months. It's a long, hungry way until then ... The first two or three kilos tumble thanks to the youngest ABC diet quick. But after that it means: hold on hard! Change nourishment. Starve. To do sports. Like this. The problem: the goal is only reached with the tenth slimmed-off kilo. Not a gram before. The kick will therefore only set in from the eighth or ninth kilo. Many give up beforehand. It is completely different with a target corridor: for example, if you decide to lose six to ten kilos in the next twelve weeks, the goal gradient effect will set in earlier. The perseverance phase feels shorter.

Even more is happening: As scientists working with Maura L. Scott and Stephen M. Nowlis from Oxford University have found out, you should make the target corridor larger than the original target. So not "lose six to ten kilos", but "lose six to 15 kilos". As the studies show, this not only gives you a bigger motivational kick as soon as you reach the bottom of the corridor. They now believe even more that the (ambitious) goal is achievable - and achieve it more easily and quickly.

Determined? That is why some never achieve their goals

Determination is a key to success and happiness. Even so, some fail along the way. Why? The Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy has researched this intensively and has identified a cardinal mistake why some never achieve their goals: They concentrate solely on the result, not on the way to get there. Above all, not on a path of “small steps”, as she calls it.

Setting big goals is important. But they can also appear oversized or too far away. That robs motivation. That is why it is important to break down large goals into many small sub-goals (and partial successes). So you don't have to climb a huge mountain, but get closer to your goal step by step. So instead of planning a marathon right away, it is wiser to start with a few kilometers and then improve.

The 6 sisters of success

If you believe the scriptwriter Woody Allen, being there is already 80 percent of success. Everyone is known to have a tendency towards the exalted, and this hurts his credibility a little. But in essence he is right. Success is a cattle: He likes to join people of his own kind. This raises the question of whether there are a few characteristics, in addition to determination, that successful people also have in common. In other words, qualities and character traits that attract success, the pretty sisters of success, so to speak. The answer is: yes, there is. Even some, at least six:

  1. self reflection
    If you want to achieve something, you should first know yourself well. The individual strengths as well as the weaknesses. Thanks to this self-reflection, you will be able to make decisions more consciously, set goals more realistically and at the same time deal more confidently with mistakes.
  2. Relationships
    The fact that relationships inspire careers is a widely confirmed fact. Around a third of employees find new jobs through personal contacts. For managers, the so-called vitamin B even ranks first among the career accelerators: around 70 percent of all management positions in Germany are filled in this way. Of course, networks do not only help with job search. They also support you in achieving your goals in life.
  3. confidence
    Exaggerated skepticism works like a self-fulfilling prophecy: at some point you actually fail. Everyone feels a reflex to flee as soon as problems arise. But successful people create an atmosphere in which this reflex statistically only lasts 0.13 seconds.
  4. endurance
    Persistence and discipline are often more important than ability. The hard-working outperforms the talented as well as ever. In fact, many career failures can be traced back to a lack of persistence rather than a lack of talent.
  5. pragmatism
    Ultimately, along with the confidence that includes healthy, realistic optimism, it is pragmatism that brings the successful closer to their goals. They neither stick to theories nor defend old decisions - they do what is possible. In doing so, they do not understate, gloss over or generalize. You are precise in assessing what is feasible, costs and potential.
  6. curiosity
    Successful people don't just learn - they want to learn. As much as possible. The driving force behind this is your curiosity: Why is that? What did others do in the situation? What are the characteristics of successful people? The interests of these people are always multidisciplinary: They are open to politics, management, sport and religion, are just as interested in the stock market as they are in educational issues, in cooking or psychology. You may not have a doctorate, but you are doing a doctorate in practically all matters of life.

What are your goals? Use the impulses of this article and formulate - ideally now - a few clear and concrete goals for yourself. Determination is ultimately a matter of decision: you have to want it.

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