How to be purposeful

Perseverance is the quality that will help you achieve your goals, get what you want, and learn to stand up for your rights when dealing with stubborn and difficult people. Persistence is exactly what distinguishes successful people from losers in any situation.

Lack of focus and perseverance is one of the most common causes of failure. This article will show you how perseverance can affect the achievement of goals, overcoming failures and communication with others.

1. Achieving Your Goals

If you've ever signed up for a gym on the second of January and hit it fanatically before the fourth of January, you know that it takes persistence to achieve your goals. Whether you're trying to develop a new habit, get rid of an old one, or your goal is more ambitious, it's one thing to establish it, but quite another to complete it. This part of the article will help you succeed in achieving your goals.

1.1 Set a goal. Be clear about what you want to achieve and how soon you want it to happen, and make sure the goal is realistic and achievable.

Write down the target where it will constantly catch your eye. For example, in a diary, on a sticker above your desktop or on a poster.

1.2 Divide the main goal into several intermediate ones. Small goals are easier to overcome, and completing them will give you strength and additional motivation. Divide your goals by time. Break each intermediate goal into pieces that can be completed in a certain period of time, for example, in 15 minutes or in an hour. If you are trying to change your habits, count the time in days.

1.1 You can divide the goal not by time, but by content - to sort a certain number of files at a time or to clean certain rooms.

1.3 Advance little by little. Five minutes three times a week is better than nothing and quite doable. Start small and move slowly.

1.4 Determine what motivates you. Do you know the feeling of satisfaction after a job well done? Try to achieve an even better result than last time. Love praise? Tell someone about your progress and achievements.

1.5 Place a target reminder in a conspicuous place. Trying to save money to buy a new home? Stick a photo of your ideal home on your bathroom mirror or on your credit card.

1.6 Make it a habit. If possible, do something every day that leads to the achievement of the goal. You can try to “attach” a new habit to an old one so that it becomes part of your life faster. For example, if you brush your teeth every day, you can use dental floss or apply a moisturizing face mask at the same time. Water your lawn when you get home from walking your dog or when you pick up your mail. You may even have time to pull out a few weeds before the hose starts working.

1.7 Don't be bored. Turn on some music or listen to an audiobook if the task doesn't require much of your attention, such as if you're painting the walls during a renovation. Try to listen to a certain number of hours or reach a certain point. If you're working with someone else, have a contest! You can even make a bet, and use a massage or cooking dinner as a bet.

1.8 Get some company. Ask a friend to join you, or at least report back to them about your progress. It is much more conscientious to skip a workout if you know that someone will take an interest in your progress. There are even special sites where you can put your own progress on display for all participants, and in case of failure, you will have to donate money to charity.

1.9 Keep score. Record your progress in a diary or calendar - you can simply write down every day whether you completed the planned tasks, or evaluate your work in some way: how much you got done, how quickly you did it, how many tasks you completed, etc.

1.10 Take breaks. Working hard without being distracted by anything sounds noble, but in fact this is far from the best option for a work schedule. The body needs rest to recuperate and recharge. Your subconscious continues to work even during a break, so rest is very important and one of the necessary aspects of achieving a goal.

1.11 Reward yourself for perseverance. Achieving a grand goal can take months or years, and the level of motivation will inevitably begin to decrease over time. In order not to give up your idea, create a list of various gifts that you will reward yourself with at certain stages. For example, a small gift for a day of good work on the way to the goal and a big one for a month of work.

Come up with small rewards. Buy a new calendar for your collection, glue a star to your diary, or add another feather to your hat every time you complete an intermediate goal. Go to the movies or theater with friends.

Come up with big rewards. You don't have to constantly reward yourself with expensive or fancy gifts, but once in a while it's the only way to get motivated again. Improve your musical instrument when you reach a certain level of playing, or plan a trip to another country to practice the foreign language you are learning.

Rewards should be in line with your purpose. If you want to grow a garden, get seeds for new unusual plants. If you're trying to lose weight, don't reward yourself with food. Instead, take a relaxing bubble bath with aromatic oils.

Reward yourself only when you've really accomplished what you set out to do. Rewards will lose their power if you use them for other purposes.

Start! Even if you can’t imagine your entire future path yet, start small, and soon you will have very specific questions that will help you figure it out. Perhaps your goal is not as difficult as it seemed at first. And if you don't start, you'll never finish.

2. Staying focused in the face of setbacks

Obstacles in the path often cause abandonment of the goal. In fact, failure is just an incentive to keep going, if you treat it rationally and not be afraid.

2.1 Accept that failures happen. Even the most successful people on the planet have failed. The only difference is that successful people don't live in constant fear and keep going, try after try. They don't give up because they know that failure is an integral part of success. Learn to accept adversity as a natural part of the path to prosperity. Ask yourself:

How do I feel about failure? Am I trying to avoid them by not doing anything at all that seems difficult? Am I afraid that I won't succeed?

Do I use the fear of failure as an excuse for not taking action and setting goals? How does this affect my life in general?

2.2 Don't give up at the first problem. In case of failure, people often convince themselves that it was not worth trying, as a result of which there are proverbs and legends about the futility of any attempt to change something. Whatever you plan, there will always be obstacles and difficulties along the way, and you will have to deal with them. Take challenges calmly and see them as an opportunity to become stronger and more resilient, as well as an opportunity to prove your dedication to the goal. If at first you don't succeed, try again. If you haven't been hired for your dream job or the publisher won't publish your book, try again and again and again. Many people believe that if it doesn’t work the first time, then it will never work out - this is a fundamentally wrong assumption that only depresses and limits you. If you have a good goal and a strategy to achieve it, it's just a matter of persistence. Do not forget that there are many people and many opportunities in the world - it is too presumptuous to think that you will be able to catch the bird of happiness on the first try.

2.3 Examine the reasons that led to the failure. This is a logical continuation of the previous step - if your actions turned out to be ineffective and did not lead to the desired outcome, it is quite possible that it is worth changing the approach. As Albert Einstein once said, “The most stupid thing is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.” Maybe your blog really isn't interesting enough to attract a lot of readers; maybe the resume does not reveal all your positive qualities; maybe you should use the services of a professional consultant and analyze your behavior during the interview if you are not hired; maybe you should use more innovative and flashy business methods, because right now your product or offer is simply not being noticed.

Stop and reconsider your methods of achieving the goal - very often the problem lies precisely in them, and not in the goal itself.

Do not be afraid of constructive criticism and advice - your own objective observations, as well as the comments of people you trust. Even rivals can provide you with a lot of information on this topic, the main thing is to listen carefully and analyze.

2.4 Learn to accept defeat with dignity. The famous phrase “never give up” actually means “never give up quickly.” Give your all, make new and new attempts, do everything in your power, and only then give up. "Never give up" does not mean "be a stubborn fool." This expression calls for abandoning goals that are obviously unrealistic and impossible at this point in time, despite your best efforts, and not wasting energy in vain. Do not lose your self-respect - you have only learned from experience that this path is now closed, and you can look for other ways to achieve what you want.

2.5 Be clear about the result. When things get tough and you feel like quitting, get motivated by imagining the end result and how you'll feel at the end. This should cheer you up! Draw a wonderful picture in your head, do not tune in to the negative. You deserve what you want, so go for it!

3. Perseverance in requests and refusals

Sometimes when dealing with people, it is also necessary to be persistent. Whether you're asking for something or denying someone, it's persistence that will help you get your way and let people know what you're ready or not ready to do for them, as well as teach you how to persuade and convince others.

3.1 Speak in such a way that people understand exactly what you mean and how serious your intentions are. Make sure that you understand the other person correctly, and do not give up your opinion until you consciously reconsider the situation. If you are one of those people who declare their desires in a whisper, you are probably easily led astray or persuaded - learn to defend your opinion.

Persistence in asking and refusing makes people understand what you want without embellishment.

Perseverance helps you to stand up for your opinion in cases where others for their own good are trying to lead you astray, intimidate or dissuade you from doing something. It's not as important whether you got the answer you want as how you handled the situation as a whole.

3.2 Use the broken record technique. Often advertised in purposefulness courses, this technique is about constantly repeating your intention, decision, statement, or request clearly, while remaining as calm and peaceful as possible, no matter how long you have to do it.

Learn to repeat your refusal or request several times and do it with clear statements ("I want" or "I don't want").

Be aware if others are trying to make you feel guilty or doubtful - that's how they want to break you.

Control your anger and irritation. It's just a repetition - a "broken record".

3.3 Don't equate compromise with losing. Sometimes compromise is the only solution to a problem, but it won't work if you feel like you've given up or that you're being used. Accept compromise as a necessary part of a healthy approach to the situation, listen to what the other person wants, and ask questions that interest you to find out what concessions he is willing to make. You should not offer options that would make you feel that your interests are not taken into account.

An example of a compromise that works: Bill asks Jenny if he can borrow her car for the evening. Jenny had already told Bill that she wasn't going to give him her car anymore because he scratched it the last time. Bill tries very hard and promises that this time he will be careful with the car, in addition, he will also fill it up before returning. This option also does not suit Jenny, but at the same time she is worried that otherwise Bill will not be able to get home, since public transport does not work at night. However, she can pick up Bill on her own, since she will be meeting friends in the same area in the evening. Jenny asks Bill if he agrees to such a compromise, and at the same time makes it clear to him that he is not going to ever borrow a car again. Bill smiles and agrees. As a result, both Bill and Jenny are happy with the situation's resolution. Jenny can also tell Bill that this is a one-time offer and that he will have to look for other options in the future.

3.4 Focus on your request or refusal. Answer only those questions that are directly relevant to the case, and ignore the rest, the purpose of which is to distract you. When you ask for something or refuse someone, remember the following:

Make eye contact to show that you are serious. This is just as important when you send the kids to bed as it is when you ask your boss for a raise.


Don't start the conversation with an apology if you can avoid it. If you start apologizing from the first word, this gives the interlocutor many opportunities to dissuade you or refuse, manipulating your insecurity, fear or guilt.

Always be specific. Be as clear as possible about what you want or don't want to do/change/get.

Stay calm, polite and optimistic. Do not get angry and do not destroy everything around. Don't exaggerate and never threaten people.

3.5 Be rational in your persistence. Sometimes it's better to compromise. If another person refuses you, he has the right to do so. Purposefulness is knowing that you did your best, defended your opinion and didn't lose your temper in the process. Thus, even if you did not get what you wanted, you will still retain your self-esteem and the respect of others.


Learn to deal with disappointment. Don't give up on a goal just because of one mistake or problem. If you fail to do something on Monday, try again on Tuesday.

Don't be modest about your goals. Most of us will never compete in the Olympics, become CEOs of top companies, or win a Nobel Prize, but we still admire those who did it, right? Who is your idol? By imitating another person in a strategy to achieve goals, you will be able to achieve the same success. And what if your rivals follow exactly this principle? Take a cue from people who have achieved what you want to achieve, and try to adopt their way of thinking. If you don't want to be seen as irresponsible, promise only what you can actually keep. Otherwise, it is better to immediately refuse or try to find a compromise. Don't be afraid to ask for help. This does not mean shifting your responsibilities to other people, but only getting the necessary support from them, listening to their advice and appreciating cooperation. If you don't have friends or family to support you, reach out to a psychologist, mentor, or personal development coach. Create your own “group of advisors,” as many successful people have done from Alexander the Great to Oprah Winfrey. Health is always more important. Feeling bad will only get in the way of your goal. Exercise, balance your diet, and don't sacrifice sleep for work. Don't prolong your breaks. Sometimes rest is exactly what the body needs, but you are unlikely to achieve anything if it drags on forever.