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How to Become Absolutely Determined

How to Become Absolutely Determined

I recently came across a keynote speech by Art Mortell on YouTube. It is definitely worth watching.

In the video one of the points Art makes is how relentless a three year old can be about getting something they want. Somewhere as we’ve gone through life we have lost that absolute determination to go after what we want. How do we get it back?



First of all, we have to decide what we want. This can’t be a vague inclination, or something we sort of want – only if the stars line up right. It has to be something that we want from the bottom of our hearts, something that we are willing to go after – no matter what.


Have a Partner

Once we have decided on what we want, it is best to have someone with whom we can do it together. For example if you have decided to exercise, you will be more likely to go when you know someone is waiting to go with you.


Be Accountable

Next best is to have an accountability partner. For years I had an accountability partner. Every night we each wrote down the top goals we wanted to achieve the next day. Then in the morning we had a brief phone call to commit to each other what we wanted to get done. We also briefly reviewed what we did and did not accomplish from our list of the previous day. This was more than a TO DO list. It included steps towards bigger and long-term goals.


Break it Into Steps

In order to make progress towards big or long-term goals, we need to break the goals down into manageable steps. If I want to exercise more I might say I want to swim three times per week for an hour and I’ll do that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then I put these steps on my list for those days. When I break it down to exactly what, how much, and which days I will take those steps, it is easy to see whether I did or did not exercise as I had committed.


Don’t Give Up

We all make decisions to do something and then don’t follow through. When you have absolutely determined that you are going to achieve a goal, you may fail for a day, but you don’t stay down. You renew your resolve and get back on track towards your goal.


Remind Yourself Of a Past Success

When you come to a difficult step, remind yourself of a past success. You have been in difficult situations before and have pushed through. Remind yourself how you felt when you succeeded with a difficult task. It will renew your resolve to keep going.


Keep a Graph

Find a way to keep a graph of your progress and display it where you see it daily. Looking at the progress you are making is inspiring.


Make It Fun

If possible find a way to make a game out of achieving your goal or each incremental step.


Carrots and Sticks

Reward yourself and celebrate your successes. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a “punishment”. I know someone who would require himself to do a 3 A.M. walk if he did not complete the step he committed to for that day. Since he did not want to get up in the middle of the night to go for a walk, he had a high incentive to set reasonable and achievable goals and to get them done.


Be Honest

If you find yourself not following through on your steps, take a serious look at your goal. Is it really something you want? How badly do you want it? Is it a goal somebody has set for you? If it is an expectation from a spouse, parent or somebody else, you may need to be honest with yourself and others. If it is not a goal you are wholeheartedly committed to, it may be best to admit the truth.


Visualize the Goal

Visualize your goal as if you have already achieved it. This creates tension in the present to pull you towards that future.


Next Steps

Do some soul searching. If you have given up on some goals, decide if they are something you really want to achieve. Think of goals you really, really want. Then pick one. Think of small steps you can take towards achieving it. If you have failed before, ask yourself why failing was more important than succeeding and how you can overcome the failures next time.


Contact me: 

To determine if coaching can help you achieve your goals, schedule a free coaching consultation. Call Edith at 847.913.3900. 

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