Those who succeed in achieving their dreams always have one common characteristic. They never give up. This isn’t an attitude that they develop toward the end, it’s a mindset that they establish from the beginning and nurture throughout the process.
Here’s are 18 ways to never give up on your goals and dreams.
1. There is No Perfect Time
If you are thinking about giving up on a goal until the conditions in your life are just right, chances are you’ll be waiting a long time. There is no perfect time to do something. It’s one of the secrets of success to know this. Looking for the perfect time is just an excuse to procrastinate.
Instead of giving up, continue from where you are with what you’ve got. In six months, you can either have gotten closer to your dreams or be exactly in the same place that you are today.
Never give up just because you think the time isn’t right.
2. The Wait to Feel Like It is Forever
Motivation follows action, not the other way around. Once you get started, your motivation will begin to build. This is especially true during the early stages of developing a new habit or way of living.
For example, when you start an exercise program you have to force yourself to do it for a while before you will begin to feel motivated. The motivation comes from getting yourself to exercise, how great you feel when you’re done, and the results that you see in the mirror.
Never give up on a goal because you don’t feel like it. Force yourself to do it anyway and your motivation will begin to grow.
3. Adopt a No Excuses Mantra
Your mind can come up with endless excuses as to why you should give up on a goal. This is especially true of goals that involve giving up a substance that you have become addicted to physically. In these cases, your mind and body will tell you anything to get the nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol so that it can return to the “normal” state that it has become accustom to with the presence of the drug. Since your mind is in a state of confusion when you are quitting a bad habit or beginning a new one, it’s better not to argue with it at this point.
You can put an end to all the internal debates, questions, and arguments by simply saying to yourself, “No excuses!” This works because these two words leave no room for negotiation or debate. I’ve used this technique to push myself to get out of bed at 4:00 or 5:00 am to exercise six days a week for years. It works every time. (Update: I now get up at 3:40 am.)
The no excuses mantra says, “I’ll never give up.”
4. Disneyland Wasn’t Built in a Day
The more popular saying is “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I prefer to use the place known as the “Happiness Place on Earth” instead. This isn’t meant to imply that Rome isn’t a beautiful and happy place, however. I’ve been told that it is.
Have you ever noticed a new building or house at the start of construction and then were amazed to see it completed the next time you saw it? What you did not see was all the work that was done each day over six months to finish it.
It’s the same with our progress toward our goals and dreams. It’s hard to see any significant progress if you look at on a daily or weekly basis. But if you look at your progress over several months or years, then you can see how far you’ve come and what you’ve built in your life.
You never give up because you know that goal achievement is a process and not an event.
5. Trust that You Will Find a Way
Everyone wants to see the entire route and pitfalls before they begin their journey. Trouble is that the ideal route to your goal doesn’t exist. This is because no one has ever traveled the unique path that you require.
No one on earth has had the same experiences as you. Therefore, your path to your goals will be the one that you create.
Instead of giving up, trust that you will find the way as you go along. Never give up on your goal until you are certain that you’ve reached your desired destination.
6. Eliminate the Escape Routes
Try means fail. When you say to yourself “I’ll try to become a nonsmoker,” you’re leaving the door open to give up. When you say to yourself “I will become a nonsmoker,” you are closing the door to failure and opening the door to success.
Do it right now with one of your goals and see how differently you feel when you say it. Just say to yourself “I’ll try to… (Insert your goal).” And “I WILL… (Insert your goal).” Don’t you feel weak went you say “I’ll try…” and strong when you say “I WILL…”
You’ll never give up if you eliminate all your escape routes.
7. Don’t Let Setbacks & Difficulties Derail You
To expect a perfectly smooth ride to your goal is not reasonable. Why drive yourself crazy expecting perfection. It doesn’t exist.
Obstacles are the tests that will make you feel worthy and proud once you reach your goal. The true value and reward in accomplishing a goal is in the challenges you overcome during the journey.
Have you ever known someone who inherited a great deal of wealth? And have you ever known someone who created a great deal of wealth on their own? I have. These two diverse paths to wealth often produce two completely different people. In my experience, the person who inherited wealth was arrogant, had poor money management skills, and had no empathy for people who were less fortunate. In contrast, the person who created his own wealth was humble, had excellent money management skills, and often contributed his time and money to help others.
The point here is that setbacks and difficulties are your opportunities to become a person who is truly worthy of the success that you seek.
Character building is a key component to the “never give up” mindset.
8. Awkwardness Comes Before Skillfulness
Skills are developed. We are not born with them. Think back to the first time you drove a car or used a computer and compare it to the skills you have today.
The same learning process happens when you are working toward achievement of a new goal. This means that you must be willing to go through the awkward stage to get to the point of being skillful.
Don’t allow yourself to give up simply because you haven’t gotten through the awkward stage yet. Eventually you will become highly skilled in living your dream and barely remember all the uncomfortable moments.
Giving up strengthens awkwardness. Having an attitude that you’ll never give up, defeats it.
9. Give Your Mind and Body Time to Adjust
Your mind is wired and your body has adapted to your past way of doing things. You need to give your mind and body time to rewire and adjust to your new way of living.
In the meantime, ignore the mental tennis match that’s going on in your mind. If you get a little confused or forgetful, don’t worry about it. Once your mind rewires itself, you’ll be back better than ever.
Don’t be concerned if you feel tired, depressed, confused, anxious, or have trouble sleeping. This is all part of the process of change. This is especially true if you are giving up a bad habit like smoking or drinking, changing your diet, or losing weight. It will all improve in a few days and disappear in a few weeks.
If you can decide in advance to give your mind and body plenty of time to adjust, you’ll never give up.
10. Find Your Answers and Motivation Within
Your best answers are within you! This might sound funny, but only you have been present throughout your entire life. Therefore, no one on earth is better qualified to provide solutions regarding your life than you.
There’s nothing wrong with getting advice and ideas from other people. But ultimately, only you know the best solution for yourself. This idea parallels with the principle of accepting 100% responsibility for your life.
Full acceptance of this responsibility will ensure that you never give up.
11. Stay Focused on What You Want
Dismiss thoughts of failure and uncertainty and stay focused on the vision of what you want to accomplish. Spend some time imagining in detail what it will be like to achieve your desired outcome. Once you have a detailed life-like movie of that outcome playing in your mind along with the wonderful feelings that it produces, that’s where you want to stay emotionally. That’s the emotional reality that you want to create in the present. When you have the emotional charge of what you intent to manifest in the present, you’ll have the motivation to do the things necessary to accomplish your goal.
In addition, your subconscious and the Law of Attraction will also be at work in helping you achieve your goal. Your subconscious mind represents the majority of your mental capacity and it contains all the experiences of your life. Therefore, it is very reliable source for solutions and guidance. This is where our intuition (or gut feelings) comes from. It is produced in our subconscious and articulated in our conscious mind.
The Law of Attraction states that what you think about you bring about. So it’s very important that you choose your thoughts carefully. The LofA has worked so many times in my life in both bad and good ways depending on the focus of my thoughts that it’s impossible to ignore and exciting to embrace.
If you stay clearly focused on what you want, you’ll never give up.
12. Face and Walk Through Your Fears
Attainment of any worthwhile goal or dream will require courage. Courage is not something that you can bring about intellectually. Courage is the ability to feel fear and take action in spite of it.
The fear of failure and not being good enough are common. They feed on each other. When you feel that you are not good enough to reach a particular goal you are being fearful that you won’t succeed. Which comes first then? Fear or the feeling that you’re not good enough? They happen simultaneously. Both of them can be traced to a fear of the unknown, which is a perfectly normal response.
The solution is to face and walk through your fears and uncertainties. Once you have successfully done this, then you get a measure of courage. Each time you do it, you will gain more courage. Eventually you will reach the point when you realize that your fears and uncertainties are no longer present.
Courageous men and women never give up.
13. Seriously Consider the Alternatives
Take a serious look at your alternatives if you were to give up on your dream right now. How do feel about those alternatives? Now compare those alternatives to how you’d feel if you hung in there and achieved your dream.
Get yourself into the feeling place of giving up your dream and living with the alternatives. Then get yourself into the feeling place of having achieved your dream and living with that outcome. How do feel? I’d bet that you now have no other choice but to never give up on your dream!
Once you seriously consider the alternatives, you’ll never give up.
14. Consider Your Reputation & Legacy
What do people say about you today when you are not around? What will people say about you after you die?
Imagine if it was your time to say goodbye to everyone in your life. This YouTube video of Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman singing “Time to Say Goodbye” may help to get you into that spirit. Picture it being played at your funeral. Although most of it is in Italian, it’s easy to imagine the words or you can fill in your own to fit your situation. Please let me know if this video goes dead here.
I know that we aren’t suppose to worry about what other people say about us, but wouldn’t you rather they speak well of you? How will the accomplishment of your goal or dream affect how other people think and speak about you? How will your family, friends, and coworkers treat you differently once you achieve your goal? How will you behave when you are around them?
Define what kind of man or woman you will be after you achieve your goal or dream and work toward becoming that person now. Once you become that person, the achievement of your goal or dream will be close behind.
Those who never give up create great reputations and legacies.
15. Nothing Worthwhile is Easy
Can you think of a single impressive accomplishment by you or someone else that was easily attained? It’s the difficulty of the climb that makes the view at the summit so magnificent!
Look at what happens to lottery winners and people who inherit large sums of money. Many of them get into serious trouble or go broke.
Ask any retired millionaire what they enjoyed most in their life. They would probably tell you that they enjoyed the challenges and the struggles and the rewards for prevailing over them.
Giving up is easy. To never give up is worthwhile.
16. Setup a Meaningful Reward
What kind of reward could you give yourself that would really inspire you? Select a reward that is equal to the goal that you’re trying to achieve. Pick one that excites you to the point that if you didn’t reach it you’d be extremely disappointed.
It’s also important that you setup specific criteria for earning the reward. For example, if your goal is to lose weight you might use these criteria.
- Lose 25 pounds by October 1.
- Learn about healthy eating by February 1.
- Establish a healthy diet by March 1.
- Join a fitness club or build a home gym by April 1.
- Be exercising 3-4 days a week by May 1.
- Be power walking 5 days a week by June 1.
This is extensive criteria, but it gives you a good idea on what’s possible.
Your reward can be anything that’s meaningful to you. A reward for a small goal might be a new electronic gadget, a massage, a nice dinner out, or a weekend getaway. A reward for a big goal might be a new television, computer, car, or a vacation. Once you decide, shop for it, get some brochures, and cut out the best pictures. Put the pictures on your inspiration board. I’ll be describing the inspiration board in the last section.
If you need to set aside money for the item, open a separate saving account and use your reward as its nickname. For example, if your reward is a trip to Hawaii, nickname the account Hawaii. Then as you make cash deposits in your bank account, you’ll be simultaneously making a deposit in your personal motivation account.
Those who never give up reap the rewards.
17. Attach a Motivation IV
Stay motivated by reading or listening to a steady stream of personal development books. This will feed your mind will ideas for staying motivated and on track.
Reading or listening to this material is particularly effective at the beginning and end of the day. I often listen to self improvement books in the morning as I am preparing breakfast. This practice helps to set a positive tone for the day. When you do it just before you go to bed, your subconscious mind will process the information while you sleep and give you the benefits the next day.
Reading or listening to personal development books is especially useful during those times when you’ve had a setback and are struggling to stay motivated.
If you can’t afford to buy any books right now, go to your public library. It’s free! I’ve listened to just about every personal development audio book available at my public library.
Strengthen your never give up attitude with a steady stream of inspiring books.
18. Create an Inspiration Board
Some people call it a vision board. I call it an inspiration board instead because that’s what I want it to do –- inspire me!
An inspiration board should contain anything and everything that inspires you toward the accomplishment of your goals. This would include things that give you clarity and inspiration like numeric objectives, action steps, completion dates, mission statements, values & principles, pictures, inspirational messages, and quotes.
An inspiration board can be made on many things including a bulletin board, poster board, plywood, or picture frame backing. You can also create them for different purposes. For example, you might create one for your goals and one for inspiration. I created one for inspiration using quotes.
I’ve always been inspired by quotes from highly accomplished people. I once created an inspiration board completely filled with inspirational quotes from all the great people throughout history that I admire. I attached the quotes to the backing of a glass covered picture frame and hung it in my office. Whenever I needed some inspiration, I’d stand in front of it and read the quotes.
Men and women who never give up on their dreams use inspiration boards.
Die trying, but NEVER give up.