With the new year around the corner, you might already be thinking about the goals and resolutions you want to achieve. Maybe you want to improve your health and fitness, start or grow your business, write a book, or improve your financial situation.
No matter what goals you set, there are two essential principles you need to follow to achieve them. Without these two principles, you’re doomed to fail.
Principle 1: Be Patient
In a world where almost everything is on-demand and instant gratification is at our fingertips, patience is a virtue. Nowadays, most people aren’t used to waiting anymore. This impatience translates to their goals as well.
Most people expect to see results almost immediately. They expect results after doing one workout, writing one blogpost, reading one book, or making one investment. The truth, however, is that most worthwhile goals take time to manifest — sometimes a lot of time.
You can’t build a skyscraper in a day, write a best-selling book in a week, get a sixpack after five workouts, or make a million dollars two weeks after investing in a stock. Instead, these things take time. Just like a tree needs time to grow, your goals need time to come true.
“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” — Edmund Burke
Most people aren’t patient enough for success. They give up too quickly because they don’t see the results they hoped for in the time they expected.
That’s why I encourage you, for the new year, to be patient and put in the work over a long period. Forget about your hopes and expectations — just put in the work and be patient. The results will come if you give it enough time.
I’ve experienced this myself when I started my first business. It took me more than 18 months to earn my first dollars in revenue, while I expected it to come much, much quicker. Patience is key.
Remember, the most ambitious goals require time to come true. It’s an essential ingredient for success. That’s why you need to have a long-term perspective if you truly want to succeed this year. You need to be patient and stop getting discouraged if you don’t see any instant results.
Because, in reality, you likely won’t see the results you hoped for in the first few weeks or even months. This is a phase you have to go through. It’s a natural filtering process to separates those who truly deserve success from the ones who don’t.
Principle 2: Be Persistent
Patience alone is not enough. You might be patiently waiting for results to show up, but if you are only waiting for success, nothing will happen. Instead, you need the persistence to take consistent action on your goals — despite the lack of visual progress. You need to show up and pay your dues, practically every single day.
“The most useful form of patience is persistence. Patience implies waiting for things to improve on their own. Persistence implies keeping your head down and continuing to work when things take longer than you expect.” — James Clear
Taking action without being rewarded for it — without seeing any meaningful results — is tough. Most people can’t handle it and give up. They don’t have the persistence required for success.
However, I’ve discovered that it’s an essential part of the process to practically see zero meaningful results for the first few weeks or months when pursuing an ambitious goal. It’s like a phase you have to go through. It’s a natural filtering process for success.
Focus on putting in the work without being attached to an outcome or result. All you need to do is increase the frequency of your actions and get yourself moving as much as possible.
Stop worrying about the outcome and start focusing on the amount of action you’re taking. Eventually, results will come, and your first wins will show up.
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” — Samuel Johnson
There’s an element of delayed gratification involved with success. But in an instant-gratification world, we’re not used to waiting anymore — which is precisely why most people don’t succeed. However, if you’re patient and persistent enough, your actions will lead to results.
Remember, you’ll probably see zero results from writing one blogpost, but you will see results after writing 50 blogposts.
You’ll hardly see any results from doing one workout, but you will after going to the gym more than a hundred times.
You probably won’t make a sale from meeting with one potential client, but you will when you’ve met with 30 potential clients.
You probably won’t gain funding after pitching one investor, but you will when you’ve pitched to 50 investors.
The surest way to success is to be incredibly persistent — to put in the work consistently, no matter how you feel. It’s about maximizing the short-term — again and again — to gain long-term results.
This requires you to rise above excuses, distractions, limiting beliefs, procrastination, and even boredom.
It requires you to learn from your mistakes, improve your skills, and be your best self. It will be challenging, but the rewards will be worth it. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
Now Do It
Knowing about patience and persistence is not enough. You need to live these principles and adopt them in your daily routines.
Therefore, as an action point for this article, create an affirmation for the principles of ‘patience and persistence’ and review this every single morning as part of your morning routine.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab
Free Training: How To Achieve Your Goals In 2020
Recent studies have shown that 92% fail to achieve their goals and resolutions in the new year. I say, it’s time for change. That’s why I created the FREE training ‘How To Achieve Your Goals In 2020’.