Real determination means refusing to give up when things get hard. How many times have you thought to yourself “I’m determined to lose weight” or “I’m determined to change something in my life” and then never seen it through? Take a moment to think about a time when you were determined to do something. Did you achieve it? If not, why? What made you give up?
Accomplishing goals and dreams is on almost everyone’s minds, but not everyone succeeds. Why? Dreaming about climbing a mountain or having a successful business is simple, but taking steps towards achieving it requires determination. If you lack conviction and determination you will never achieve your dreams.
Deb Johnson decided to change her life over a year ago (read her story here). To ensure a client stays focussed and determined I often suggest they set themselves a challenge. Something that will test their physical and mental capacity. Something they can work towards. One day during a coaching session we were walking up Belmont Tower and I casually mentioned that nobody had ever (to my knowledge) walked up and down the hill to the tower 100 times (44 miles) and what an achievement that would be for someone. She looked at me as if I was on another planet and I won’t repeat what she said, but I had her hooked!
How to develop strong determination:
1. Make a specific decision. Pin down exactly what you want to achieve and commit to it immediately. This will make you accountable for your actions. Write it down and remember you can update it at any point. For example, Deb decided to take me up on my challenge to climb Belmont Tower 100 times.
2. Why do you want to do it? Deciding what you want to do is probably the easy bit, but working out exactly why you want to do is slightly harder, but actually more important. If you don’t have a reason to do something, what’s going to fuel your motivation to achieve it? Deb knew that she would need pure grit and determination to succeed in this challenge. She has worked hard over the last year to lose weight and improve her overall fitness, so achieving something she would never have been able to do 14 months ago was the reason why she wanted to do this challenge.
3. Don’t fear failure. One of the biggest killers of determination is fear. What if I fail? What will people think? Let’s be realistic, nobody will really care except you! Deb often said to me “failure isn’t an option”. I love the sheer positivity and determination in her mind. She accepted that if injury forced her to stop then she would deal with it, but not let it stop her from doing her very best.
If you do fail at anything, consider it as a hurdle but not as a full stop on the way to success. Take a leaf out of the great Michael Jordan’s book…..“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying”.
As a result of months of training Deb literally smashed her challenge yesterday, with fantastic support from her family and friends. She started at 0500, climbing the hill 100 times, covering 44 miles in 17 hours and 40 minutes. She finished at at 2240 and completed her last loop with all of her supporters cheering her along. It wasn’t easy for her and there were points when her body was simply aching from head to toe, but her pure determination to succeed won.
You can accomplish your goals with determination and persistence. Actually, you can accomplish anything you want to, if you put your mind to it. Achieving something that you have set out to do is the greatest feeling in the world. Nobody can take that feeling away from you.
As Deb’s coach and her friend, I cannot express how proud I am of her.
Be like Deb, be determined!
Make the change.