There are a handful of qualities people who achieve their goals possess. Some of it is ingrained in personalities already, but the good news is you can teach yourself all of these things by repetition and building great habits!
I have been both people:
- The one who gets determined and sets a goal and crushes it.
- The one who floats goals month after month with little to no real success. One step forward, two steps back kind of situation.
It’s easy to put your goals on the back burner when life gives complicated, heavy, busy, or some combo of all of the above. Literally right now, I have been hanging on to about 15lbs leftover from Lexi Lou who and I plateaued at my comfortable weight.
I’ve been having a hard time shaking these last few pounds literally because of my desire to drink my calories. The drink has changed, but I’ve done that for years.
I have also lost 120lbs in one setting.
That is why I feel qualified to write on this – because I get both sides of it.
I have noticed these characteristics in different circles, and have put together a quick list for you today of qualities of people who achieve their goals!
7 Qualities of People Who Actually Achieve Their Goals
1. Self discipline
Thankfully, this is a trait that we can teach ourselves!
I was homeschooled as a kid for four years and I think it went a long way to helping me learn self discipline, but here is a little trick that has helped me:
Work on your goal a little bit each day, no matter how small.
Even if it’s just a few small things. You can apply this almost anywhere.
If you’re working on being healthier, decide that your small step today is simply to make a healthy dessert option all day. Have an apple sprinkled with cinnamon and microwaved for several minutes instead of ice cream or do 1,000 extra steps.
If you’re a blogger, sit down to do a few housekeeping tasks or manually pin.
Usually if you just do something small, it gets the momentum going to do a little more!
Confidence is something that most women I know lack and truly, I work on every day.
I think I’m harder on myself than anyone else. It’s even harder if you’re working to undo years of bullying or are around people who don’t build you up.
Something that has helped me is flipping the narrative.
Literally today, I passed by a mirror and had a subconscious thought that my arms looked fat. So I told myself as many lovely things as I could think of that these arms have done: loved ones they’ve held, babies they’ve rocked, people they’ve hugged, hands they’ve shaken, meals they’ve cooked, traditions they’ve created, and more.
There is more loveliness in you than what you realize. There has to be a plethora of lovable things about you because the God Who hung the stars in the sky and calls them out by name thought you were were dying for – even in the middle of every thing about you that you don’t love about yourself. You can’t be enough in your own strength, but when Jesus is your strength, the sky is the limit for your untapped potential.
Start building confidence by flipping the narrative, and every time you have a self destructive thought, tell yourself three lovely things instead.
I’m not smart enough ➡ I’m teachable, I’m willing to learn, and I can do anything So and so can do.
My body is too thick ➡ My body has grown three beautiful children, nourished them, and brought me more joy than I ever thought possible.
This has already been done ➡ This hasn’t been done by me, if they can do it so can I, and there is room for everyone at the top!
3. Adaptability & flexibility
Goals are awesome, but the reality is things and plans change. You don’t have to change the goal itself to change your approach to get there.
Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change will help keep your goal in your long range sights when it seems like you can’t do it a particular way anymore because that’s not working.
Before I had Sophia, I tried to lose weight by going to the gym 6-7 days/week and eating healthier.
After I had Ella, I didn’t have that option because I couldn’t leave that much anymore with a newborn and two babies under two with my husband on seconds, so I joined Weight Watchers and got my steps by walking around in our small 750 square foot house at the time.
It was absolutely hard. But it worked.
Resist the urge to be rigid. Be okay with changing your approach if it’s needed.
In the long run, it’s not going to matter how you got there; only that you did.
4. Willingness to learn
This one is absolutely crucial, because arrogance is the quick path to not being successful.
It’s not possible to be a pro when you’ve never tried something before. You can’t pick up flour and make a pie crust when you have never done it in your life because that is a tricky thing to make! It takes learning from someone who has already mastered it and doing it over and over again until you perfect it.
Being willing to read and learn from others who have been there before you, then taking bits and pieces that you love from different resources and applying them to your unique situation will get you so much farther!
Be willing to read, learn, and accept knowledge from those who have walked a similar path ahead of you and you will cut months, maybe years off your goal timeline! You could also save yourself a lot of money and stress you don’t have to have.
Proverbs 12:15 reminds us that the wise listen to advice. It’s an honorable thing to be willing to listen to and learn from those who have been there before us.
Humility is right under willingness to learn by design, because it takes a humble heart to be willing to learn!
Arrogant people have a heart time accepting that someone else’s knowledge might be more extensive than their own, and if you can’t accept that, how can you learn from them? You can’t.
When we humble ourselves, it puts us in a position for God to exalt us instead (James 4:10; Luke 14:11).
If you don’t have perseverance, you will not reach your goals. Plain and simple (don’t you love how I sugar coat everything?).
Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes. There’s ebbs and flows on the way to accomplishing anything that you have to ride out if you want to reach your destination.
You have to do it on the days you don’t feel like it.
There is good news though: for me anyway, I have always found that on weeks I’m feeling absolutely unmotivated and just generally discontent, the next week is always better.
After the “ebb” there is always another “flow”.
Next week you’ll feel better, your heart will be in it more, it’ll be easier than it felt last week, and you will be glad you kept at it in spite of how you felt.
One scripture I just love is in Nehemiah 8:10 where it reminds us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
This is powerful because it takes the pressure off of us to create our own joy, because it’s not found in us anyway. It’s found in Him.
If you’re struggling to be joyful today, rest in Jesus. Worry doesn’t help anyway. Stress doesn’t change anything. It all comes out in the wash.
All hard seasons and days have to end and are inevitably followed by better days. Some of your most joyful times are still ahead of you! You might enjoy this list of hacks to tap into joy today.
Give yourself the same grace you’d give a friend and release your burdens to Jesus. He really does care for you (1 Peter 5:7 and Matthew 11:28-30 are beautiful reminders)! Tap into your joy by releasing your burdens to Him and taking on His strength instead. You don’t have to do it all by yourself, sweet friend.
If you feel a little overwhelmed…
I want to leave you with the good news: you can train yourself to have all of these qualities by simple repetition and building great habits.
I know because I’ve done it.
Some of these traits I naturally had to a degree – some of them I have had to fight for or teach myself. Like perseverance and humility. It starts with simple awareness.
Oftentimes, once something is brought to your attention, you start seeing it when it didn’t really register before. Like if we were driving and I said, look for red cars.
You would start seeing red cars naturally and actually noticing them.
Take the trait you want to start with and ask yourself honest questions.
Do I have this naturally?
Why or why not? What could have contributed to this trait?
What do I want to do with it? How can I improve?
How can I use this thing for God’s glory?
Once you’re aware, you’ll naturally see details that you probably glazed over before simple because it wasn’t in the front of your mind.
Pray on it.
Then start with a tiny piece. Make a promise to yourself and keep it like you would keep it for a friend.
Master that tiny piece, then build on it. It adds up, it gets easier, and after about 30 days it becomes more natural. After 60 or so, it’s solidified.
I have no accreditations to talk on the brain or anything mental health related – I’m just a mom and a person like you who has learned what works and helps me.
This feels like a weird example, but it came to me so I’m going with it.
I hated the dentist (bad childhood experience) and avoided going like the plague for years. Waiting until something hurt seemed like a better approach than regular cleanings.
I also never flossed and used a manual toothbrush, quickly, once a day. It was a recipe for the perfect dental storm.
This terrible approach, combined with a love of Red Bull and cake, resulted in three abscess teeth inside of three years. So in total, in the last three years, I have had: a root canal, two extractions, two crowns and my wisdom teeth out.
Now, I floss and brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush. But I started with flossing. I hated it. It felt stupid and tedious and like a waste of time.
But I did it anyway because it’s cheaper than an abscess tooth and it would save me excruciating pain. I had Lexi without drugs and I’d much rather do that than have an abscess tooth. Anyhow…
My point with that very weird analogy was that after I flossed for about a month at night, I got used to it and added on the extra brushing at night.
That was maybe six months ago, and now I love going to sleep with clean feeling teeth.
I started with a tiny thing that took 20 seconds a day and built onto it, and now it’s a staple of my evening routine that I can barely skip anymore.
Start small. Build on it.
You’ve got this.
One Last Bonus Tip That Has Helped Me
If you don’t already have one, I highly recommend getting yourself a Start Today Journal! I have been doing this practice for about a year now, and I can tell you that it has personally had a huge effect on myself, my mindset, and my ability to accomplish my goals.
I hope you enjoyed my list of qualities of people who achieve their goals! What traits have helped you accomplish goals? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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