Being successful doesn’t get handed to a person on a silver platter. Most people have to work their way against various odds and sometimes unimaginable setbacks before they’re able to really call themselves successful. Life is made up of a series of challenges and we have to expect the same thing especially when pursuing our goals.

Setting goals is only the first step, but following through with our goals and seeing them through to completion make up the bigger and harder chunk of the whole process. Taking action and putting in work will not be enough if you’re not fully committed to the goal that you are aiming to accomplish.

Human as we are, our brains are naturally wired to protect us from change, difficulty, and perceived danger, and so to persist means to go beyond this nature and that requires real determination. Persistence, as we know it, doesn’t come easy or naturally to many of us.

But there are proven ways to build up our persistence ‘muscle’. It is a quality that is worth cultivating and practicing all throughout our lives, even more so when we are aiming for success and want to achieve our goals.

Start doing the following things (and keep doing them) if you want to stay determined through the course of a challenge and to achieve your goals in life successfully.

Have a Strong Purpose for What You Do

You should know the reason why you do what you do. Build up your why and choose one that’s strong enough, not only to motivate you but to remind you to take a step towards your goals every day. Without a clear purpose and a strong enough “why,” the choice is there to slack off.

Condition your mind to believe otherwise and take that choice off the table. This is only possible when you are running with a strong purpose for what you do. Be desperate and hungry to reach your goal; this will get you moving forward consistently no matter what.

Zero-in On a Clear Goal

The ability to focus goes hand in hand with persistence. Essentially, it is a prerequisite for you to persist in anything. To work on being a more persistent individual means having focus and being clear about your goals. After all, what is there to persist in the face of many challenges, if we keep adjusting the target.

We will easily lose any momentum if we don’t know exactly what we want. It’s very easy to get distracted and surrender to our weaknesses in this way. So set clear goals to achieve; this will work wonders on your ability to persist and achieve goals one by one.

Cultivate Good Habits

Studies show that daily behavior is composed of 45% habit. This means that the key to anything we want to achieve lies in exploiting that. Our life is a reflection of all our long-term habits combined. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

To be persistent means to cultivate the ability and habit of focusing on what we do. If we make it our second nature to behave in ways that will unconsciously make us more persistent, sooner or later, we will reach our goals. The secret lies in our habits. So make sure to spend some time examining which habits are making you win, and which habits are pulling you down every day.

Trust and Believe in Yourself

Cultivate a healthy belief in yourself. Trust in your abilities and know that you are enough. You have what it takes to make your dreams come true and make your goals a reality, don’t ever doubt it. Without this healthy, positive esteem and belief in yourself, it’s impossible to accomplish anything – big or small.

If you trust yourself enough, you will not give up until you achieve what you set out to do. The truth is, it’s normal for us to go through moments of doubt. But to achieve our goals in life entails something bigger than luck, talent, or sheer strength.

Our positive mindset and belief that we can conquer something will be our sole buoyant force during these moments. Believe in yourself enough to persist through any odds.