How to Develop Persistence to Achieve What You Want

5 Things That Will Help You Stay Committed When Things Are Not Working Out

Knowing how to develop persistence can be the difference between achieving something we want or not.

Whenever we pursue anything meaningful or worthwhile in life, we will face obstacles, setbacks, and even experience failures. How we deal with them determines if we’re persistent.

What is Persistence?

Persistence is the ability to continue taking action towards what we want, despite challenges or struggles. It’s what separates those who are interested in achieving something they want and those who commit to achieving it.

The journey to success can include various setbacks, ridicule, criticism, humiliation or disappointments. How we deal with them determines how persistent we are and if we’ll eventually achieve success.

Why is it Important to Develop Persistence?

Persistence is important because it:

  • Tests our level of commitment.
  • Supports us in gaining greater levels of clarity.
  • Helps us become mentally stronger.
  • Allows us to focus on what’s most important.
  • Causes us to make better decisions and take more intelligent actions.

The stronger our ability to remain persistent, the greater our chances of eventually achieving what’s important.

develop persistence

A few years ago, I set the intention to get healthy and weigh what I did in my twenties. I did what was common, which included exercising more often and eating healthier. Although my weight went down, I reached a point where it plateaued.

Even though I exercised daily, had a healthy diet and got enough sleep every night, my weight didn’t change much. For about eighteen months, I remained at a steady weight. It would have been easy to not exercise as much or not pay as much attention to my diet.

However, I remained persistent even though I had nothing to show for my efforts. A few months ago, I changed my diet and continued with my daily exercise routine.

Having developed the habit of exercising daily and getting enough sleep every night made the change easier. As a result, in about six months, I got my weight down to what it was in my twenties. I’m on track to get back to my high school weight, which is the new goal I’ve set.

Since I developed persistence to stick to what was beneficial, I achieved the goal I wanted. This has allowed me to set a new goal.

5 Ways to Develop Persistence to Achieve What You Want

Persistence is a skill, which means we can develop it. Here are five ways to develop persistence to achieve what you want.

  1. Be clear on what you want and why you want it. We cannot be persistent with something if we don’t know what we want. The clearer we are and the stronger our reasons for wanting something, the more likely we’ll develop persistence.
  2. Develop a healthy mental attitude. Our ability to remain upbeat, positive and motivated is important especially during challenging times. As struggle will be inevitable whenever we’re going for something important to us, we need to have a positive attitude. Having a growth mindset is one way we can develop a positive attitude.
  3. Clarify your expectations. Sometimes, things won’t happen when we want them to. We have to be clear on the meaning we’ll create when our results are not what we expect. How we reframe something we deem to be bad will help us stay persistent and continue taking action.
  4. Be patient with yourself. We have to allow a certain period to elapse before we achieve a result. Most times, when we want to achieve something is a guess. If we don’t achieve what we want by our initial date, it means we got the date wrong. We have to continue on and not quit.
  5. Have success partners. Having like-minded people who can provide feedback and hold us accountable is valuable. There will be times when we won’t know what to do next or we may doubt ourselves. Our success partners can provide the inspiration and motivation we need to continue making progress.

Things That Will Help Maintain a High Level of Persistence

There are things that can help us remain persistent. These can include:

  • Having empowering habits.
  • Maintaining greater levels of self-discipline.
  • Having well-developed plans.
  • Taking the right actions.
  • Reconnecting to why achieving something is important.


Having persistence is a great quality to have. If we develop persistence, while success isn’t guaranteed, it will improve our chances of achieving it.

If we don’t develop persistence, we’re more likely to give up and quit when things get difficult. This means we’ll have no chance of achieving the success we want.

Action Step: Think back to the last time you quit on something important to you. What level of persistence did you have? Based on what you know now, if it’s still important to you, recommit to it. Develop the level of persistence you must have to achieve it.

Question: What are more ways to develop persistence to achieve what you want?