Successful People Are In It For the Long Haul

Big goals take time, which means it can be especially hard to stick to them when they require both time and sacrifice. The good news is that once you stick with a goal and succeed, the next goal gets a little easier. You already know you can be successful — and knowing that is half the battle.

Breaking down a big goal into a series of SMART goals is one way successful people are able to stick with things for the long haul.

Instead of seeing yourself reaching a big goal “someday”, you’re frequently rewarded with a series of smaller successes. And if you have a setback or don’t succeed at one of the mini-goals along the way, it’s not devastating. You’re more likely to persist despite a setback — which of course means you’re more likely to succeed at your overall goal.

Another key to maintaining momentum over the long haul is to make the end really clear in your mind. Spend time every day imagining what your life will be like when you reach your goal.

Don’t just think “oh, it’ll be so nice when we get our house paid off” (or whatever your goal is). Instead, go into more detail, and talk about it with others who share your goal or who will cheer you on. For example, when we get our house paid off, we’ll be able to live on a ridiculously small amount of money. That means we’ll be able to quit our jobs if we feel like it, travel the world on a whim, invest more, etc.

Really picture doing it, and you’ll be motivated to keep at it.

Are you in it for the long haul?


  • When it came to getting out of credit card debt, I found that having a visual image helped me stick it out. I posted a debt repayment plan I got from an online source and would frequently pull it out to see just how much further I had to go. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel made all the difference. Right now, I really want to own a lovely home, so I yank photos of lovely houses and perfect interiors. Seeing those images helps me keep the mindless spending at bay. Well, most days. :)

    • That sounds like a great way to visualize the house. As a bonus, if you want to spend on the house after you’ll get it, you’ll have design ideas too ;)

  • Kim

    Yes, but it is such a long haul. Successful people work hard, I think I worked too hard today. But I am getting out of debt. Everyday I am closer, you eat the elephant one mouthful at a time. Successful people make mistakes but they own up to them and go on. I have to fall on my sword all the time but it does not stop me. I remember running every day during my lunch break while I was in college. All I would visualize is graduating. Everyday for 5 years, and finally one day I was standing with two diplomas. It works. Today it worked too well.

  • I am in a lot of different things for the long haul. However, I keep my focus on the smaller issues. Take the grocery budget…I don’t focus on how much money I am putting in savings. I focus on how I am keeping the grocery budget and not overspending. By default if I keep the budget, I will be putting more money in savings.

    Also when I find a task burdensome, I sometimes but a timer on. I will allocate 30 or so minutes to a given task. This makes it really easy for me to stick with the task because…it is only 30 minutes.