How Do You Make Progress on Goals? Be Decisive!

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you become nervous when you’re confronted with decisions or roadblocks? Do you want to learn to be decisive and go for your goals?

All too often, we pretend to be decisive—in reality, we’re just trying until it gets too hard. To be able to make a true decision about a goal, it’s critical to have a connection to Source Energy and an unwavering belief in yourself.

Keep reading for tips on how to be decisive and go for it.

Go Out and Live Your Dreams

Making a decision means you’ll do whatever it takes to reach your goal. When you make a real decision, you will keep moving toward that goal no matter what roadblocks appear in your path. All too often, we pretend to be decisive — in reality, we’re just trying until it gets too hard.

For example, Henry Ford decided that his car would have an engine with 8 cylinders cast in one block. All the engineers said it was impossible; time after time he sent them back to try again until they managed to do the impossible. He wouldn’t let any roadblock deter him after he made his decision.

To really be decisive about a goal, it’s critical to have a connection to Source Energy and an unwavering belief in yourself. If we don’t have this faith, we can fall prey to our own and everyone else’s fears, and risk giving up at the first sign of failure. In fact, temporary failure is a part of succeeding, and there are countless examples of this: Henry Ford had already gone bankrupt in his first auto company attempt when his V8 engine was finally a success. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school 3 times. Beethoven’s music teacher told him he was talentless and couldn’t compose.

What all these people realized is that the only failure is quitting — everything else is just learning. When you want something badly enough, be decisive that you’ll get it, and you will.

To help spur yourself on, draw from past experiences — you’ve already accomplished more than you realize. You’ve lost weight, gotten the promotion, bought the house, quit the bad habit. You’ve been successful before and you can do it again — even if you think what you want is out of reach.

Tips on How to Be Decisive and Go for It

When you decide to go for your goal, you stop listening to your excuses and change your habits. Here’s how to start:

Want it badly. If you don’t truly want it, you’ll quit when things get hard. Pushing through to reach a goal means you’re going to have to work through major obstacles. You can’t just want to do something; you have to be all in and gung ho, believe it’s possible despite any evidence to the contrary, and go for it.

Get good at deciding. Deciding is hard. A fear of making the wrong decision can lead to waffling back and forth, but making decisions too quickly, without proper thought, can backfire. You can end up so afraid of picking one thing and missing out on another that you never end up making any decision — and indecision helps you stay stuck in your comfort zone.

Successful people face their decision-making process head on, not waffling or procrastinating. You can do this too when you decide to be decisive and make quick, smart decisions. You can do little things to build up your decision-making muscle, giving yourself small tests, such as picking something off the menu of a restaurant in under 30 seconds or giving yourself just 10 minutes to choose your groceries. Get in the habit of choosing something. Give yourself a deadline if you’re a muller and erase “I don’t know” from your vocabulary.

Stop negotiating. Understand that your decision is not up for negotiation. Negotiating is a way to help you wiggle out of your decision. Don’t let yourself off the hook. If you’re trying to quit smoking, don’t entertain the thought that one little cigarette won’t hurt. 

Stay the course. Tenacity is a trait of successful people. When you wear down your obstacles, excuses and fears, and keep going, you can succeed. To change your life you have to believe in miracles. Your faith has to be stronger than your fear — strong enough to get you through the rough times and keep going no matter what. 

How Do You Make Progress on Goals? Be Decisive!

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jen Sincero's "You Are A Badass" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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