The Power of Determination

Seven years ago, when I felt the nudge to start blogging, I was resistant. I delayed for months, using the excuse of needing a topic I could sustain for the long haul. Granted, that was an important part of the process, but extended longer than necessary because I dreaded the commitment. Blogging, I knew, required creating quality, weekly content, and that necessitated a huge dose of determination to maintain consistency.

When Forward Motion: Moving Beyond What Holds You Back was born, I’d been through a lengthy internal journey, riddled with doubt, as I pondered and planned. Would anyone read my words? Could I create meaningful, inspirational, helpful content weekly?

Like any endeavor, determination is a key ingredient.  Without determination, you can convince yourself to take a break and risk losing forward motion. What have you been putting off? Are you missing determination?

Following are thoughts on the power of determination:

Just Start

Years ago, a Nike advertising campaign coined the slogan “Just Do It,” with the intention of motivating people to take steps toward fitness.

One of the keys of determination is beginning. Yes, planning is essential to accomplish goals, but determination is the grease that oils the forward motion machine. Until you begin, in my case, until you put pen to paper or type words on the computer screen, you’re not going anywhere.

Each week, as I sit before a blank screen, I’m either primed and ready to go, or struggling for a topic. But the process is not nearly as cumbersome as it was when I began seven years ago. Beginning fuels the mental process that helps you move forward. Once you start, even if your progress is halting, you’re headed in the right direction. And the process becomes easier with each successive step because your mind falls into the pattern with less effort.

Keep the Goal in Mind

Early in a race, those competing often can’t see the finish line. They know they must propel themselves forward, but their immediate goal is to stay in the race and not fall behind. As the finish line comes into view, they can forget the grueling miles and discomfort because they are on the home stretch. The finish line looms ahead, coming closer each moment. At this point, final reserves kick in as they speed toward the goal.

Even when you can’t see the finish line, harness determination and mentally focus on the goal.

The Sacrifice of Determination

For the last few months, I have been three pounds away from a weight loss goal. Each day, I think, I’m going to do what it takes to lose those three pounds, but as the day wears on, I convince myself three pounds isn’t enough to sacrifice for. I am lacking the self-control and determination I need to move the needle on the scale.

Are you willing to employ the sacrifice of determination to reach your goals? What could you change, or give up, to kick determination into overdrive. Are you willing?

Set a Deadline

Writers often say they procrastinate unless working to a deadline. That might not be the case for everyone, but setting a firm deadline puts a pin in the map, and helps you structure your progress. Checkpoints along the way determine if you need to increase your pace. Set a deadline with the intention of reaching it on time. Give no thought to moving the deadline.

Reject Excuses

Sometimes people ask me how I accomplished various things. I’ve learned they don’t want to hear the words “persistence” or “process.” They want a magic bullet that requires not much work on their part and happens rapidly. Often, I hear, “Oh, I can’t do that,” or “I don’t want to wait that long,” in reply. You CAN if your willingness is greater than your excuses and you employ determination.

Request Help

If you have a history of not reaching your goals, or your determination is weak, find a good accountability partner who will help you stay on task. And don’t forget to ask God, the best advocate and encourager available, for help.

Enjoy Rewards

The definition of determination is the firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end; the act of deciding definitely and firmly. Synonyms include decisiveness, resoluteness, stick-to-itiveness. The sticky one is perhaps my favorite because it reminds me that, if you allow it, determination adheres to you and won’t let you go until you’ve accomplished your goal.

The reward of accomplishment boosts your self-esteem and reminds you challenges are possible to overcome. So, the next time you face a challenge, big or small, harness the power of determination, pray for strength, and gain forward motion.

“Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out” (Proverbs 16:3 GNT).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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