Have you ever had a goal that will take a really long time to accomplish, and you find your enthusiasm for that goal starts to wear off as time passes? That happens a lot at this time of year, as January moves into February and your New Year’s resolutions fall apart. Take, for example, a brand-new runner who decides to run a marathon. If you’ve never run more than a mile, it takes months to build up to running twenty-six miles straight. All those hours of running, several times a week, rain or shine, can start to wear on you, especially if you are struggling to reach your goal. The excitement you had when you signed up for the marathon seems like a distant memory. You have two choices at that point—quit training and give up on the marathon or keep persisting toward your goal.

Many of us set resolutions but after a month or so, the momentum starts to wane. That’s usually because we’re not setting the right goal or we’re creating new habits but not a new mindset. In short, we’re not doing the inner work necessary to make those habits stick. In the next three blog posts, I’ll cover what it takes to arm yourself with all the tools you need to stay persistent even when things get tough. Today, in part one of a three-part series, we’re going to dive into the four steps to persistence that are outlined in Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich.

First, go to RatRaceReboot.com and download the Quantum Leap handbook on my site. We’re going to be touching on that in this three-part series. Yes, you’ll have some homework, but it’s all designed to help you get focused, aligned with your vision and your purpose, and excited about your goals.

According to Hill, the four steps for persistence are: 1.) Having a definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment; 2.) having a definite plan expressed in continuous action; 3.) having a mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions from friends, relatives, and acquaintances; and finally 4.), having a friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through in both plan and purpose.

This week in the blog, we’re going to talk about number one: having a definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes we set goals but they’re the wrong kind of goal. There are three types of goals, as I was taught by my mentor Bob Proctor: A, B, and C-type goals. An A goal is one you have achieved before. Maybe you bought a new BMW four years ago and now want to buy another one. That’s not a goal. Goals are, by their very nature, supposed to stretch and grow you. In order to create that burning desire and momentum, you want a goal that you are excited about and haven’t done before.

B goals are where most people focus their efforts each day. I spent a large majority of my life on B-type of goals, which kept me caught in the grind. I’d achieve one goal, and go for the next one, then the next one, and the one after that. It was as if I was climbing mountains. Whenever I would reach the top of a mountain, I thought, well, now I’ll be fulfilled or now I’ll be happy. That never happened. Instead, I ended up feeling depleted and exhausted. B goals are goals you think you can do. You have the resources and a plan, and can see the steps you need to take. Although better than A goals, B goals are also not the type that fuel a burning desire for achievement.

The only kind that does that is a C goal. C goals are based on your wants and desires, not what you’ve done in the past. In fact, what you’ve done in the past is irrelevant and has no bearing on what you’re capable of doing. C goals are based on your deepest wants and desires. They require you to draw on something inside of you that maybe you haven’t drawn on before or in a long time—your imagination. We’re taught at a very young age that our imagination is a distraction because it’s considered daydreaming. You’re supposed to be projecting, planning, instead of dreaming and imagining.

Give yourself permission to dream and dream big, seemingly impossible dreams, starting today. Write down your C goal in a journal, capturing all the details. Who are you serving? How much income are you bringing in? What type of relationships do you have? How do you feel? How does it feel being you? What kind of experiences are you experiencing? How are you creating your legacy and serving the world? Write all those things down.

When you have a C goal lined up for yourself, you feel alive. It’s a vision with a timeline (even if that timeline is not determined yet). Don’t worry about how you will achieve your goal—we will get into that in future blog posts.

Write down your C goal on what we call a “goal card.” It can be an index card or business card, just something you can keep with you. Write your goal down in a couple of sentences, starting with the phrase, “I’m so happy and grateful I have achieved…” Write it in the present tense, as if you have already achieved the goal and are living it right now. When you read that statement, it transports you in your heart and imagination back to that experience of your goal.

Remember, energy is everything. Albert Einstein said that everything is energy, including our thoughts. We attract things that are in harmony with our thinking and the thoughts that we get emotionally involved with. For this next week, allow yourself to be childlike and daydream about this C goal. Write about it, read your goal card, say it in the mirror. Fall in love with that goal and get in harmony with it. Your job this week is to stay in that feeling so that you are ready for part two.

If you haven’t done so already, go to rat race reboot.com and download the Quantum Leap handbook. That’s where you’re going to find a bunch of exercises that I’m going to walk you through. Over the next couple blog posts, I’m going to take you from start to finish, from really landing on that goal and that purpose, to having that burning desire for its achievement, to crafting the plan and a bunch of other things. I’m really excited about this—and you should be too. It can be life-changing!