“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on” – Franklin Roosevelt
I love this quote, as it really gives me what I need today – persistence and the ability to move forward that some call willpower. If you’re an avid reader, you know that I’m a bit stuck on the debate on whether willpower is a personality trait, or simply a question of attitude.
Either way, you’ve got to have the perseverance and grit necessary to get through the bumps on your personal road to success.
So, how on earth do you keep going and persevering through the tough times? Well, I’m glad you asked! Today’s post is on exactly that.
On Perseverance & Grit
I love the word “grit”. Doesn’t it seem so intense for a such a short word? Well, I should say that I love the results that come from hard work and grit; results that come from effort.
Have you ever come to the end of your rope? Really felt like you just couldn’t do it any more, even if you’re usually a motivated person? Trust me, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes it feels like your goals are miles away and you just can’t take it anymore.
I’m kind of at that point with my PhD, to be fair. My project is massive and it just seems like TOO much to finish my analysis with no help, write 3 articles full of brand new research, and have them accepted by decent academic journals within the next year. My first deadline is June 30th and sometimes it seems like it’s SO far out of reach.
So, what do I do when I feel that my patience for perseverance is fading?
How To Hang In There: 3 Simple Steps
While I plan to continue reading books on perseverance, grit, and motivation on my road to the PhD (and share it with all of you, of course!), here’s the 3 step method I currently use when I’m feeling behind.
Step 1: Visualize Your End Goal
Visualizing is SO important, in my opinion. Without it, I really wouldn’t know how to envision the future I want for myself,
- Set CLEAR goals (If you need help, check out my popular post on How To Set Goals)
- Close your eyes and imagine the perfect, ideal, outcome for those goals. Hang on to that beautiful picture every time you feel yourself slipping away from a position of perseverance.
- Don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in the future that you forget to enjoy the progress you’re making in the present. Even if they are baby steps, they are still steps.
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Step 2: Have A Solid Plan
So, I’m a planner (in case you don’t have me all figured out already!) Planner. Organizer. Visualizer. True Believer in Goal Setting. For me, plans are the most important part of ensuring that I can find the “grit” and “perseverance” to keep going. Here’s a few points to remember if you’re not a natural planner.
- Plans don’t have been long – A few jot notes and lists at a time can get the job done.
- Organizing doesn’t have to be complicated – Some of my most comprehensive plans for my blog are simply lists in Excel tabs.
- Follow-through IS important – Plans you can’t stick to are useless. Think carefully about what you want, and commit.
Step 3: Take A Break
So, what’s the honest truth about why my post is a few hours later than usual today? Well, I took a break this weekend and spent a few days roaming around Lisbon, Portugal with a great friend I hadn’t seen in a couple years. I haven’t been able to get as ahead of the game as I wanted to by The Teaching Cove’s six month birthday, so I’m still writing my posts week by week.
You know what, though? I believe breaks are vital for productivity, perseverance and grit. They recharge you and propel you forward through the next hurdles you’ll face.
Michael Hyatt, one of my extremely successful Blogger Heroes, believes that, too. In fact, he gave his entire team the week off last week and emailed his subscribers to let us all know. Personally, I found that incredible – and it reminds me how little vacation time is valued at a few corporations I’ve worked for (in North America) in the past. In fact, I remember people becoming jealous when I took every single vacation day allotted to me, every year (or carried them forward and used them the year that followed).
So, why not cash the vacation out, as so many people do in North America? Well, having more money doesn’t give you the break you need to recharge. It’s that simple. Saying you have “too much work” is NOT a good excuse to skip your breaks.
Have a lovely and productive Monday!
P.S. Photo fans, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took in the summer of 2010 in Sedona, Arizona
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