Keep Calm and Persevere

No doubt you have or you will experience both inspiration and motivation (see previous blog entry) in reaching for your goals whether they are about getting healthier, taking on a new career or being more connected in your relationships. But what happens when things get tough - and they will get tough.

What separates those who accomplish and succeed from those who don’t?


Do you have it?

People - ordinary ones like you and me - develop skills that help them persevere and triumph. You know these individuals - you root for them in the movies or hear about them on the nightly news or read about them in a stirring memoir. You can be one of them.

What does perseverance look like? For one, focus - keeping your eye on the ball so to speak. You have to look past, look over, look around (you get the picture) the obstacles that obstruct your view of the goal. Tune out all the static and stay the course by defining your purpose and vision. Write them down and read them daily. Visualize yourself being successful.

Here’s a few more tools for your perseverance toolbox:

Practice patience. Sometimes it helps to set one goal at a time unless a couple of them are closely related and it makes sense to group them together. Be specific with your goal setting. Remind yourself things that bring great joy and gratification take time. Track your progress and celebrate the milestones.

Look past your fear. It is one of the biggest barriers to goal reaching. Ask yourself, “What could I do, if I weren’t afraid?” Step outside of your comfort zone and try it. Stop comparing yourself to others and embrace your imperfections - they don’t mean you will fail.

Align your goals with your strongest values and deepest convictions. Get clarity around your priorities and principles. Only then can you choose that which will bring you success and satisfaction. Ask yourself, “Do my goals match my purpose in life?” “Will reaching my goal bring me fulfillment?” If the answer is yes, you know what to do.

Be willing to sacrifice. Someone once told me, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything you want.” You have to be willing to choose sometimes. Keep your eye on the prize and endure. You might need to change your environment to help ensure success. Don’t rule anything out. And, remember, if you’ve done the alignment (see previous paragraph) the sacrifices will be worth it in the end.

Manage your energy. As Peter Drucker the management guru one said, “There is nothing more useless than doing something efficiently which should not be done at all.” We have limits on the amount of time and energy we are able to focus on our job, family, friends, being healthy and fun. The path to effective time management is to be clear about our priorities and fully engaged in how we spend the limited time and energy we have.

The two Cs - commitment and confidence. Perseverance is about making a commitment to your goal with your time, energy and money. And, if you’re feeling less than, ask yourself the question, “Who defines me?” Then reach down for the answer and there find your confidence to carry on.

One of the most important perseverance tools: be willing to try again, recommit and learn from what’s not working.

And remember have some fun!