New Year’s Resolutions of Perseverance

It’s January 10. I wonder how many people have already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions? How many didn’t bother to make any this year because they never keep them anyway? How about you?

Perseverance is a funny word. It sounds like it stands for something difficult, daunting, even grim. Heck, severe is at the core of the word! The stories we hear about perseverance are always about struggle, sacrifice and… whew, success in the nick of time.

What’s interesting or fun about that? Because after all, life should be fun, shouldn’t it? We live in an “instant gratification” world; who wants to struggle and wait?

Here’s something to think about. The intentions behind New Year’s Resolutions, or any other desire to change, always come from some place inside us that knows we could be better. Maybe we’ve even been better in the past, but for some reason we got lazy or discouraged or distracted and now things aren’t what we wish they could be.

Change of any kind takes time and effort. Perseverance is simply keeping your eyes on the goal and doing things each day that will take you closer to it. It doesn’t have to be about denying yourself things—food, drink, or a favorite TV show. Make it about doing things that over time will create the better you that’s on your mind.

Find a way to keep track of the things you do, like eating a salad each night as part of your dinner. Or walking up the stairs instead of riding the elevator to the third floor. Or making a list of things you want to accomplish each day. Or calling someone to initiate a conversation about a project you’d like to take on. Keeping track in this way can provide the instant gratification that feels so good.

With this mindset, you can make change fun. But fun for it’s own sake isn’t substantial enough to be a goal worth pursuing. Fun is often a by-product of good work or a reward for it. Doesn’t an ice cream cone after a great workout taste better than the everyday one that has become a (bad) habit? Sure it does.

Focus on your ability to stay the course—this is where positive energy comes from—and be mindful of the things you’re doing on your way to success. You might be surprised at how strong you can be. Perseverance can make for a happy new year, indeed!

Categories: General Advice

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.