Grit or Grits?
from Spartan Race
Through persistence of effort we accomplish our goals. Physical fitness and good health isn’t accomplished with a single, monumental effort. They are attained by consistent, focused, strenuous effort. Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has conducted research on high achievers and has determined that the human attribute of grit predicts success better than any other personality trait such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Duckworth says that grit is even a better predictor of success than intelligence (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, and Kelly, 2007).
Grit isn’t a short term phenomena. A conscientious, persistent athlete can achieve short-term goals such as improved fitness and weight loss. But grit is much more than that. According to Duckwork “Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina.” (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, and Kelly, 2007. p. 1087-1088)
For some becoming gritty may be an easy transition. For others it may require more conscious effort. Do you want more grit? Start here:
1) Write out your plan for success – establish your baseline, set a goal, define a clear path towards that goal.
2) Eliminate distracters – What are your barriers? Is it TV, internet, video games?
3) Keep a journal – Journal your successes and failures. Contemplate them; monitor your feelings and emotions. Work on solutions.
4) Share the plan – Share your plan with someone that is supportive yet can offer constructive criticism when needed. Hire a coach.
5) Keep track of your successes – Remember the days when you would receive a gold star for exceptional performance in grade school? Give yourself a gold star for every success you have during the day.
6) Last but not least, don’t give up. Success is a marathon…not a sprint. There will be peaks and valleys. Expect failure, but don’t accept it. Learn from it and keep moving forward. You must remain passionate about your goals.
7) All of this is work, hard work. Expect it, and embrace it. I looked for some research that supported the idea that success was the result of day dreaming, and quip Facebook posts, but I couldn’t find any.