Fitness centers are packed every January with new members, and all of a sudden everyone wants to get their finances in order and stick to a budget — just two of the popular New Year's resolutions that are often forgotten in the first quarter of the year.
By mid-year, most of us have lost traction when it comes to those amazing goals we set at New Year’s. Personally, I got tired of setting the same goals year after year. Something always happened that threw me off track.
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My Struggle to Meet My Goals
It’s not like I was setting unrealistic goals, either. My main resolutions were always to live a healthier lifestyle (meaning fix up my diet and find the energy to stick to a regular exercise routine) and to improve my financial situation so that I didn’t feel broke all the time.
As a personal finance blogger, I know that sounds weird that I still felt broke most months. I was into the habit of throwing more money toward my debt each month to the point that I left myself with very little to live on, making it difficult to enjoy the present.
Back when I was working a traditional job, I remember there were some pay periods when I’d only have $30 to $50 to last me the entire two weeks after I’d paid up all my bills. Not fun.
I've written often about my failed experiments with fad diets and lifestyle changes. This year, however, I looked back on the goals that I set last December. They were similar to previous years’ resolutions, but things have turned out much better.
What changed? Well . . .
Figuring Out How to Stick to New Year's Resolutions
I realized there was nothing wrong with the goals I was setting. They were practical and easy to prioritize initially. My main issue was how I navigated through the following 12 months.
So this year, I focused on my grit, which made all the difference. Grit is something you need to have in order to reach your goals. It's a part of your spirit.
Those with grit literally don’t see failure as an option.
It pushes you forward constantly and turns tragedies into success stories, no matter what your circumstances are. Motivation and dedication are two qualities you need to succeed. Think of grit as a combination of two of these traits, only amplified.
My grit helped me continue to make extra payments on my debt when my weaker side wanted to blow the money on something fun like a pair of new boots and a new purse. My grit also helps me crawl out of bed at 4:45 a.m. most weekday mornings so that I can hit the gym and honor the exercise schedule that I laid out for myself.
Basically, my grit helped me get it done this year.
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Harnessing the Power of Grit
If you look up the word “grit” online, you’ll see that it’s referred to as a non-cognitive trait. In other words, it’s a soft skill that comes naturally to some people more than others. On the bright side, you can develop grit, but it must be on your own terms.
First, I feel you need to get fed up with your current situation. Maybe you’ve had a huge “aha” moment that was a game-changer for you. Channel that energy to fuel your grit.
If you’re setting goals just for show and there’s no real motivation or purpose behind them, you’ll fail every time. When you’re 100 percent ready to do something and make a change, you’ll do it. Nothing on this Earth can stop you from reaching your goal.
If you're currently making any resolutions, remember that to truly achieve those results, you must channel your inner grit to overcome the excuses you make for yourself and the small challenges that will tempt you to quit. True grit doesn’t let you quit.