Exercise Persistence – Finish What You Start!

When it comes to completing a job, task, or project, have you ever choked under the pressure and wondered if you would finish? If you even could finish? Sometimes it’s easier to feel the flush of enthusiasm that comes with beginning a new project or task – you’re full of energy, you can see the positive outcome in front of you, and the possibilities seem almost endless…

Then “reality” sets in…perhaps it’s not as easy as you thought it might be. Perhaps you don’t get the “buy-in” from friends, family or co-workers that would boost your confidence and let you know that you CAN do this. Maybe you even start the project or task and hit a roadblock that you didn’t see coming…if this has happened to you, you might have ended up feeling guilty and profoundly disappointed in your own abilities.

Even though your desire for a positive end result is high, the difficulty level or time required to complete the task could make you want to give up. This happens on some level to both the best and the worst of us – the key is to tap into your ability to persist – to hang in there until the result you want becomes reality.

Persistence is the ability to stick with something – the quality of being willing to perform lasting actions or enduring a course of action tenaciously until you succeed. It’s continuing to try even after and through obstacles.

Where do you stand when it comes to persevering until a job or task is complete? How can you tap into your internal level of persistence when you’re challenged in meeting your goals?

If you’ve struggled with completing what you’ve started, these strategies are for you:

  1. Be consistent. Sometimes, it feels like you’ll never get there. When you feel that way, remind yourself you must simply keep on keeping on. If you stay with working consistently toward your goal, taking even baby steps forward, chances are good you’ll eventually accomplish it.
  2. Be aware of what you’ve done so far. When you can see some fruits of your labors, you’ll get another burst of motivation to keep going. Maybe you completed 10% of the project last week. That’s 10% less than you have to do to finish. Remember to cultivate an acute awareness of what you’ve already completed as well as what you have left to do.
  3. Maintain a positive outlook. Whenever you stay focused on the positive, it just makes it easier to continue moving forward. Being positive is a choice, so be intentional about it and take advantage of it. Accentuate the positive.
  4. Avoid under-estimating what it will take to finish. We’ve all had the experience of thinking we know how much time we will need to complete a particular task, only to find it takes much longer after getting into it. If you must make a ball-park guess as to how much time you’ll need, it’s better to over-estimate.
  5. Make a personal vow to finish what you’ve started. Staying conscious of what you want to do, why you want to do it, and then making the commitment to finish will serve as motivation to help you keep your nose to the grindstone. Promise yourself you’ll persist until you prevail. Then do it.
  6. Recognize when you must tweak your results. There may be times when you will want to slightly alter your end goal. After all, situations and people change. Particularly for long-term projects and goals, stay focused so that you’ll be able to clearly identify when it’s time to make alterations.

If what you want (the end goal) has changed, it’s okay. Just revisit it, tweak it, and take action to keep moving forward.

  1. Consider setting mini-goals. If you need some extra motivation along the way, you might benefit from setting shorter or easier interim goals that you can easily accomplish. It feels good when you see that you’re achieving your mini-goals, and you can remember that the mini-goals will eventually lead you to the bigger goal. The momentum you gain is remarkable.

Consider this example about losing weight: Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds. When you face that fact, it can seem overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it. It’s difficult to get started. But what if you were to set a goal to lose just five pounds?

Chances are pretty good that you’ll be successful in accomplishing the mini-goal. And when you are, you can rejoice in the moment and set another mini-goal to lose five more pounds.

Try setting mini-goals to keep your momentum going and ensure you continue forward to the task’s end.

Being persistent can be a challenge – but it’s well worth conquering. Be consistent and take note of what you’ve done so far. Stay as positive as you can and avoid under-estimating the time it will take to complete the job. Vow to finish and stay aware of what you’re doing so you can adjust your goal if you need to. Finally, consider setting mini-goals to persist until you finish the task.

Your persistence will pay off with success!