“Stick With It”: Persistence and Perseverance Pay Off

If you’re looking to make big personal changes, one new resource is Sean D. Young‘s Stick With It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life–for Good. 

About a decade ago James O. ProchaskaJohn Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente also had strong ideas on this topic when they published a similar-sounding title, Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. 

The Stages of Change Model developed in the 1970’s and 80’s by Prochaska and DiClemente began with studying smokers’ attempts to give up their habit. The end result was the development of a tool to assess one’s readiness to work on change of any kind as well as one’s readiness to stick with it, or to persevere.

It’s one thing, that is, to decide to go for behavior change, another to hang in there—perseverance is key. Some quotes from other noteworthy authors and individuals to help you not only try for change but also stick with it:

Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success (2016):

…(G)rit grows as we figure out our life philosophy, learn to dust ourselves off after rejection and disappointment, and learn to tell the difference between low-level goals that should be abandoned quickly and higher-level goals that demand more tenacity. The maturation story is that we develop the capacity for long-term passion and perseverance as we get older.

Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.

Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (2015):

The desire to start something at the “right” time is usually just a justification for delay. In almost every case, the best time to start is now.

The most important step is the first step. All those old sayings are really true. Well begun is half done. Don’t get it perfect, get it going. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started, and strangely, starting is often far harder than continuing.

Albert EinsteinIt’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

Maya Angelou: You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Hillary ClintonYou know, everybody has setbacks in their life, and everybody falls short of whatever goals they might set for themselves. That’s part of living and coming to terms with who you are as a person.

Barack Obama: Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.

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