Don’t you wish the enthusiasm of New Year’s resolutions would stick around for longer than say, a month – if you’re lucky? Here in July I wonder why all that fired-up zest for running 20 times a month has dissipated to being happy if I manage 15, ok, 10. Why can’t I try a little harder to achieve 20? And that’s what we’ll be talking about this week- how to measure persistence in achieving a goal.
I recently read that persistence can be loosely gauged by how long one stays the course without guaranteed feedback. For example, my running — the biggest feedback is mileage, as in, am I increasing, staying the same, or losing ground? But, I never set a certain mileage to aim for, instead every time I run I listen to how far the body wants to go – so, the distance varies – it’s not guaranteed I’ll reach some huge mileage number at the end of the year. And yet, I persist in running.
Why? I don’t really give a hoot about mileage, and if that feedback is removed, and I don’t have a race distance I’m aiming for, why do I persist in lacing up my takkies? Because I love to run, I love knowing my body will keep on truckin’ for an hour or longer. My persistence level is high for running, even if I can’t manage my 20 times a month. I get a huge kick out of seeing gray-haired runners on the road, like the Energizer bunny, still going strong. Guess you gotta love an activity to persist at it for years and years. Do you love what you do?