Wow! It’s been a busy month so far. I realize we’re only eleven days into the challenge (more than a third of the way), but it feels like it’s been longer than that. I interpret this to mean that my challenge activities have filled up what I usually use as down-time. And of course there’s always the old line, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Except I’m not sure it’s all that fun. This is usually the point in the challenge were the fun has worn off and you have to rely on something else to motivate you. I’ll just be honest and say that I’m not feelin’ it. The shine has faded. The “New Car Smell” is gone. The hard work is making me tired. I’m  missing out on some things. Time for a pity party, I guess.


Let’s just normalize this. It is completely normal to run out of enthusiasm by this point in a month-long wellness challenge. Expect it. In fact, that may have happened a week ago! It should not be a surprise, because making an improvement – any improvement – is, by definition, a change. Change, for creatures of habit such as ourselves, is difficult.

What separates those who can pull it off from those who give up is something that psychologist Angela Duckworth has identified as grit – “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”  Duckworth and colleagues came to the controversial conclusion that the trait of grit was an even better predictor of success than IQ.1

I seriously encourage you to read some of Duckworth’s work. Her thinking on this topic is both challenging and motivating. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ll just tell you: I am super-intrigued by how to challenge and motivate people.

It’s a safe bet that there will be more on the idea of “grit” in later blog posts. For now, though, I’ll sign off with a final challenge: invest six minutes and eight seconds in learning about grit from a TED Talk given by Angela Duckworth back in 2013.

View the TED Talks video (I included the URL below in case this link does not work automatically)

Duckworth, A.L.; Peterson, C.; Matthews, M.D.; Kelly, D.R. (June 2007). “Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 92 (6): 1087–1101. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.6.1087. PMID 17547490.

URL for TED Talks video:

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