You may already have heard about this term “persistence” somewhere in your life.
If not, at least you may have come across Persistence synonyms “never give up” or “being consistent” or “work hard until you reach the goal” etc.,
It all means the same thing, “Persistence”
I strongly believe Persistence is one skill that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful ones.
Like you, I have always believed that if I work hard enough, it will get there – on the road to success.
And I somehow managed to live – above the average life so far, in education and in the career. And I am proud of my journey so far.
Compared to yesterday, I am successful today. Is that all enough?
When I read the success stories of some people, it made me wonder what have I missed? Why I am not super successful like them? How those people were able to achieve success, fame and wealth even before the age of 30?
Then I started reading lots of blogs on how to become successful, read what habits made people succeed and what kind of skills I need to possess in order to become successful.
Well, it boils down to one skill “Persistence”.
In this article I am sharing my real life example – it is still an ongoing process, but I am super happy with the results so far, decided to share it with the people.
First, I identified all the problems which blocked me from being great at achieving my goals.
Second, I listed down all my habits and studied them.
Third, I replaced all my ordinary habits or bad habits with great habits.
I eliminated all the unwanted activities in life, automated/ allocated the routine laborious work to someone so that I had only a few things to focus daily.
Fourth, I started giving my best on that handful of tasks every single day. I tracked my performance by writing in a daily journal. And I worked hard to improvise every single day.
Let’s see step by step procedure to learn how to implement persistence system in daily life.
Step 1: Identify the problems you have in life and list out your daily habits
I am a content writer, traveller and a travel blogger. That means I need to be writing and publishing at least 2 articles a week apart from travel planning, budgeting, bookings, choosing the best places to eat when we travel etc., Above all I have regular life commitments like running my home, working out 4x a week, attending events/seminars, reading my bucket list books etc.,
(Right now I am reading The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer)
About 2 years back, I was hardly writing and publishing 1 article a month.
At that time, I have bought 2 websites and hosting, installed WordPress and published here and there 2 articles -that’s all.
Below were the reasons for my unfocused zombie life.
Problem 1: I am always planning for success, but not taking one step towards my goal.
I was stuck in the “Planning” mode, I used to read the success stories of many leading bloggers, buying online courses so I can become a better blogger.
So far I have spent around 1 lac just on learning “how to blog, how to buy a website and hosting, how to install WordPress and themes, how to do keyword research and write articles”.
I usually open my laptop, read endless hours about blogging and how people are making X sum every month.
But, I don’t see myself going anywhere.
I knew I haven’t earned a penny in a while since I quit my Deputy Manager job in a private bank.
Blogging is the chosen path which I see myself stagnant.
This went on for 2 years.
My marriage life is great, I and hubby are having a great time together, I am even recovering from the loss of my father in the year 2015.
It is time to make a change.
It is time to stop being mediocre and start being great.
So, whenever I opened my laptop, I stopped myself from reading any more of mentor blogs, instead, I forced myself to focus on practical ideas (and implementing them) which will lead me to success.
Problem 2: Overcame “Planning mode”, but stuck in “Research mode”
I decided to launch a new website, but this time I want to keep 20 articles ready before even I buy the hosting.
I have removed all the courses links from the bookmarks, so I will not be spending any more time on “learning”.
I then made a list of keywords to write for my secret project.
Now that I have all the means to achieve the end goal, but stuck in the “keyword research mode” where I started spending lots of time only on research.
Good thing is, I have collected close to 1000 keywords database for my new secret project.
Bad thing is, I don’t even have 1 article ready to launch my new project.
My hubby casually commented once, “maybe you are a research person, you spend a lo…t of time in that”.
You see, I was busy all the time, but I was not making any real progress towards my goal.
Now it’s time to start writing.
Problem 3: Dilemma of launching my new secret project
I don’t have a single article yet.
I need to have 20 articles in hand before even I launch my website.
All I need to do is sit, focus and write 2000 words a day, that’s all.
Well, again I was writing just 1 article of 2000 words a month.
I was so adamant that I don’t want to hire any freelancers, I wanted to write the first 20 articles for my blog.
Not only I lacked focus and discipline, but I am also fed-up that my career is going nowhere without launching my new secret project.
I have a clear goal, all the means to achieve my goal (knowledge and resources to help me achieve the goal) – but I have not made any progress yet.
What Am I doing wrong? Why Am I not able to achieve the goals?
Problem 4: Ordinary habits gives ordinary results.
This is the stage where I started focusing on knowing what kind of actions/habits made people successful.
It is good to read success stories of other people, and feel good to get inspired.
And it is obvious for us to think we can also achieve the same kind of success.
To achieve that kind of success, to become great at what you do – you need the right kind of habits, not ordinary habits.
Because ordinary habits only produce ordinary results.
“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” – Octavia Butler
We are made of Habits and that’s what makes or breaks us.
I started studying my daily habits.
This is what I do on a typical working day.
- Wake up at my will though I keep my daily alarm for 6 am, I wake up somewhere between 7 to 8 am. Have coffee with my hubby
- Head to the kitchen to make breakfast
- Clean up kitchen and home
- Get ready, Leave to office
- Read for some time because I like to read in the morning
- Phone call a friend, talk until 4 pm. Because I feel sleepy after lunch, so I spend that sleepy time on phone calls
- At 4 pm, my actual work hour starts
- Get into “planning mode” or “research mode” instead of writing articles
- Then head to the home
- Hit apartment gym for 30 to 45 mins
- Prepare dinner, eat, tv time with hubby, sleep around 11 pm.
See I was busy the whole day.
I go to my co-work office where I have rented a seat, open laptop, immerse myself in research mode, complain about the noisy environment, make some “time-pass” phone calls and come back home.
If I was in the right mood, I would have written 300 to 500 words in a week.
At home, I do cooking and cleaning for 3-4 hrs in a day.
Eat, watch TV and go to bed feeling guilty of not being great today.
Next day, repeat.
I am not actually a loser, nor a winner. Because I was not aimless and idle, nor I made any progress towards my goals.
Because I had ordinary habits, I struggled to produce great results.
Here is how I solved all the 4 problems and made a positive change in my career and personal goals.
Step 2: Slowly Replace Ordinary habits with good habits that will lead you to achieve your goals
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge
I have only 2 most important goals to achieve (these goals remain the same even after I achieve them because they are not just goals, it is my life)
- Professionally – I want to become a successful blogger. Earn passive affiliate income from my blog(s).
- Personally –
- I want to become fit, shed off excess body fat and increase metabolism.
- Overcome depression, practice gratitude and live life to the fullest.
- Travel to many places, and share my experiences in my travel blog.
After numerous try-outs of morning routine and evening routine, this is what works best for me.
I am a morning person, that means I can get a great deal of work done in the morning. So I decided to write for my blog as soon as I wake up.
The first half of the day spent working towards my professional goal.
The second half of the day spent working towards personal goals and other personal daily activities.
This is my Morning (first half) day routine:
- I wake up somewhere between 5.30 to 6 am
- Read my inspirational quotes for 30 mins
- Plan my day and then start making coffee and simple breakfast
- While coffee is brewing, go take shower, get ready, eat and leave home by 7 to 7.30 am
- Reach office (just 7 min travel by bike), Start working till 3 pm. And the perk of reaching early to my co-work office space is that I get the best seat with a good view.
This is my second half day routine:
- Around 12 pm Have lunch in the cafeteria
- Work till 3 to 3.30 pm
- Head to the gym, workout for about 60 to 90 mins, 3x a week.
- Reach home, while the cook is preparing dinner, I spend time unwinding with tea on the sofa.
- Personal journal and dinner before sleep.
You see, I have made lots of changes in my daily routine.
I totally have restricted time to social media (except for the time spent on my business page), phone calls and watching TV.
I am planning to add a 5-minute jogging routine and 5-minute meditation session soon to kick start the day.
I have this beautiful park near my home, so I don’t have to waste my morning time travelling far.
When I am at my desk I give my full attention from 8 am to 3 pm only on writing articles.
At this time, I don’t deviate on any other tasks -however important it is.
I don’t check emails, don’t read any of my favourite author’s blog, don’t spend time in phone calls – I just write. Nothing else.
Whenever I find myself deviated to “planning mode” or “research mode” I immediately pull back myself to focus on writing. I make this conscious decision every single time instead of drowning myself aimlessly.
I practice persistence on this morning routine diligently – I stick to the schedule no matter what.
I keep track of every single activity – from wake up time to the number of words I write.
Now I publish 1 blog post in a week, soon I will improve on publishing 2 articles in a week.
By started doing the most important thing first thing in the morning – I am content and happy with the progress made so far towards my professional goal.
Even if you are an evening person, by doing the most important task (which aligns with your goals) as soon as you wake up will make you a more productive person.
And try to eliminate almost all the activities which are not complimenting your professional and personal growth.
It’s great if you already have good habits, now make a time schedule for all the activities to achieve your goals.
Take away: Work on your primary goal first thing in the morning. Track your performance daily so it helps you to review and improve your growth curve.
Step 3: Practice Persistence on Good Habits with this simple technique.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that I had planned to write a minimum of 2000 words for my secret project in a day. Looking back I feel that was a stupid and impractical plan to have.
You need to learn to walk first before you start running.
Now I have realistic goals – write a minimum of 300 words in a day. Anything above is a bonus.
Because I have realised I need to focus on small wins to reach the bigger success.
As a beginner, trying to keep up the daily commitment of 300 words was the toughest part. I was not able to sit and focus daily on that small goal.
Now at the intermediate stage, I strive hard to increase my performance by 1% daily. Every day, I push myself to write a little more than 300 words.
Sometimes I have written more than 1000 words which gave me a super sense of achievement – but the ground rule remains the same – minimum 300 words a day.
Also in order to be more productive, I take 15 mins to break for every 1 t0 1.15 hrs. I take the stairs to get a cup of coffee or hot water, stretch my legs a bit and back to my desk.
Key Takeaway: You cannot replace your old habits and achieve success overnight. It takes weeks and months of commitment and discipline. Focus on improving 1% daily on all the activities you do – persist until you see the desired results. Immediately get back on track if you have lost the momentum, lost the interest to work –Just press on. Showing up daily is most important, just start working towards your goals whether you like it or not, stick to your time table/schedule – success will come naturally to you.
Step 4: Automate / Hire help for the time-consuming things
If you see my list of old habits, I have spent 3-4 hrs in a day cooking and cleaning.
That left me with only a few hrs of productive time for my blogging and personal work.
So here are a few changes I did in order to make more productive time for myself.
- I stocked my pantry with lots of fruits, eggs, bread and peanut butter. So these days I spend only 10 mins for preparing breakfast.
- I hired a cook who cooks and cleans the house. Clearly, I saved 20 hrs in a week just by hiring help to do my routine job.
Now I have more time for myself – I have recently started learning a new language with this spare time.
Step 5: Plan for tomorrow
I spend my late evenings sitting on a couch, relaxing my body from evening yoga/gym workout, sipping tea with the journal in my hand.
I do these 3 things in my journal.
- Review my day and note the things I need to improve for the next day.
- Things I am grateful for.
- To-do list for tomorrow.
Usually, it takes about an hour to finish writing all 3 points. I focus more time point-1, I rewind every single possible detail that helps me improve my productivity.
I am all about tracking and improving these days.
Packing my office bag before sleep gives me more confidence than packing it in the morning. It saves me time and frustration packing it in the morning.
I read this quote every single day before I start my day.
“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.” ― Isaac Asimov
Whenever I am burnt out, whenever my mind says to give up on the work I do – I read my inspirational journal. Then I come back to my desk. Start writing again.
I try my best to keep pushing – to persist – every single day.