endurance

By now, you have either achieved your New Year’s resolutions or have long abandoned them.

Now, let’s be honest. Which category do you fall in? Are you wishing that someday you’ll be in the “zone” to achieve your goal? Or are you ready to spring into action in the fight for freedom?

Summer is a great time to refocus by setting mid-year resolutions, redefining your objectives, and planning for your attack.

To begin, answer this question: what do you want to achieve? Whether it’s fighting a gas tax, educating others about a bad policy, or investing time in your community, the answer should be simple. Once you define it, reflect on why this goal hasn’t been achieved. Most likely, your answer will not involve passion; you obviously care if you want to achieve a goal. However, for many of us, the issue is the size of the objective.

The reason for this disconnect is as simple as the goal. While passion is needed to achieve your goal, you also need endurance to sustain your efforts. During my years at the Grassroots Leadership Academy, I’ve noticed that when it comes to making a difference, changing the country, or standing up for freedom, activists in this country have passion, but are easily discouraged by any challenge. How do we counter this in order to build the endurance needed to achieve our goals?

First and foremost:

1. Your Model of the World Is What Shapes You: When you wake up every morning, you choose how to view yourself: with certainty or uncertainty about your abilities; feeling significant or insignificant in your role; feeling a connection to others; being growth-oriented and self-reflective, seeing positive improvement in yourself as you learn; with a sense of purpose derived from your involvement in something greater than yourself or not.

Certainty, significance, connection, growth, and purpose. Which of these motivates you? Do you focus on the negatives, such as uncertainty, isolation, negativity, or lack of purpose? By taking an hour to examine your world-view,  you can begin to understand how you view yourself, which will determine how you view your mission.

2. Accurately Define Success: A successful movement should have a central bench-mark for success. It should be short, clear, and easily measured. If it will take time to achieve your defined success, don’t be afraid to breakdown your goal into secondary objectives that will help keep you on track.  For instance, the goal of defeating a tax hike can be daunting. To help yourself out, write out secondary goals for your mission, which may include: recruit 10 volunteers to a town hall, get 500 petition signatures, or have 5 individuals create posters.

3. Successes Are Multiple, Not Singular: Did you get 150 people to the rally? Success. Did 30% of those people act after the rally? Success. And so on. By making successes plentiful and measurable in short spurts, people will see that your movement is going places.

4. Stop With the Excuses: As good as they are, the defining factor of success isn’t resources, it’s resourcefulness.What can you do with the budget you have? How can you utilize volunteers? Are you playing to people’s strengths to achieve tasks? How else can you be creative? Thinking through these questions can help see movement.

This year may be halfway over, but this should not stop us from reviewing our resolutions and aiming for success!