“I’m going to become successful.” “I’m going to become the best Muslim ever.” “I’m going to lose weight.” These are statements that I was a little too familiar with. Oftentimes I would make goals, and fail to follow through — too often, in my opinion. Recently, however, I made a discovery that changed my life for the better.
I stumbled upon a friend’s blog (persist.at by Shamoon Siddiqui – you should seriously check it out) that solely revolved around this theme of ‘persistence.’ As I read the title of the article, I thought to myself: “Oh haha, persistence. There’s a trait I definitely wish I had.” But, after I read the article, I was left feeling astounded. My idea of persistence was incorrect; I’ve been thinking about it the wrong way this whole time. Persistence is not a trait that people are born with or able to acquire, it’s a muscle — a muscle like your brain that you can train and be better at.
After reading the article, I thought: “That’s why I don’t have it, because I never viewed the idea of persistence that way.” I never thought of persistence as a muscle, and I found that the best way to exercise this muscle is by actually using it.
Believe it or not, every time you stick with something, you’re training your persistence muscle, no matter how small that something might be. So, I made a commitment to stick with it. I made a commitment to train my persistence muscle to be the strongest it can possibly be by setting goals and actually sticking to them one step at a time.
Right now you may be wondering, “Well, Nouran, that’s great, but… how do I train my ‘persistence muscle’?” Well, like I said, you gotta use it! Here are some tips from my friend that have really helped me:
1. Write it down
Whatever your goal is, write it down on paper. For example, if you’re planning on losing weight, redecorating your room, or even running for president, write it down. It could be in a notebook, on your laptop, or even on a napkin (hey, I don’t judge!) Just write. It. Down. But DO NOT just write “I’m going to lose weight.” Write the steps detailing how you’ll get there! Such as, “I’m going to start going to the gym for this much time and I’m going to do so and so diet.” Also, another thing that will complete the ‘write it down’ process is the proclamation of a start and end date for your goal. Do not forget this part! Very important.
2. Reward Yourself
Reward, reward, reward! If you’ve persisted and have finally reached your goal, reward yourself for yo’ efforts! This tip is really important because believe me, you will find yourself wanting to back out and stop training your ‘persistence’ muscle. A good thing to do is to reward yourself for every step you accomplish to reach your goal, not just the actual goal itself.
3. TELL! TELL! TELL!
Finally, and most importantly, use those beautiful lips of yours to tell everyone. Seriously. Ev-ery-one. Tell your aunts, your uncles, your sisters, your brothers, your nephews, your mom/dad, your friends, etc. This is when the “the more the merrier” saying really applies. These people will be your support base, believe me. They will make sure that ‘persistence muscle’ is being trained. Whether it’s you wanting to start a business, a YouTube channel, or a new life, the people in your life will make sure you stay committed. And, by doing that, they will help you get to where you want to be.
I hope by now you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, I’m gonna go work out that muscle! Right. Now.” Because, honestly, these tips really will help you train your ‘persistence muscle’ just like I am training my own! Maybe you can consider me to be the Jillian Michaels of training ‘persistence muscles,’ eh?
So whatchu waiting for girl? Stop reading this article, and go work out yo’ persistence muscle!