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Gritty People
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Have you been thinking about making a new resolution? Are you kicking around some goals and are just about ready to stick your foot in the water? Perhaps you want to exercise more, cut down on how much TV you watch, or get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Before you make a pledge, there is something you might want to remember. It’s a secret to success found among people who more often reach their goals. It has to do with gritty people.

You might think, “Gritty people? They rub me the wrong way!” That’s not the type of grit we are talking about. People who more often are successful at reaching their goals have grit. That is, they commit to long-term goals. They persist in going forward even when they run into obstacles. Grit is about determination. In the face of difficulty, people with grit “grit their teeth” and push ahead.

When you study the lives of people who get ahead, who complete their education goals, who climb the ladder of success in their organization, or who defeat difficult habits and turn over a new leaf … you will look into the face of gritty people. They don’t give up easily. They strive, they try, and they get back up when they fall down.

Exercise Determination

“Nice idea,” you say, “but I wasn’t born with grit like some people.” Well, there are many whose lives prove that theory doesn’t hold water. Grit is not some gift you obtain at birth. You can learn to be gritty. You can exercise determination and as you do your grit becomes stronger. There are other important aspects to reaching your goals (like planning, setting specific markers, and tracking your progress). But when you say to yourself, “This goal is important to me and I may run into problems, but by God’s grace I will keep going ahead,” it truly can turn the tide.

David was called by the Lord to lead God’s people into battle. It was a challenge to face Goliath, a rather huge obstacle, but the shepherd-boy had grit. You can sense it in this Bible passage: “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth; Yet they have not prevailed against me” (Psalm 129:2). You can almost feel the grit in these verses as you read them.

You can develop grit. As you think about setting goals, perhaps for this coming new year (or anytime for that matter), choose something realistic, then set your mind on it. Tell yourself, “I will lean into this goal. The going will get tough, but with God’s help, I will press ahead.”

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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