Gayle M Irwin

Composing Creative Conversations:
Writing Stories, Engaging Readers, and Encouraging Authors 

What You Need Is Grit, True Grit: Getting to Where You Want to Be

Jan 11, 2022 by Gayle M Irwin

A new year arrives, and many of us are struggling to maintain our goals and resolutions already – and it’s not even mid-January! How do we find the energy and motivation on a daily basis to remain focused upon our endeavors, whether for health, in finances, or amid our work/home balance? In one word: Grit.

Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says, “Grit, in a word, is stamina. But it's not just stamina in your effort. It's also stamina in your direction, stamina in your interests.”

Business leader, author, and former president of Thomas Nelson Publishing, Michael Hyatt, agrees, citing from Duckworth’s book. His term is ‘persistence,’ and in a blog post he delves into what helps us with that characteristic:

  1. Find Your Why

  2. Believe You Can

  3. Set Your Targets

  4. Measure Your Gains

  5. Build Your Team

  6. Celebrate Your Wins (including the small ones)

Have you considered your ‘why’ for your goals? Mine is two-fold: 1) to work from home; and 2) to further a personal passion.




I have two BHAGS (big, hairy, audacious goals) for this year: to set up a business of helping new authors with their marketing and to complete three books (all three are 75 percent written already). I also plan to expand my freelance writing career. All three of these goals for 2022 lead to the ultimate goal for 2023: to establish a writing business, as I plan to retire from my day-job working for a non-profit organization. I turn 62 in 2023, and I am ready to become a small business owner with a ministry of helping animals in need, which I do through donating a percentage of book sales to rescue organizations and volunteering for such groups as a transporter. I want to do more of both during this sixth decade of life.


Making changes, especially big ones like establishing/expanding a business takes grit, perseverance, and persistence. Changes like this can be scary – but also exciting. When obstacles and hiccups to our plans come, which they will, we need to employ that grit, that persistence and perseverance. In the movie, True Grit, young Mattie Ross tells people she wants to hire former U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn to help her find the man who murdered her father because Rooster has “grit, true grit.” That’s a characteristic I’ve been developing during my 60 + years of life. Perseverance takes time, and with each setback in life, each stumble along the journey, each challenge encountered, that perseverance, that grit, grows.

A famous quote by Winston Churchill in 1941 can encourage us all in our BHAGs … or New Year’s resolutions: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

Where do you want to be by the end of 2022? I want to be a fulltime writer, author, and business owner who continues helping animal rescue groups.

So, here’s to a New Year, new goals, passions, and plans … and to the grit to get there!