This week we are fortunate to have Dr. Paul G. Stoltz , founder of PEAK Learning, give us insight on how we can use GRIT to reach our nutrition and fitness goals.

Why GRIT is a Must for Achieving Your Nutrition and Fitness Goals

It’s time to take a hard look at those who succeed in reaching their goals and sustaining them. More specifically, what is that inner ingredient that enables some people to succeed while others fall short?

I tend to characterize people into three distinct “buckets:”

  1. Tough to even get started. People here tend to have a “fixed” mindset because they think it’s too hard and they won’t/can’t change.
  2. Try it, but give up or “self sabotage” over time. People here may start out thinking they can try something new and stick with it, an example of a “growth” mindset, but then they give up. It’s too hard–they don’t want to fail OR they reach one of their goals and for some reason “self sabotage” because they don’t think they can reach the next set of goals or they aren’t “good enough” (fixed mindset) to reach those goals.
  3. All in with ongoing achievement of goals, refining goals to meet your lifestyle in a constructive, sustainable way. These people have a “growth” mindset and another characteristic that is important — when there are setbacks or failures, these people are able to reflect, learn and continue forward.

So how do we find our way to bucket 3 to hit your goals and stick with it?

One thing we’ve found helps is GRIT.

GRIT is your capacity to dig deep, do whatever it takes, even sacrifice, struggle, stumble and suffer, to achieve your most worthy goals in the best ways.


GRIT is your capacity to dig deep, do whatever it takes, even sacrifice, struggle, stumble and suffer, to achieve your most worthy goals in the best ways.

But what does that really mean? There are 5 key areas of GRIT.

Growth or effort based mindset: Your ability to look for and consider new ideas or approaches to get to your goals.

Resilience: Your capacity to respond in a good way to adversity and challenges….not just bounce back, but bounce back stronger.

Instinct: Your ability to follow the right goals in the best and smartest ways. It is the quality of GRIT that matters more than the quantity. Going after your goals in a way that is unhealthy is not the best path.

Tenacity: The degree to which you commit to and stick with whatever you are trying to achieve.

And finally, Robustness.

Robustness is the wear and tear factor over time—how well are you holding up as you pursue your goals? Are you becoming stronger over time?

Sustaining a healthy lifestyle change –including weight loss and overall fitness –requires a certain amount of sacrifice, effort, discipline, and, of course, STICKING TO IT over the long term.

Many people in bucket 2 struggle to stay committed and many people in bucket 1 find it a challenge to even get started. But people in bucket 3 have found both (1) a way to start and (2) a way to stay the course.

It turns out that people who stick with difficult goals, like sustaining a healthy lifestyle when its hard to stay on track especially over the long term, often tend to be doing so for more than just themselves.

  • Parents dig deep to become stronger and healthier for their children.
  • Leaders dig deep and become stronger and healthier for their organizations.
  • Teammates dig deep and become healthier for their team success.

These are just a few examples of people who do what it takes to achieve their most worthy goals for a higher purpose.

They focus on the importance of achieving their goals (their Why) to stay motivated to give their best effort and find a way to tap into that when willpower runs out or there is a setback.

Over time, they remember why they started…and, if you amplify the “Why,” you ramp up the “Try.”

About the Author

Dr. Stoltz is the world’s leading authority on the integration of grit, resilience, and the human interface with adversity. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of PEAK Learning, Inc., as well as the originator of the AQ® (Adversity Quotient®) and GRIT™ theories and methods, used at Harvard Business School, MIT, and Fortune 100 companies worldwide.