As I was standing at the fridge tonight filling up my water bottle, I glanced at a magnet that I received recently from my new job. (I got a job teaching exclusively math with a new school district. So exciting and refreshing for me!) The magnet lists the five characteristics that the district wishes to instill in students: respect, kindness, responsibility, honesty, and perseverance. The description for perseverance — pursuing a positive goal and not giving up in spite of challenges.

I preach perseverance all the time to my students, especially in math class. I like to provide my kids with challenging and rigorous math problems that require high levels of thinking, and oftentimes, kids give up and start asking questions immediately. I require them to work through it and persevere.

Then, I think about my own life, and my healthy living goals. I definitely face challenges often. I am challenged constantly by my desire to eat mindlessly, binge, and make unhealthy choices. And a lot of times, I give into these challenges.  When I am sitting at home at night watching TV, do I really need something to munch on? Or can I persevere and enjoy my evening without excess food? Do I really need something sweet after every meal? Or can I persevere and agree that one moderate treat a day is enough? Do I need to eat the whole bag of Popchips because it’s “healthier?” Or can I persevere, dole out one serving, and move on with my day?

These might seem like easy no brainers for some people, but they are the challenges that I struggle with on a daily basis. For the rest of this summer, I’d like to work on my perseverance. I think it’s a manageable goal that will help me in all aspects of my life. 🙂

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