What’s the top characteristic you need to reach your goals? According to life coach Dr. Paul Stoltz, it’s GRIT – which refers to your ability to stay courageous and determined while pursuing your goals, no matter what obstacles you face. And, here are two ways to build grit AND achieve your goals:

First: Aim to learn something new every day. Dr. Stoltz says people with the most grit tend to believe they can always improve themselves. And that’s key, because learning new things helps you find creative ways to SOLVE problems! So, if you’re stuck on a problem, Dr. Stoltz recommends teaching yourself something new – say, by Googling a new recipe. Research shows that people who distracted themselves like that for as little as a minute tended to return to their original problem with fresh perspectives and new ideas.

Another way to build grit is to keep a “silver linings” journal. That’s a notebook full of the lessons you learn from your setbacks. For example: If you didn’t get the new job you were after, consider writing this in your Silver Linings Journal: “I didn’t get the gig, but I feel inspired to learn a new skill that will help me at my NEXT interview.” Dr. Stoltz says each new “silver lining” entry should be a reminder that you can still improve yourself even when things don’t go your way.