We are well into the third month of 2019, and by now many people have let their goals fall to the wayside. The buzz and energy of the beginning of the year is long gone. Reality has set in. If progress hasn’t been made, then what’s the point, right? Why not save yourself the trouble and just give up?
Sounds really frustrating when I put it like that, doesn’t it?
And yet, so many people have done exactly that by this time of year. Heck, I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve thrown in the towel by the end of February. I’ll just cut my losses and learn from my mistakes. Maybe the next year will be the year I finally do it. Only for it to have the same outcome.
Maybe waiting until next year isn’t the answer. Maybe what you need to do is find the motivation and the willpower to keep to it. Or to try again if you gave up long ago. We’re three months in, but we still have nine left of the year. Far too early to call it quits.
There are of course many reasons why you might decide to stop. I’m not about to judge someone for taking time for family or mental health and taking that step back. This might not be the year for you. No, this post is for the genuine quitters like myself, who fail to learn year after year that willpower is something that needs to happen every day of the year. Not just at the beginning.
I wish I had some magical wisdom to impart that might help you find that strength. In the end, it’s all up to you. But I can tell you the most important thing you can do is to stick with it. Really think about why you’re throwing in the towel. Are you sure you really gave it your all? Are you sure you’ll be satisfied if you call it quits after a week? After a month? What do you have to lose by pushing past the fear and the self-doubt?
All that being said, I do have some suggestions that have helped me in the past. Hopefully, they can bestow a bit of inspiration on your hardest days, and remind you of what’s important.
Remember Your Why
We don’t decide to do things at random. We have reasons for doing things. Motivations that guide our lives and our actions. When the year started, we had some reason for setting our goals. Whether it’s because we want to make more money, or start a new hobby, or lose weight, there is something deeper behind those wants. Maybe you want to travel, you want to try something you’re mother used to do, or you want to be healthier for your kids.
Keep asking yourself why. Dig deeper and really understand what your motivation is. And remind yourself of that when you want to give up. Remember why you started, and why you want to keep going.
Maybe you stopped because your goals feel out of reach or impossible. But does that mean you should give up? Certainly not. But you might need to make adjustments. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You have experience now, and that means you can be more realistic in tackling your goals.
Or maybe your goal doesn’t quite align with your values the way you thought it would. Your passion isn’t as strong as you hoped. That’s okay. Maybe you wanted to get into knitting but found that baking was more your forte. What’s stopping you from changing those goals? The ones you set for yourself three months into the year, are just as valid as those you set January 1st.
Mindset is Key
If you think you can’t do it, you’re really creating a mountain from an ant hill. Reaching your goals is going to be that much harder to reach if you already think you’re going to fail, or that they aren’t worth it anymore.
This was probably the hardest step for me, especially as someone who has struggled and continues to struggle with their mental health. You trick yourself into thinking you can’t do it. That it isn’t possible for you to be successful, and it becomes a trap – a self-fulfilling prophecy. You sabotage yourself in ways you won’t even be aware of. It takes conscious effort to change your mindset, and be aware of various triggers that might be harming you. The mindset you bring to the table is important and can make all the difference. It’s going to be an ongoing struggle, but that’s what this post is about. Finding the strength to stick to it, even though you want to give up.
This post might seem a little short and out of the blue, but it’s usually around this time that I begin to struggle, and I know others do too. Hopefully, it has given you some food for thought, and maybe that thing you gave up on you’ll try again. Or if you were feeling unmotivated, this has helped to perk you up and give you a reason to keep going. Staying motivated all 365 days of the year is just not possible. What matters is that you keep going even when that motivation has dried up.
Don’t Give Up!
Let me know how your 2019 journey is going in the comments below!