Goal Setting and Giving Up
I’ve been thinking of giving up lately. Well, not ‘actually’ giving up. It’s the practice of giving up that has been occupying my thoughts. As I’ve posted a few times, this year has been a bit of a struggle, as I’ve tried to stay on track with my exercise, while my usual routine has been disrupted, due to self isolation. Up until now, it has been doing my head in a bit, and I’m aware that it would have been very easy to give up altogether. I’m quite pleased with myself that I didn’t give up completely. I did relax too much, which I’m not so happy about.
When the world as we knew it, seemed to stop completely, and I had to stop working and go into isolation, I almost came to a stop. Almost. I did keep going, though more slowly than before the virus. But I feel ok about that, as it seems to me, that I needed to slow down. Life had been crazy. I was working long hours and doing too much generally. Coming to a stop was good for me.
But for the past few weeks, I’ve managed to hit re-start and get myself going again, which is why I’ve been thinking about what makes us give up on our goals and dreams before they are achieved. At the moment, I’m in the process of setting new goals from now, until the end of the year, and plan to ensure that giving up isn’t an option.
Why do we give up?
I’m really not sure of the answer for most people, but can only look at what is going on for me, when I feel like giving up. All or some of the following come up for me each and every time I think I will give up on my goal or my dream. That goal that I spent hours thinking about, and planning, can just fly out the window, when I get into this mindset.
Do you really care about your goal?
I know that I have sometimes set goals that I think are good to achieve, without really caring. To do the hard work, when you don’t feel like doing it, the goal must be something that you really do need to care about, or that you want badly. If you decide that you don’t care enough, then that’s fine. Just move on to another goal. It’s a good idea when setting goals to understand your ‘why’. Why is this goal important to you? What does it mean to you? What will your life be like after reaching your goal?
It gets difficult or takes too long
When I start out on a project or a new program, I’m full of enthusiasm. Quite often a goal or task set can be large and overwhelming. Often our goals take a long time to achieve, or they can be just hard work.
No Instant result
That goal or task mentioned above, doesn’t have instant results. Sometimes it’s a hard slog to reach your goals or achieve your dreams. It can take resilience to keep pushing when the first excitement disappears.
Other things get in the way
Life just gets busier, and often there doesn’t seem to be time in the day to fit in whatever it is that you are passionate about or wish to achieve. Depending on how important the goal is to you, determines whether you are able to find time for it. In my experience, the times when I haven’t had time to do the work to reach a goal, were the times when I wasn’t passionate enough about my goal.
Achieving goals isn’t comfortable
This is so true. Often when taking on something that we really want, there is a pay-off. That pay off can be that something has to be given up for it. Or perhaps it takes us getting out of our comfort zone to achieve it. When setting your goals, consider the pay-offs. Thinking about the pay-off will help you decide whether this is the right goal for you.
I’m a big believer in planning, and I know when I go off the rails it’s usually because I don’t have a plan. Or perhaps I have a plan that I’m not following. It’s a good idea, when goal setting, to come up with an action plan, for those times when you are feeling challenged. When I have a big goal, I usually plan it out in my diary, and take particular note of days or dates that could be a red flag. For example if the goal is diet related, a birthday dinner could be a red flag. I would note this in the diary and plan for a good outcome.
I can get distracted and sidetracked so easily. It doesn’t take much at all for me to go off on a tangent. There are so many things fighting for our attention, that it’s often difficult to focus. This is where having a plan can help.
Putting too much pressure on myself
Pressure and unrealistic expectations are killers of goals and plans. I do it constantly when goal setting and setting time frames. I have to particularly pay attention to the time frame set to achieve the goal. A big goal can become like a task, as time goes on, and the initial excitement of the goal wears off. That’s when the pressure starts. It’s a good idea to break the goal up into small achievable increments, and to celebrate each milestone reached.
Failure and disappointment
A couple of hurdles along the way, or a failure, can definitely cause me to think of giving up, and question if I really do want the goal. It can also cause me to question if the goal is worth the bother. When reaching for goals, failures will happen along the way. We all fail. It’s not the failure that matters, but how we handle the failure. The best thing to do is to recognise what went wrong, do what you need to do in order to restore the upset, and then continue on your chosen path towards your goal. Examining a failure and how it happened can sometimes even lead to being successful in the long term.
Kicking a habit
I know from experience that this can be harder than hard. It really takes dedication and commitment to kick a habit. Late last year I gave up chocolate and that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But I really wanted to give up, and that thought kept me going, when the chocolate cravings kicked in. Over Christmas and New Year I allowed myself to eat chocolate, and then went right back to a ‘chocolate free’ lifestyle. It wasn’t as hard the next time, and to tell the truth, I didn’t even enjoy the chocolate as much before going chocolate free.
Lack of self belief
Self belief is necessary to achieving goals, along with a positive mindset. This can be much more difficult than it sounds, and takes quite a bit of introspection. But it’s my opinion, that if you can attack your goal with self belief, then you are a long way towards achieving your goal. I believe that if you have the self belief, then your goal is reachable, and you will have the discipline to do the work needed to tick off that goal.
Don’t compare yourself with others. It’s a crazy Instagram world where everyone looks to be living bright, shiny lives. As hard as it can be, I think it’s best to ignore those people. Nothing good can ever become of feeling envy for somebody else’s life.
Please don’t get the wrong idea about the above post. This isn’t what I do all the time. It’s what I aspire to. Sometimes everything goes well and I reach the goal, but at times nothing seems to work. I tend give up. when that happens. As I set my goals, I’m hoping to focus on all that makes reaching a goal or a dream possible.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What makes you give up and how do you get yourself going again. I promise to reply to all comments.
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