It’s March now, which means it’s been a little over two months since a lot of us last set resolutions and goals. How are you doing so far?
I feel like I’m doing okay this year, but I confess, I have been a quitter for most of my life. Lately I call myself a quitter in recovery, because the past three years I have been working diligently to change it. But I used to be the Queen of Quitting. Can I share some of my epic quitting failures with you?
A while back, I wanted to have an herb garden. But a few weeks later, I had this:
Once I was going to eat healthier by cutting out sugar, but just hours later, I learned that Cookie Butter Ice Cream existed!
I was going to read my whole bible in a year…So 364 days later, I’d made it this far.
You get the idea. I had a hard time sticking to my goals. But three years ago, I was finally fed up with all of my failed attempts and I vowed to quit quitting on my goals. To keep myself accountable, I began tracking my progress on a blog.
Thanks to this new mission, I slowly made progress on my goals. I finally stuck with exercising and hit my goal of doing one pull-up! (after having quit at least five times before).
Next I aimed to learn photography–Check out these first photos from two years ago:
Seriously, yikes! Despite yelling, “Work it Cody!” my cat refused to participate (my husband wasn’t really that interested either – ha!). But believe it or not, I stuck with the learning process and started my own photography business two years later! Check out this recent shot of Jonna Meidal’s kids!????
Maybe today you are stuck in the first steps toward your own goal, or maybe you’ve tried and given up a hundred times already. Be encouraged today because I have fantastic news! Quitting is only quitting if you never return to it. If you try again, it was just a “break”. Your goals are absolutely within your grasp – just keep trying! (Plus, you have the favor of God on your side!)
There are three major things that have helped me follow through on goals. These suggestions are the most essential steps toward my own success, and I hope they can help you reach your goals too.
Always ask WHY. Why is this goal your goal? Are you falling short because ultimately you don’t really care to reach it? For example, if your goal is to lose weight so you can look great in a swimsuit, that probably won’t last because swimsuit season is so short! But if your goal is to lose weight so you can move easier, be more present with your family, and have more energy, that’s a great goal with an inspiring motivator. Sometimes, I ask myself why and realize, I really don’t care about that goal and need to let it go (i.e. herb garden *facepalm).
Invite God into it. When you partner with God to reach a goal, it’s a whole lot easier to achieve. Pray often and God will give you people to help you, strategies you can utilize, and paths toward success. You may be thinking, well my goal isn’t really that spiritual. To which I argue, yes it is! Everything in the world is spiritual. And God cares about every part of you – your small and large goals. The goal of reading your bible consistently matters, but so does your goal of drinking more water or being more organized.
My last point is a big one: accountability. There are two kinds of accountability.
- The first one is with other people. The reason I started following through on goals was ultimately because they were made public (re: my blog). Tell a friend or family member, and they will naturally ask you how it’s going periodically. When we know others know, we follow through more diligently.
- The second type is a system I call the “Sign-up-Freak-out Method.” For instance, let’s say you’ve never ran a block in your life, but you have always wanted to run a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. Your first move is not to run. Rather, your first move is to SIGN-UP for a 5K NOW (maybe one that is 2 months away). But after you do that, you freak out! You’ve never run a mile…you’re not even sure your legs can do that! Why on earth would you sign up for a 5k when you are not a runner?! Because the urgency is what propels you to train. You train, because you have to! The race is coming, and you can’t waste your time. You signed up, freaked out, but then did what you needed to meet your goal!
These suggestions are the things that have helped me change my quitter tendencies the most. Combining a great reason for your goal with the help of God and some accountability, you are unstoppable! I hope these tips help motivate you and get back on track!
Sarah Gonzalez is a stay-at-home mom who loves Jesus and caring for her two young children. She loves date nights and walks with her husband, and using creativity and humor through artistic outlets like writing and photography. She is also a self-diagnosed quitter-in-recovery, and you can read about this journey at her blog: www.wheniquitquitting.com.