Why do you stick with some goals, and give up on others?

*this post contains affiliate links for which I could be compensated

If I’m sick of myself, I can’t imagine how tired of me you all must be. I’ve been showing up in your emails, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and for a small few of you, your real lives, every day for the last 20 days.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

This NaBloPoMo Challenge is no joke. We’re on Day 20. I’m getting a little punch drunk. This afternoon, while scouring the interwebs for inspiration for today’s post, I decided that the best use of my time would instead be to go out on Google Images and send funny pictures to the wireless printer in my husband’s office while he’s trying to get work done. (If your first thought is, “wow, she sounds super mature”, you’re right.)

It does make me think about how sometimes we’re so focused on completing a challenge to the end; running a marathon, writing a book, 60 day work-out programs, quitting smoking (do you notice how I’ve somehow equated a blogging challenge to things that are exponentially harder?), but then sometimes we start something and early on we just bail out.

What makes the difference between which goals we stick with, and those we give up on?

This article on zenhabits.com explains that we quit because we tell ourselves a whole host of lies Our body and mind naturally want to be in a pain-free state all of the time. When we are feeling physical or mental pain, we can quite easily make up lies to get us back to being pain-free. Things like, “this isn’t that important” or “I’m not seeing any results”.

The things that get us to stick with something long-term are those things wherein we’ve committed to loving the process of getting to the goal. We’ve all learned how important goal setting is. But a goal in and of itself is nothing without a tangible, actionable way to get there. This article explains how when you focus on your system for achieving a goal, rather than the goal itself, you’re more likely to stick with it, and ultimately get there. It also explains how goals alone can actually be holding you back.

This is the big secret to why successful athletes, artists, and business people stand out above the average. They’re not just more talented (although talent doesn’t hurt), they’ve just decided to fall in love with the process that will see them to their end goals.

I already love the process of writing, so that has been an advantage in getting through this challenge. On those days when inspiration doesn’t strike as easily (and I’m looking for ways to irritate my husband on purpose), the love of the process motivates me not to quit.

I can’t say the same for quitting sugar. I haven’t yet fallen in love with the process for quitting sugar.

What are some of the things you have stuck with through to the end? What are some things you’d love to challenge yourself to complete, but have struggled with so far?

2 thoughts on “Why do you stick with some goals, and give up on others?

  1. We’ve been most successful at walking 2 miles most nights of the week. But it’s ONLY because we have side by side treadmills plopped in front of a tv that can access our Netflix account. We have to save our favorite shows for walking time.

    We have to know ourselves well enough to know how to “trick,” or I suppose inspire, ourselves to do it. ?

    1. That is such a fantastic idea. It’s like you reward yourself with Netflix, but only if you’re doing the work. And I like what you said about knowing yourself well enough to know how to trick yourself.

      My work is Cabernet and Merlot when I reward myself with Netflix. I think that drinking wine is probably less effective than treadmills when it comes to weight loss and heart health, but have they even studied that? How do they even know? I might really be on to something.

Leave a Reply