My 6 o’clock alarm goes off and I want to roll over and skip my workout because I’m tired and hate mornings until I have coffee in my hand. Halfway through my writing project, I think it’s dumb and want to stop writing because it’s crap and I can’t imagine who would like it anyway. When I have a really rough day at work, I consider quitting my jobs and becoming a stay-at-home dog mom because obviously that’s a great career move.
Tiredness, frustration, boredom, fear of rejection… These are all reasons to quit.
But what would quitting solve?
It would only create more problems. I’d lose muscle tone and gain a few pounds back, which wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I have goals, you know? I would never get published if I stopped writing right now. I’d almost surely turn into a blob of sad who lived on my couch if I stopped working. I’d also stop gaining fitness knowledge and writing skills if I gave these things up.
I would stop becoming a better version of myself if I quit.
Now let’s take a step back. Who am I? I’m a young woman who enjoys writing, editing, reading, running, cooking and baking (when someone else does the dishes), binge-watching TV shows, and spending time with my husband, family, and friends. I’m a millennial who works hard. I’m a writer, blogger, librarian, and night owl. I’m a lover of coffee, nachos, and ice cream who tries to live a balanced life, whatever the heck that is.
I know. I can hear you now. “Sam, why does any of that matter to me?”
It matters because it gives me my why.
When I want to quit, I shouldn’t focus on the problem. I need to focus on my why. Instead of “Why do I want to quit?,” I need to turn the question into:
“Why am I doing this?”
My why for today may be the same or way different than it was when I started running/writing/working, but today’s why matters because today is, well, today.
Life constantly changes, so my why is going to change, and that’s okay.
If I didn’t want to publish a book someday, I could stop writing. Writing would no longer serve as a means to obtaining my goals. But it is one of my goals, so I’ll keep writing, editing, and being rejected.
Why do I want to publish a book someday? Because I love sharing stories and I know that within me, I have some stories that someone else needs to read. Why do I workout most mornings? Working out makes me happier overall and gives me more energy throughout my day. (See this blog post for more on that topic.) Plus, it makes me stronger physically and mentally. Why do I have two jobs right now? Because I have grand career goals and I improve my writing craft every day at my jobs.
Now it’s your turn. What are your goals? For your career, for your family, in your life as a whole? Write them down. Then take a step back and consider the why behind those goals. Make your why meaningful and write it down.
Instead of thinking about all the reasons why you want to quit, figure out why you want to keep going.
Challenge: Think about your lifelong and/or short-term goals this week and write them down. Then write your why down. What happened recently that made you want to quit? If you kept going, what pushed you forward? If you quit, how can you get back to it and stop yourself from quitting again? Let me know in the comments.
Note: If you don’t already have life, career, and family goals, that’s okay. Visit me next week for more on why goals are not only important, but necessary in life.
P.S. Look at how my dogs help me write! I’d be an awesome stay-at-home dog mom.