How to achieve your goals when you feel like quitting
What do you do when you feel like quitting? When you’re frustrated because you feel so close to what you want, yet you still have so much more to go?
Setting goals can be relatively easy (not always, but usually we have some ideas of where we want to end up). Goals can be grand, like wanting to start a billion dollar company, or they can be much smaller, like wanting to finish a 5K race. Whatever the goal, and whatever the size, we set these goals because they’re important to us.
Speaking personally, starting to make progress towards my goal is also pretty easy. I’m motivated, I have lots of energy, and I’m really excited for all the ideas that come pouring in on how I’m going to achieve it. Everything is new and fresh, and it's really easy to wake up early and stay late working on it.
Once the initial work is laid down, that's when my motivation and desire to keep working falls off a cliff. For me, the middle part of a project is not only the least interesting part, it’s also the part with the actual WORK in it. The part that has no glory. The part that all those movies and montages and stories of success skip over: The part of just showing up, every single day, and putting in the hours to make your dream a reality.
Because unfortunately there’s just no shortcut to achieving your goals. There’s just work. Achieving your goals is a mix of being organized, breaking down your long-term goals into smaller achievable ones, and again: showing up. every. single. day.
For me, whenever I want to quit—which by the way, happens more than you might imagine— I have to remind myself what it’s all for. I have to go back to my reason for doing it. It has to be a really strong reason too. It can’t just be for something like money or praise (although I do love praise). It has to have that deeper purpose to it. I’ve written this a lot before, because it’s true: it’s all about that why. It’s all about digging deeper about your goal and finding out the true intention of how you even came up with it.
For example, I’m going to share a goal of mine that is obvious: I want this company, Capparsa, to be a huge success. I’m defining success in a number of ways: Growing the team, growing its revenue and profits, and most importantly helping people be their best selves. I believe that all the tools we make, and all the content we write is ultimately helping people get things done that matter to them. When people use our products, or read our blog, and feel motivated or are empowered to do their best work, that makes all of our effort worth it.
That’s the why that gets me up in the morning. That’s what I have to repeat to myself or show to myself whenever I’m feeling tired and like I want to quit. For example, I’ve saved some really nice customer emails in my Notes app, and sometimes I go back through and read awesome 4 and 5 star reviews of our apps— just to remind myself that there are people out there that value our work. There’s no better feeling than that.
That’s what I do when I want to quit. I remember why I’m doing it. I find evidence of why my work is important, and that people really do care. I remember my deeper drive in life, and why I’m doing what I’m doing…. and I get back to work. I push a little bit more.
It’s important to set your goals and make them meaningful to you. Otherwise it's far too easy to drop everything when things get hard, and move onto something else. You have to find that comfort in your discomfort, and keep pushing! The best part of all of this? You can start literally any time.
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