If you've made it this far with me on this quest, you are unique. The average person quits a goal before they finish it. The excitement wears off, the mundane of routine sets in, life crowds in, and if we're not careful, we say "Screw it. I'll work on this next year." Please don't quit before the miracle happens. Trust me, next year doesn't come, or if it does, you still may quit.
I've been there.
My serious health quest started several years ago. I'd start, then stop, then start, then stop and make no headway. A couple of years ago, I finally made headway and was nearly halfway to my goal. Then, all hell broke loose, life kicked me in the taint, and I found myself at square one again. I was depressed and wanted to quit.
For a time, I did.
One of the things that helped me come out of the fog was I found trustworthy people I could be honest with about what was going on. They didn't coddle me, but they did listen, and they spurned me on to not quit.
Author and mentor Michael Hyatt suggests frequently reviewing your goals either keeps you from quitting or "cranks your tractor" to get you started again.
I recently heard a message by Pastor Rick Warren on this very subject. He suggests these six things to do when you feel like quitting:
- Remember who's watching you. God is watching and showing you what you need to accomplish His will. Heaven is watching (the "great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1). People on earth are watching. We encourage people without knowing it.
- Eliminate what doesn't matter or what weighs us down. Declutter your heart from bitterness, anger, and anything that weighs you down.
- Run your own race, not someone else's. Pastor Warren jokingly said "God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life." Other people have ideas about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. Life is like a running race; everyone has their own pace. Trying to run someone else's pace is painful, frustrating, and extremely difficult.
- Refocus on the Answer rather than the problem. Years ago, I was at a Bible study that discussed this very thing. The example they gave was this: They stood me on one end of the room, a buddy of mine at the other end, and a couple of people in the middle. I was me, The person on the other end was Jesus holding the answer. Those in the middle were the problems in the way. When I focused on the problems in the middle, I couldn't see Jesus and all I could do was hit up against the problems over and over. When I focused on Jesus with the answer, I could easily push the problems out of the way to get to Jesus. It was a powerful message.
- Don't stop planting good seeds. Zig Ziglar said, "If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want." Keep taking care of yourself and keep helping others. Forget Karma, God's system of sowing and reaping works much better.
- Finish things you started but never got back to. In his message on consistency, Jerry Savelle suggested the best way to build consistency is finish things you've started. Even if it's a crossword puzzle, finishing something you started primes the pump for consistency and getting back on track.