Saturday, August 23, 2008

Take My Advice and Just Quit

Yes, you read that right. I said, “Quit.”

“But,” you say, “You’re the life coach?”

Yes, I am and I’m telling you again to quit. Stop the merry-go-round. Call it a day. Get off the horse. Throw in the towel. Realize that the dog just won’t hunt. However you want to do it, I want you to just give up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about staying the course and follow-through but there are some instances where that is not the right course of action. In fact, I can think of two good reasons (not excuses) to quit.

The first is when the goal you are trying to reach isn’t your goal. If you are saving for a house because everybody told you that you had to purchase a house and not because you genuinely want a house; then it isn’t your goal. If you don’t want it for yourself, you won’t make it a priority, and it won’t get done. Others goals for you don’t’ have to be your goals.

The second instance is when it is your goal and you want it, but you just can’t get it together. You’ve had several ‘false starts.’ You intended to save $500 over the next three months. But the car broke down and that was unexpected; then you forgot that your car tax was due; finally, it was the holiday season, and you spent way too much on gifts. Now, you’re beating yourself up pretty bad.

So take a break.

We writers do it all the time. After we write, we step away from the project for at least a day or two (many times longer). Staring at the same page over and over and over again, makes you lose perspective. In writing and proofing, it means you will miss typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. By stepping away, you can come back and read your material with rested and fresh eyes.

Give yourself some downtime. Don’t even think about the goal. Eat what you want. Smoke the cigarettes you want, do a little shopping. After your break, you can return to your goal with fresh eyes. Once you’ve rested, you can ask yourself some tough questions: What parts of your plan worked? What can you do to avoid those false starts the next? Then and only then are you ready to get-going again on your goal.

Be warned. A break implies that you will return. If you tell your boss you’re taking a break, you can’t just up and leave. You are expected to return. It’s the same with the break. Take it but come back to the goal. If you don’t your break has turned into an excuse… and you know how I feel about excuses!