Before we talk about how to achieve your goals and not give up, as a starting point it's also worth talking about what giving up looks like. When most of us think about giving up, we think about that final moment where we decide that it’s too hard to keep going. Or that moment where we decide that it just isn’t worth working towards that goal or dream anymore. And yes, we are right, that is giving up.
However, most of the time we begin to give up and hinder the successful achievement of our goals long before we get to that final stage of giving up. I call these the “smaller moments of giving up”. Talk about a fancy name! These smaller moments of giving up either holds us back or leads us to that final moment of giving in and letting go of our goals.
Hopefully at this stage, you’re asking yourself the questions “what do these smaller moments of giving up look like?”. It’s the daily moments when we don’t follow through on the smaller tasks that lead to the achievement of our overall goals. It’s the day when we wake up knowing that a specific task needs to be done, but instead we procrastinate and decide that it will get done on a “tomorrow” that sometimes never seems to arrive. The smaller moments of giving up can also be on the day when we simply don’t put in the extra effort required. Or it could be the day when we give into distractions, such as choosing to watch just one more episode of a TV show, which by the way is the temptation I'm currently dealing with as I write these words.
I was inspired to write this post because recently I was inspired not to give up and I wanted to share that inspiration with you. It happened on a day when I was tired from my 9 to 5, but I had also planned to finish editing and publish a YouTube vlog. I knew I only had a couple hours to get it done, because my small group would start at 8pm. The timing was going to be tight, and the process was going to be difficult. It was going to be a lot more difficult than taking a nap on the sofa (which is all I wanted to do). I would need to find the energy to be creative, to be present and to focus.
So instead, I chose to nap. I started coming up with alternative plans. In fact, I was already shifting around my YouTube posting schedule for the next couple weeks to accommodate the fact that I was giving up on achieving my goal for the day. Then I was reminded that I needed to push through. I needed to show up, even though it wasn't easy.
I genuinely believe Galatians 6: 9 when it tells me not to get tired of doing good because at the right time, I'll see the results of my hard work and sacrifice. I normally think of that scripture in regards to my faith and choosing to seek God, but in that moment I also saw how it applies to life in general. And with that realisation, I made a new choice. I put the work in, I got my video uploaded, and also attended my small group, where we had an amazing discussion.
Let me also be honest and tell you that it wasn’t easy. At the end of the day, I was bone tired, but I was also proud of myself for doing what I said I would do. Inspired by myself, I would also encourage you to not give up, because learning to follow through on the daily activities that contribute to your overall goal is how you achieve your goals. I know it isn’t easy, but just because it is isn’t easy doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing.
And to make sure that this is fully rounded, I want to also highlight the importance of rest and balance. So yes on the particular day in the example above, I pushed myself because that’s what I needed to do. On the other hand, there are days where choosing the “smaller moment of giving up” is the best thing to do for yourself and for the achievement of your goals. For example, those of you that follow me on Instagram will know that I have had days where my 9 to 5 job has not been a 9am to 5am day. It has been 7am to 10pm and on those days the best thing to do for myself and my goals has been choosing to relax and simply go to bed after work.
On days like those, as much as I could push myself and decide to still work on editing a video, I would most likely be so tired that it would me take me longer, I’d be more likely to make mistakes and I probably wouldn’t enjoy the editing process. Continually doing this, could leave me feeling unwell and frustrated, and that frustration would still lead me to that final moment of giving up, where I decide that it isn’t worth it anymore. On a day like that, it would make more sense to simply relax, go to bed and start the next day afresh with a new plan on when to edit my video.
So, I said all that to say, sometimes giving up is okay. As much as it is important to know how to not give up, it’s also important that you know when you should be giving up. And that is how you achieve any goal you set your mind to. You can read my thoughts on how to set an achievable goal in this blog post about how to keep your New Year's resolutions. The tips work throughout the year.