Surely we’ve all done it: start something new and then leave it unfinished. There's nothing wrong with that, in itself. The trouble arises if it’s a frequent pattern that causes you distress.
Today's episode is focused on looking into why this happens and most importantly - how to change it once and for all.
Check it out now:
The question of the day comes from Lydia:
"No matter what I try, I feel like I can't seem to finish a task properly or have the motivation to get to the end of my goals. Why is that? How can I overcome this "habit" of giving up easily?"
Its frustrating. It feels like the world must be conspiring against you. I completely get it. But this isn't something that you need to live with forever.
Let's dig into the whys and then the hows.
WHY DO I STRUGGLE TO FINISH ANYTHING?
Here are a few top possibilities:
1) BIG GOALS WITH NO STRUCTURE ON HOW TO achieve it
You're a dreamer and you set big goals. Problem is, you don't have a clear path as to how to get to that goal. It was a nice goal while it was in your thoughts, but once you started working on, you realize you have no clue what are the steps needed to seeing your plans through.
2) FEAR OF JUDGMENT
You fear being judged.
What if you simply can't reach your goal? What if you lose it all? What would others think about you?
3) IMPOSTER SYNDROME
You suffer from imposter syndrome. You think you aren't good enough and question yourself a million times a day.
4) TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS
Your environment is not conducive for working on your goals. There are too many distractions and not enough sources of motivation.
5) LACKING IN PATIENCE
Who wouldn't want fast and instant results? But reality is, good things take time to cultivate and grow.
6) Starting too many goals at one go
This causes frustration, exhaustion, and the inability to properly focus on a specific goal at any given point of time.
7) REALITY VS DREAMS
You thought about the dream and it felt good. Until you actually try realizing it. It hits you that reality isn't as dreamy as what you imagined it to be in your mind.
The hard work, long hours, frustration, money to invest, time with family that has to be sacrificed, all these things come together and you start to question if you did the right thing by pursuing your goals.
THE SOLUTION TO TURN THINGS AROUND
1) WHAT IS YOUR TRIGGER?
Get to the root of the problem.
List down all the times you've given up on a goal or project.
Write down how you started and at what point did you start doubting yourself, why, and what made you decide to give up in the end. Once you identify the trigger that makes you feel like giving up, can you then have a better idea how to overcome it.
2) WHAT'S YOUR GAME PLAN?
It's good to dream, but have you considered how you plan to turn that dream into a reality?
No plan can be achieved successfully without a plan. As the saying goes, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
The SMART planner helps me to really reflect and decide if the goal I have in mind is doable or achievable and by when. Whereas my annual project planner helps me to have a better overview what are the goals I want to achieve every month. It helps me analyze if I've too many goals in a specific month or if I might have room to achieve more.
The last step of my planning is to use a weekly planner to help me have a clear overview what are the small steps I need to take every week to get one step closer toward my goal.
If you're serious about planning and reaching the end of your goal, get these planners now.
3) WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?
Spend lesser time wondering what others may think about your efforts and spend more time working on your goals.
Your goals are for you, aren't they? If they are, why does it matter so much what other's think?
There's a quote by David Foster Wallace that I'd love to share with you:
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”
Why are you pursuing your goals? What is your motivating factor? Are you doing this for yourself or did someone force you to do it?
If it's a goal you've set for yourself, dig deep and find your why this matters to you so much, your intrinsic motivation to help get you motivated toward your goals.
If you are pursuing a goal because someone expects it of you, chances are you may not be as motivated to achieve it as compared to if that goal came from you yourself. If you're doing something that doesn't feel fulfilling, then perhaps, it's time to muster up the courage and speak to the person who is forcing you to do something which is not aligned with your purpose.
4) WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOU?
Self-doubt is normal, especially when we want to do things perfectly and not screw up. But too much of it, and you'll just stay stuck and not be able to move forward.
In fact, many of us do question ourselves from time to time if we are good enough.
One main point I'd like to stress here though, think about it... Is it worth it, to live until you are old and grey, only to look back and feel regret? Is it worth it to live a life of fear, doubting ourselves and not achieving what we really wanted?
Personally, I do believe life is a journey. It's all about learning new things and gaining new experiences. Even if you don't achieve your goals successfully, what matters more is that you tried. You tried and gave it your best.
Even if you fail, then stand up and try again. If you think about it, you didn't fail by trying. You've actually won new experiences and skill sets that you didn't have before. With this new knowledge in hand, you now know better what to do when there are possible pit falls that might come your way in the future.
5) HOW CONDUCIVE IS YOUR ENVIRONMENT?
Some people work better with music and some without. Look around you, is your environment conducive to work on your goals?
Think about the lighting, the comfort of your seat, the smell, sound, and ambience. Whatever that helps get you in the mood to feel motivated as you work on your goals - use it!
Tweak your environment to best suit your needs because this can really help reduce your chances of losing interest on whatever you are working on.
Put your phone on silent or flight mode if you need to. Open a separate dedicated window to work on your goals (if you're like me and tend to have a ton of tabs open at the same time).
Reduce distractions to a minimum and try to increase your source of motivation as much as possible.
but also practice taking breaks to stretch or drink water every hour or so. Not you feel stiff or low on energy
6) HOW PATIENT ARE YOU?
In an ideal world, we would have superpowers to achieve 10 things in 10 minutes. But in the real world, that is not possible and we know it. That doesn't help us from feeling like we're going too slow or achieving the ideal results we want too slowly.
If we take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo, a world renowned football player. Do you think he just played a little football when he was young and then bam - he became great?
He trained a lot and still does to be great at what he does. According to the website Man of Many, Cristiano Ronaldo trains 3-4 hours per day, about 5 days a week. Wow.
Let's look at J.K. Rowling, do you think she wrote such an amazing book such as Harry Potter within 1 week?
So how long did it take to write Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? J.K. Rowling worked on her first novel for six years. That's longer than George R.R. Martin took to write Game of Thrones.
The time frame needed to achieve your goals really depends on the SIZE of your goals.
Practice patience, trust the journey, and repeat this mantra - Good things take time. You'll get there one fine day.
7) ARE YOU OVERWHELMING YOURSELF?
I understand you'd like to achieve more things in the shortest amount of time. That's ok to wish that, but in reality, our brains can only focus on so much in any one point of time.
Try your best to aim for 1-2 small goals per week or per month and 1 big goal every few months or per year.
Overwhelming yourself with too many goals in one go will set yourself up for failure, make you feel demotivated, and creates unnecessary negative self-talk within your head.
8) HOW WELL DOES YOUR DREAMS WORK OUT IN REALITY?
Sometimes ideas and goals tend to seem better in our minds than in reality. If after giving your best in making your goal happen but it doesn't bring you any happiness or positive results, and you start to wonder if you should quit your goal, then do check out a recent article I wrote about how to know when it's time to give up on a goal.
A gentle reminder here, don't beat yourself up if the goal didn't turn out as how you had imagined it to be. You didn't know back then, but now you know better. What is important to take away from the experience, is that you had the courage to try. If you could have the courage to try something new once, you can do it again.
After you've watched today's episode, I'd love to hear from you. What is the trigger that causes you to get distracted or give up on a goal easily? What strategies helped you to work around it effectively?
Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and adding your thoughts.
Live strong, and have the courage to create a life you love because your happiness matters.
With SO much 💖,
Trish Lee is a certified mental health & career counselor who is passionate in helping domestically or emotionally abused women to rebuild their life and self-confidence.