How to Rally When You Want to Throw in the Towel

When you first set a business or personal goal for yourself, you may feel very excited and motivated to meet it. You exude that positive energy that makes you feel like you can conquer anything. Just think about when you set New Year’s Resolutions each year, most likely you feel like you are on your way to a promising new year filled with great possibilities and new milestones. But, the longer it takes us to reach our goals, the harder it may be to stay motivated and to stay on track. The idea of reaching the new goal starts out exciting, but if you have a lot of work to do to get there, the daily grind of performing the necessary tasks may start to feel monotonous or boring. 

Short-term, small goals are great for boosting morale and allowing us to feel accomplished. We set the goal, we do the tasks and we get results. And if you’re like me, you love to check things off of your list. On the other hand, if reaching a goal is going to take many months or even longer, it can feel like you have ‘lots’ of time to accomplish it. With the feeling of so much time on your side, you may stop doing the daily work which can make the progress on your goal fall short. Before you know it, the deadline for fulfilling the goal sneaks up, which can lead to frantically trying to catch up or not even fulfilling the goal on time. Isn’t that ironic?

A difficult or long-term goal may lead you to want or throw in the towel. You may want to give up if:

  • You’re feeling overwhelmed by a big goal.
  • You feel like it’s taking a long time to reach your goal.
  • Reaching your goal is harder than you were expecting.
  • If you don’t have the support you need, such as encouragement or feedback.
  • If you don’t have the skills you need to complete the tasks required to reach your goal.

It’s good to acknowledge these feelings, but I don’t want you to give up on your goals. I want you to get through to the other side and celebrate your success. Use these three strategies to keep moving forward.

  1. Ask yourself if your goal is realistic.
  •  Maybe you’ve made your goal so big that it feels too overwhelming to work on because you don’t know where to start. To counteract feeling overwhelmed, break your goal into small steps. You can take one step at a time and do a little bit each day to keep moving forward instead of feeling stuck.
  • Have you given yourself enough time? It can be exciting to start working on a goal and want to see results quickly. But the chances are good that you have other things going on in your life and business that also require your attention and energy. Be sure you give yourself enough time, including unexpected tasks that come up, delays and obstacles to conquer.
  • Have you considered your energy levels? We often expect more from ourselves than we would ask of someone else for the same task. We may put more pressure on ourselves but, instead, we should respect our own time limitations and energy levels. Before you jump into a project, think about when your energy peaks during the day and work with your natural rhythms.
  1. Don’t re-create the wheel.
  • You may be able to save yourself a lot of time and energy by taking a look at what other people are doing who have already gone down the path you’re going down. This doesn’t mean you’re copying someone else, but you can gather information, ideas and maybe even learn some shortcuts. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, listen to podcasts, watch videos or read books that will help you reach your goal.
  1. Ask for help:
  • You really don’t have to do anything all by yourself, even if you work on your own from a home office. Think about what it is you need and ask for it. Recently, I listened to a TED Talk from Amanda Palmer called, “The Art of Asking” and I would encourage you to listen to it. You can reach out for support, accountability, encouragement and to glean information for skills you may be lacking in.
  • You can also ask for help by hiring the right people with the right skills to help you reach your goals. I wouldn’t have a book on Amazon if I hadn’t hired someone to edit and get it on the website for me. Delegation can be a powerful productivity tool that allows you to get the best from everyone.

Don’t lose steam or throw in the towel when facing your goals. Keep going with grit, determination and a few strategies to keep you on track so you can celebrate your success.


“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

Earl Nightingale

Monika Kristofferson is a professional organizer, productivity consultant, author and founder of Efficient Organization in Lake Stevens. Reach her at 425-220-8905. (Courtesy of my efficiency column in the Everett Herald Business Journal).

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