Saturday, August 18, 2012

3 Tips For When You Want to Quit

Solo Runner
  Photo Credit: Sheffield Tiger 

{This post was originally published in August 2012, but I thought it was fitting to re-post it as people begin neglecting their New Year's resolutions or goals. My prayer is that we will stay committed to those endeavors that God has laid on our hearts.}

Starting a new project or setting personal goals can be daunting. While you may begin with great motivation, at some point your energy will start to wane, and you may decide you just don't have the time or willpower to keep on. And that's when you quit.

I'm on Week 6 of Couch to 5K, and I'm tired. My knees and legs ache from continuous pounding on unforgiving concrete surfaces. My lungs scream for air as I flop down the road like a startled goose. A six-foot red head, pale and freckly, attempting to run. Ha! I want to quit just thinking about how silly I must look.

Besides the aforementioned, I can think of a dozen other excuses for not running. But in my heart, I really want to follow through.


Because I don't want to be a quitter. 

And because I don't want my girls to be quitters.

To keep focused when you want to quit, let me suggest three helpful tips. They have 
helped me stay motivated thus far and given me purpose to my running.

1. Revisit your original goals. When you first decided to embark on this endeavor, you probably had a few things you hoped to accomplish. Perhaps, like me, you wanted to lose a few pounds and strengthen and tone your body, or maybe you hoped to run in a race or eat healthier foods. Remembering the reasons why you're doing what you're doing will motivate you when you want to throw in the towel. 

2. Find someone to hold you accountable. Whatever your goals, you need someone to share your struggles and victories with: a personal cheerleader. That person might be your partner, a trainer, or a close friend, but he or she should be someone who will go drill sergeant on you when you need it or empathize at times too, a person who has your best interests at heart. For me, that person is my husband who without complaint carries the baby in the Ergo, pushes the toddler in the stroller, and helps the preschooler on her bicycle while I run. God bless him!

3. Reward yourself. If you need more motivation, plan special rewards for yourself once you reach specific milestones. For example, tomorrow I will run for 25 minutes straight--no breaks! I plan to treat myself to some new running shoes for my hard work. Of course, you don't need to spend a lot of money {I just need new shoes badly!}. You might treat yourself to a new workout top or some tunes to exercise to, or you might pamper yourself with a manicure or a spa day.  The key is to reward yourself for your hard work, so you will not lose sight of your goals.

It's easy to quit: Anyone can do it. But I believe in the old saying, "Quitters never win, and winners never quit." Persevering in the tough times strengthens your resolve and motivates you to try even more new adventures in the future.
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:30-31

What keeps YOU focused when you want to quit?


Photo courtesy of Sheffield Tiger at Creative Commons.

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  1. I'm a bit behind you - week 3 of Couch to 5K - but I appreciate the encouragement, for running and for life.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Good luck, Tracey! I hope you will persevere in your running and in your life. Blessings to you.

  3. This was a great post. I'm pinning! I loved the encouragment, motivation, and reminder of why we're doing this all in the first place...Found you via the MMM link-up and will now be following along. Also--your reading list rocks. Just read Rules of Civility not too long ago and Shepherding a Child's Heart is on my nightstand!

    1. Thanks, Meredith. I am just now digging into Rules of Civility and really liking it so far. I'm glad you stopped by.

  4. Great reminders! I am so good at starting things, and not so good at maintaining or finishing. :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, I don't know how many projects I've started only to abandon ship a few weeks, sometimes even days, down the road.

  5. I am thinking of doing Couch to 5K starting this fall when the weather is a bit cooler. I need to get in shape. I have not even lost all the baby weight from having my son 15 months ago. Good luck!

    1. Melissa, I can totally relate and empathize. I have noticed that with each successive child I have the harder it is to lose the weight. Maybe it's age or maybe it's the fact that time to exercise is so scarce. I wish you the best when you start C25K. It has been a great way to ease this fluffy body back into some semblance of shape. :)

  6. love your tips...and agree!!
    preserving is definitely a key to success in almost everything...
    i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  7. I'm very impressed!!! I've thought about the Couch to 5K but never attempted it. I'm not sure that running is for me (well, since I don't like moving at all, I'm pretty sure it is not! ;-D) but your 3 points are very helpful suggestions in ANY kind of endeavor where you are working for the long haul.

    Thanks for linking up today!

  8. Oh, my. I remember when I first started running after having a baby. It was horrible! I thought about quitting every day. But the sense of accomplishment after finally reaching 5k is so worth it!

    Having someone to be accountable to was the biggest help for me. My husband is such a great encourager!

  9. Starting to think about the example I set for my son when I give up too early--like with exercize...great quote and thanks for linking!

  10. I love these tips! I just read somewhere last week that it takes about 6 months to settle into running. I started back again myself early last year. Now I'm at the point where I get up and run on my schedule even if it's 20 degrees out like it was this morning. I set a new goal this year of running 13 races in 2013 including a half marathon. I know I can do it, and I'm looking forward to training my mind and body to do the miles.

    I would love for you to link your post up to my Motivation Monday linky. It fits right in with our goal of encouraging folks to be a better person. (