Unless you are giving up cigarettes, quitting carries a negative connotation. When does it make sense to give up on your goals?
Goal-setting is important, and so is re-evaluating them.
Obstacles arise. Sometimes we are on the right track but using the wrong approach. Sometimes we work really hard but our support or funding dries up or we run out of time. Sometimes life just happens.
Here's a check list to review if you are considering giving up on your goals:
Is your original goal still relevant? Is it still important to you? Does it still feed your passion? As a teenager I wanted to be a rock-star. I wrote and recorded music and even signed a contract with a local independent label and toured. But when music became work, it stopped being fun.
I learned that my passion was songwriting and recording, not performing. And I didn't enjoy the travel. When I refocused my career, and music became secondary, I found myself much happier, and much more fulfilled. I still write and record new music each year for fun.
Is achieving this goal worth the effort? What are the consequences of not achieving it? What is the worst case scenario if you don't succeed? Is it hurting your wallet, reputation, or brand to continue to pursue it? If continuing to pursue it does more damage than not achieving it, it's not worth it.
Have you hit the point of no return? Are you past the point where it will hurt more to pull out than to see it through to conclusion regardless of the outcome? If not, it might make more sense to quit now before real pain occurs.
Was it a SMART goal? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. If not, you have set yourself up for failure. If any of those five attributes are in question, then it is time to re-evaluate.
Do you fear success? If so, you'll find a way to sabotage yourself. Are you relying on emotion and fear to make this decision for you or are you evaluating cold hard facts? What advice you would give a client or friend that came to you in this situation?
What will your story be? Envision telling your friends, colleagues, or children about why you gave up on this goal. Can you tell this story and remain confident it was the right decision?
If you quit based on the facts, for real, tangible, meaningful, and measurable reasons, you can likely explain that to others and yourself. You can live with that. But if you quit based on emotions, because you are scared or lacked the faith or belief in yourself, it will haunt you.
If you can quit and never wonder, "What if..." you probably have your answer...
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About the Author:
David B. Nast owns FocalPoint Business Coaching & Corporate Training based in Cherry Hill, NJ. David is an Award-Winning Certified Business Leadership Coach with over 25 years of experience in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Corporate Training, Career Coaching, Executive Search, and Human Resources. He has coached thousands of CEOs, Business Owners and Executives.