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Goals: when to push, when to pause, when to stop

posted on Aug 14, 2019 |   201 likes


Ever felt like giving up on your goal? Read this!

Truth be told, things can get really tough. Plans could shatter, and nothing will seem to be working as planned, that’s why you need to know when to keep pushing, when to pause or rest, and when to end the game.

Yes, quitting is part of the options.

That may not be what your mentor have told you, or what the motivational speakers say out loud, but at the end of this post, you will understand that there is wisdom in taking certain decisions including “quitting at the right time”.

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Back to our topic. Imagine this:

You set out to lose 100 pounds in weight by the end of the year.

You have your daily pushups goal. You’ve been told by your fitness expert exactly how your sessions are going to go. And you set aside time at the beginning of each day to exercise.


For the first few days or weeks, everything goes well! Highly motivated, you exercise each day and you’re excited about how you’re imaginatively shaping up.

But then something happens. It starts to get harder and harder to wake up and do the same thing over and over. Each morning begins to feel like a slog to hit your wake-up time and exercise.

Then, one morning, your alarm rings, you snooze it, it rings again, and you turn it off, turn to the other side of the bed, and get some more sleep.

You wake up hours later, sluggishly walk to your exercise corner of your room, and … nothing. You don’t feel motivated to keep going with your goal to lose weight.

What do you do then?

The problem with conventional goals

It’s a great thing to have goals.

They can help you achieve success by focusing your efforts on a very defined objective, marrying goals with effective habits that allow you to achieve them is even better.

The problem however lies with the way we conventionally approach goals: We often pick the wrong ones.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose 10 pounds, or wanting to write a novel in a year.

Those are very challenging and achievable objectives to have.

But if those goals are not designed to add value to your life, then why are you doing it anyway?

Let me guess

-       Your friends are all losing weight, so you want to try too

-       You saw an article that said the most successful people in the world wake up at 4am each day, so you join

-       You also wanted to author a book because …well it feels good

You can have several other reasons why you set your goal but if those goals don’t really come from you, then it’s not likely that it is going to work.


How to find out if your goal is flawed.

If you are confused as to whether you chose a goal that matters or one that you don’t really care about, then this is for you.

To help you uncover this, we will look at three areas:

-       When to push

-       When to pause

-       And when to quit

When to push:

Understanding when to push Is probably the most important question to ask, without which, you will never get started in the first place.

It’s the little pushes here and there that hurl us into greatness.

However, it’s important to recognize whether or not the goals are really worth your push.

If you ever reach a confused junction with zero motivation to get your goals going, then you should ask the following questions:

·         Is this goal in line with what I really want?

·         If I don’t do this today, will it affect my chances of reaching the goal?

·         If I don’t do this right now will I regret it?

·         Will the people I love be impacted negatively if I don’t do this today?

If yes is your answer to any of the questions above, then think about pushing ahead with your goal. There may be barriers to your growth, but it’s only when you push through them that you can see your growth habit forming.

When to Pause

Here, we could use a popular African proverb that says “he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”

Sometimes it isn’t a matter of pushing or quitting. Sometimes you just need a break from your goals. A temporary relief to help you refresh, invigorate and feel motivated again.

Breaks are paramount, you need a little break sometimes – and that’s completely okay.

So how do you know when to break? Ask the following questions:

·         Is this goal wearing me out?

·         Have I missed my primary obligations to the people I love because of this goal?

·         Is it possible to take a day off this activity, attend to pressing needs, and still complete my goal later?

Again, if you answered yes to any of the questions, then you might want to consider a pause. How long the break you take is dependent on the goal you are pursuing.

It could be hours, days, or weeks. No matter how long, if utilized properly, it will help you get back on track to complete your goal.

When to Stop

Being sensitive to the activities that lead up to your goal is key in determining whether/how you will finish.

Sometimes you might realize that a goal you were pursuing isn’t in line with what you actually or presently want.

That’s totally ok, needs evolve and so do goals.

The mistake people make often times is not knowing when to put a full stop to a lost game, and it only gets worse.

Let’s see something practical: Would you rather realize that running a marathon isn’t a goal you want to pursue two months into training, or 10 months into training when you’ve invested countless hours into it? The obvious answer is the former.

When it feels overly overwhelming, here are questions to ask:

·         Does this goal irritate me?

·         Years from now, when I look back, can I confidently say this goal contributed to where I am?

·         Have I gained any ground at all in achieving this goal?

·         Does this goal contribute to what I want to do and who I want to be overall?

If you answered yes to only one question above, you should seriously consider either taking a pause from your goal or putting a stop to its pursuit.

I know, quitting can be hard, especially for top performers. But sometimes, that’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your future. 

In conclusion

Goals are great, in fact you can’t achieve anything tangible without setting a SMART goal and staying true to it. Life is not random but intentional.

However, needs evolve, and so do goals. Needs have priority and goals should too. It is possible that what is admirable now may not be your top priority in two weeks’ time. Don’t get tied up with activities that are not really going to add value to you.

It is also possible that circumstances around you are stopping you from achieving your genuine goals, and that means you should seek help.

When to seek help is another part of the revelation stages.

If you have set a goal that is simply not adding up, then you can consider getting help either from a friend or organization.

For example; if you set a goal to move to a new apartment in 9 months and due to other exigencies your savings are just not adding up to your goal, then you can seek advice from a financial service provider on whether you can access finances in form of loan, and how much you can access.

If your goal is about personal habit or life milestones, you could seek advice from a personal/life coach.

The good thing is that some of the organizations that will guide you in evaluating your goals and how to achieve them offer some counselling services for free.

Page financials a major player in the financial space in Nigeria offers financial advice to people for free. All you need to do is call 016317243 or send an email to customer@pagefinancials.com and state how you feel about short and long term goals, someone will be on the other side to guide you.

So what is it going to be after today? To Push, Pause or Quit? Let’s hear from you.

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