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Home » Inspiration, Productivity

Struggling with your goals?

Are you struggling to achieve your goals? I know a lot of people are, because I get a lot of emails on the subject.

But before you tackle your goals, what’s your big vision what are you really trying to achieve?

In what time frame do you want to achieve this vision? In the next 10 years? 5 years? or 3 years?

The truth is, if you don’t know where you’re going how do you know if you’re going to the right place?

Too often the goals we are persuing are the wrong goals – ie they don’t take us towards achieving our vision.

But because of ego, pride, stubborness – call it what you will, we don’t know when to give up.

You’ve seen it before you’re driving a long but you think you might have taken a wrong turning, how often do you carry on thinking it will be alright and even if you have gone wrong, maybe there’s a sign ahead which will point me in the right direction and then everything will be ok.

Contrast that with you’ve driven down a road, think you might have gone wrong then turn around to go back and check? I bet the former wins everytime.

The reason? When we’ve invested time in something it’s hard to give up.

How often have you started a task thinking it will take 2 hours, then 4 hours later you’re still working on it?

Now, that task or project that you were doing may well have been worth your time when you started, but after you’ve spent the 2 hours on it and it’s still not finished, is it really worth still spending the time on it? Will spending more time on really take you towards your vision?

Sometimes, the best thing to do is stop doing something. Especially if it doesn’t take you towards your vision. This is the same for goals as it is for projects.

Know when to quit.

What do you think?

Empire Building Kit

11 Comments »

  • Jean Sarauer said:

    This is a great, off-the-beaten-path way of looking at things. Sometimes quitting is exactly the right thing! I’ve sometimes come quite a ways with something, started getting really bogged down with it, and then realized that it really wasn’t important to me in terms of who I am. Usually this would happen when I was doing “should” things based on my own or someone else’s expectations. In those cases, quitting made sense.
    .-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..And the Winner is . . . . =-.

    Matthew Needham Reply:

    That’s a great point Jean. I think that’s probably true for most people. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hulbert Lee said:

    Hi Mathew, nice blog. I was confused because I thought I was going to go into a website that sold tomatoes, but it looks like a personal development website. Pretty cool theme.

    I think it depends on the situation. If you’re working on something really important and it has a big impact on your life, then I think one should do whatever it takes to finish it even if it takes an extra 2 hours.

    But if it’s something not really necessary and we’re just doing it because we are stubborn or prideful, then yes we need to find the time to quit. An example might be spending extra time to argue with someone even though you know you’re right. Just let it go.

    Nice post Mathew. I like to think of different scenarios that involve achieving goals. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Matthew Needham Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Hulbert. I’m sorry we couldn’t supply you with any tomatoes!

    I agree, if the goal is still worth doing carry on, I’m just saying think about whether it is. Too often we adopt the hero mentality when we should have given up hours ago.

  • Alex said:

    Great analogy Matthew. I have a sign on my wall at home that helps with distraction, it says “Is what you are doing RIGHT NOW helping achieve your current goal?”
    This helps me make sure I stay on track to reach my weekly goal and in a way makes sure that that goal is the ‘right road’.
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..How does your Blog Stackup? =-.

    Matthew Needham Reply:

    Excellent idea! I have something similar – am I adding value here?

  • mark said:

    Hi Matthew,

    I really like that you are taking a pragmatic approach to this. Normally, people need to use or create guidelines whenever we are doing something. Even driving – it seems that it is easier for many people to drive on roads with lines. Otherwise, why would we waste money on the paint and the painters?

    And you are right – the effort involved in trying to achieve something often takes over your mind once a new project has gotten past the steps defnition stage. Learning to step back and evaluate where you are as opposed to where you think you should be at a given point in time is really important.

    I have been guilty in the past of finshing a project only to find that the project does not get me where I needed to be. That was eye opening, to say the least.

    Thanks for the ideas here – very nicely put!
    .-= mark´s last blog ..Selling Rapture Insurance – Creative Thinking For a New Age =-.

  • Steve Scott Site said:

    It’s rare that someone offers the advice of “know when to quit,” but I think you’re right to a certain extent. If a project really is going nowhere, it may be time to backtrack, figure out what’s going wrong, and start fresh with a new approach. I know I’m not alone when I say that I get irritated if something isn’t working how I’d planned, but sometimes all we need is a different plan of attack.
    .-= Steve Scott Site´s last blog ..Steve’s Sunday Selections – May 23rd, 2010 =-.

    Matthew Needham Reply:

    Thanks Steve. All too often something’s a good idea when it’s only a 2 hr job (eg changing something on your webpage). After 4 hours and you still haven’t got it working, is it such a good idea? Will it still generate a return to the same level?

  • Ben said:

    It’s all about that overall vision Matthew. Your goals need to be aligned with what and who you want to become. Do that and you’ll consistently reach your goals
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Friday’s Personal Development Homework =-.

  • Friday's Big Red Tomato Homework | 6aliens.com said:

    [...] Struggling with your goals? [...]