Our lives can be hectic, stressful, and unfulfilling. We get tired. We want to give up. But if there is one thing I have learned it is this: there is no shame in getting weary, the shame is giving up. It has taken me a long time to hone my strategies for how to “keep on keepin’ on.” Now that I have, I want to share them with you. So here goes!
Take your cue from bikers. “When life throws you a curve – lean into it.” This means put your head down, square those shoulders, and ride it out. You are strong and capable, and you can get through this! Never give up. Never back down.
Remember Your Purpose
What is your purpose in life? We are here for more than working, paying bills, and dying. What makes your heart sing and your soul happy? That is your purpose. In times of desperation we all need to look within and remind ourselves of our purpose. We need to remind ourselves of why we are here. Sometimes that reminder alone can give us the will to carry on.
Make a Plan of Attack
Are you drifting? Have you back-burnered the things that really matter to you because life continuously gets in the way? Are you just too scared to take the first step? Whatever your purpose in life is, you need a plan. You need a strategy.
My purpose in life is being the best possible mother I can, and giving my children a good childhood. To do this I want to quit my corporate job and work from home. Needless to say, this is a scary thought. But I took the first steps, and now I have a plan of attack. It may take years, but at least those years will be spent working towards something that matters to me. Most days, remember this and focusing on my plan of attack is enough to keep me going.
Go For It
Once you have your plan of attack in mind, you have to go for it. You have to make it happen. HUSTLE. Make your life what you want it to be. Concentrating on this can give you a different kind of purpose, and the will to keep going.
Take baby steps
Starting on the path to fulfilling your purpose in life can be daunting. It can look like a huge, insurmountable task inside of our minds. Sometimes we need to just break it down into smaller bite-sized pieces. Is your goal to start your own business? Maybe your baby step is to start a coffee can fund with your spare change. Every little bit counts! Is your goal to start your own blog? Maybe your baby step is to brainstorm post topics. Is your goal to buy a home? Maybe your baby step is to deposit $20/week into your savings to be used for your down payment.
Goals are big. They are huge. We are going after our life’s purpose! That’s huge!!! But it doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to be unattainable. Break it down into baby steps and keep moving forward.
“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.”
Track your accomplishments
The inability to keep going can be fed by negative thinking. We are tired, so we tell ourselves we are lazy. We didn’t do the dishes, so we tell ourselves we are disgusting slobs. We didn’t get the raise/promotion, so we tell ourselves we are stupid/undeserving/worthless.
In order to combat the negative thoughts that slow our progress we should focus on the positive – what we HAVE accomplished. Did you get out of bed this morning? Did you manage to take a little time with your appearance before work? Maybe you paid a coworker a compliment and really made her day. Did you smile when you felt like crying? Maybe your accomplishment is that you made it through the day without self-harming. Accomplishments, big or small, are vastly important to our state of mind. By acknowledging what we have accomplished we see our stretch, our power. We know we truly do have the ability to keep going.
Take care of yourself
Self-care. Selfcareselfcareselfcare. I’m never going to stop preaching this. It is SO important to take care of YOU! Be kind to yourself by using positive self-talk. You’re tired and ready to quit, now is no tie for bashing yourself. Get a massage; take a walk, fung shui your home; meditate. Just take care of you.
If you’re not sure where to start, there is a wonderful toolbox here where you’ll find information on each of the key components of self-care.
For more ways to keep going see this post by Therese Borchard, the host of Project Beyond Blue, an online community for persons with treatment-resistant depression and other chronic mood disorders.