"I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.... I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking."
It strikes me that beyond the difficulty of getting started, it is even more of a challenge to keep going, to carry on and hang on in there. How many times have you started a project only to abandon it part way through? How many unfinished works-in-progress are tucked away in various corners of the house and your workplace. They are not exactly screaming at you to get finished, but the sense of them being there is very much like voices whispering at you. You see, the start was relatively easy. It's the carrying on which will be the challenge.
How about you? What do you need to persist in? Have you got a project that you are part way through and you can feel yourself flagging? How do you need to motivate yourself to hang on in there?
If you feel that your resolve to see a project through is beginning to crumble, perhaps it is time to take a break, step back and remove yourself from the detail of the project for a short while. Sometimes just allowing yourself to have a breathing space, possibly by going out and taking a calming walk, can help to ease your sense of overwhelm. Distancing yourself for a while, although it can seem like a negative step, can often help to get you over the hurdles of carrying on. Also reminding yourself, and those you may be working with, what the ultimate goal is, can often refresh your enthusiasm for the tasks in hand.
What essential task has been slipping down the to-do list? What are you resisting doing? It may not necessarily be a large or even difficult task, but in your mind it may have grown into a problem of gargantuan proportions! It's time to assess whether the pain of putting it off is worse than the pain of facing up to it and doing it. The other question to ask is, 'Can I delegate this?'
What do you really want to achieve for yourself? Today? This week? This month? This year? Next year and beyond? Do you have a vision of how you would like things to be? Do you know how you are going to get there? Have you taken the first steps? And are you hanging on in there? Is your vision keeping you going? If it's not, then it's time to reassess your vision and choose another one that excites you.
When a task is beginning to create stress and distress, that is one of the times to give yourself a break. Doing something active will help to lower your stress levels, as well as increasing your fitness, so that you will be physically and mentally more able to cope with what awaits you. You can return to your task with renewed energy and vigor.
How did you come to be doing this project or task? Was it imposed on you by someone else, or did you choose to start it yourself? If it was given to you to do by someone else and you are struggling with maintaining your enthusiasm, how do you think you could get a sense of eagerness for the project? What do you need to inject some fresh interest? If someone else is able to help you do this, then go ahead and ask them. The worst that could happen is they could say 'no'! If this is something that you chose to take on, then the same applies. What drew you to this in the first place? Just remembering that may be all it takes to give you a jump-start again.
What can you be doing every day to help move the project along? How is your time most profitably spent? Do you need to learn something new to assist you with what you are trying to achieve? If you need a break from work, sometimes doing something totally unrelated and creative can refresh you. Using your hands and mind in producing something purely for pleasure can calm you down and lower your stress levels. You will also end up with something you'll enjoy looking at!
Sometimes carrying on seems to be the last thing you want to do. You may even think that you are putting in all the effort only to get nothing from it. Hanging on in there and seeing the project progress to the next stage and then the final stage can be tough under these circumstances, but if you really believe in what you are ultimately aiming to achieve, then it will not be for nothing. Keep the end in sight. Hang on in there!
Kate Harper is based in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Check out her website http://www.harpercoaching.com
She works with people who are fed up with moaning about their lives and have decided to do something about it. If that is you, please take a look at Kate's website. Her special interest is in promoting Wellbeing through coaching. She is happy to work with people from any part of the world.
"The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult." Madame Marie du Deffand
Take your first step today and contact Kate.