When you feel like quitting
Sometimes the goals we set to achieve our bigger picture aren’t S.M.A.R.T.* goals — like me thinking that for the sake of my long-term health and commitment to being fit that I’ll run a half marathon by the end of the year. I have dodgy knees and a strong dislike of cardio, so it is neither Achievable or Realistic despite being S.M.T.
The new year has already bolted over what’s already been a stinking, hot summer here in western NSW, yet I’ve been trying to do the good thing and continue my gym routine regardless. Some days are harder than others, particularly after tossing and turning in the steamy heat of the night before. However, a strategically placed sign in the weights room at my gym caught my attention the other day and it’s had me thinking since.
When you feel like quitting think about why you started.
This hit home on several levels — personally and professionally. While I’m lying on my back, my face the colour of a pomegranate and my legs pushing 120kg of weights, it reminds me I’m doing this for my long-term health — not for the bikini body I never had, or some short-lived mid-life crisis that has me wanting to run half marathons.
I recently attempted boot camp, mostly in support of a friend but also because it was something I hadn’t tried before. After several weeks, I knew it wasn’t for me. On informing the trainer I wasn’t coming back, his parting words were: “Don’t be a quitter.” Those words stung.
As I enter my twenty-first year in business I’ve been reflecting on why I left a secure, high profile radio broadcasting job all those years ago to pursue my own thing in media and communications. Certainly, some people thought it was brave, but those closest to me thought it was a daft thing to do at the age of 25. When I couldn’t pay the rent or buy groceries, I also thought it was crazy. But I believed in what I was doing and I’m not a quitter.
Change is good.
I’m lucky to work in a field that is constantly changing. Change is good. I’ve been able to continue learning, flexing and growing, meeting interesting people, initiating and participating in projects creating positive change — rural education and support, conservation agriculture, natural resource management, regional development strategies, contributing to public debate, creating public art, sharing knowledge and skills, and more. What’s not to love about a job that offers all that?
This is also my fifteenth year as an exhibiting artist. It’s perhaps the most challenging thing I do outside raising a teenager…and you can’t quit that job no matter what. Being an artist, with creativity at the centre of all I do makes my life whole. It allows me to consider the world in a different way, stimulating deep, interesting conversations. It also brings great benefits to my clients and sets my communications business apart from many others in the sector, bringing new skills sets, ideas and solutions to my organisation, strategies and time-orientated implementation.
It’s critical to successful long-term communications planning to have goals that reflect the bigger picture…
Looking inside the business, revisiting why you started a project, a campaign or the like is also a worthwhile exercise. When reviewing strategies, understand what your vision (projections for the future) and mission (what you exist to do) was in the first place. Sometimes the goals we set to achieve our bigger picture aren’t S.M.A.R.T.* goals — like me thinking that for the sake of my long-term health and commitment to being fit that I’ll run a half marathon by the end of the year. I have dodgy knees and a strong dislike of cardio, so it is neither Achievable or Realistic despite being S.M.T.
It’s critical to successful long-term communications planning to have goals that reflect the bigger picture — that’s your vision or reason for doing what it is you do (which should be in your business plan).
It’s one of the reasons why I see people struggle to make any traction with digital marketing. Some quit — it’s too hard, too labour intensive, no ideas, no response, no results. With the right information to start with and some knowledge or guidance, it needn’t be hard. It should be rewarding.
So, before the year gallops further ahead, take an hour or two to review the bigger picture and ask yourself why did you start in the first place? What was it you hoped to achieve and are you doing what you need to do to make that happen?
*Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.