It is said that no one ever knows when you start something, but everyone knows when you quit something. We know it, too, by the way it feels.
Many of us remember our anniversary with the girl of our dreams, because that’s the day we quit being single.
I remember graduating from Robert W. Groves High School in Garden City, Georgia, because it’s the day I quit high school.
I remember graduating from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and then my dad telling me, “I have quit paying for your college lifestyle.” That one really hurt.
You might remember the day you quit being married because of a divorce. Or the day you had to quit being a dad to one of your children because a car accident took their life.
You might also remember the date you quit drinking alcohol so you wouldn’t come home drunk, or the day you quit making excuses about why you didn’t go to church with your family on Sundays.
This kind of quitting often sticks in our minds and hearts. And I think it’s likely that all of us wish we could go back and hit a redo button on many of the goals and objectives that we quit in our lifetime.
Saying that, over the years I have formed three important landmarks when it comes to achieving personal goals that hold true for me, members of my family, and the people who I have worked and spent much of my life with.
I will call them the threes.
The first three is the third day of whatever you have set as your goal. Many of us have probably set some type of goals for 2023. For example, I’ve set a goal to read more books about business and my faith. Yet I find that by the third day of working toward a goal, my motivation starts to lag. What helps is this quote from Jim Rohn, which I keep in the front of my mind as I get started: “Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.”
The second three is 30 — the 30 days of being committed to a goal. If we can get to 30 days of doing something, it becomes more of an ingrained habit that we then continue to include in our lives. I know that I’ve tried to lose weight with each new year, for several years in a row now. This year is no different. Yet on Sundays I would tell myself that it was OK to eat my mama’s fried chicken and real mashed potatoes because my goal was to eat better only Monday through Friday. This is like saying to my kids, “I’m only a dad Monday through Friday, and you will have to look out for yourselves on Saturday and Sunday.” Commitment to our goals is every day.
The third three is three cubed, or 90 days. This is when commitment starts to override motivation, and the goal becomes who you are and what makes you, you. What was once your goal for a new way of being or lifestyle is becoming a tangible part of you, and the people around you now expect and want you to provide the response that you have disciplined yourself to achieve from this place.
Others may not know the goals that you have set for 2023. But they will know if you quit and certain things stay the same in your life, or if you make a change to yourself or your lifestyle. Which will you choose?