Tis’ the season that brings fresh new hope for a better you. Everyone is updating their vision boards, choosing their “one word,” and making new year’s resolutions. The jargon of goal-setting is to declare action and my action for next year is to quit.  I’ve decided to be a quitter. You should join me.

In my former career as a strategic marketing executive, a large part of my job was to decide what we would not do to move the business forward.  Goal-setting for a new year not only requires you to decide what to do, but also what you will not do to achieve your goals. Having a “won’t do” list is imperative to overcoming obstacles and avoiding distractions. Goal setting must include what you will not do.

A good place to start your “won’t do” list is to decide what you will stop doing in order to achieve more in the new year. What will you quit?  The term “quitter” has been put in time-out like a bad child. There are poems, books, and manifestos that tell us “Don’t Quit!”  However, quitting is not all bad. There are benefits to being a quitter.

Quitting Allows Space for Something New

We pack our lives full of people, places, and priorities in the name of productivity. I bet you can’t say that three times.  While it gives us the illusion of being productive, busy lives can be obstacles to living on purpose and achieving goals that will us happy. We fill our calendars and our minds with clutter that doesn’t move us forward. Free up space. Be a quitter so something new can happen.

Quitting Allows You to Be More Specific

We all have obligations that require us to say “yes” when we need to say “no”.  Define your goals for 2020 and quit doing anything that doesn’t directly advance your ability to achieve your goals.  Be specific.  An “opportunity to grow” is just jargon to mask clutter. Will it make money? Does it allow you to learn a specific skill? Will it take you somewhere you’ve never been?  Quit anything that doesn’t specifically align with your life’s mission. Get focused.

Quitting Uncovers Desire

You’ve accumulated knowledge and skill to do many things.  Filling your life with things you “can do” slowly erodes your ability to determine what you really want to do. You are no longer getting joy out of life because your life has become about your abilities rather than your desire.  An opportunity that takes you somewhere you’ve never been is good…unless it’s some place you don’t want to go.  Quit things you don’t really want to do. The more you can place your life in an intersection of “skill” and “will” the more satisfied you will be. 

If the thought of quitting scares you make a list of things you’ve already quit in your life i.e., relationships, jobs, hobbies, etc.  Think about what new and wonderful things followed your quitting experience.  See…quitting isn’t all bad.

Achieve your goals in 2020. Be a quitter.