Five Signs It’s Time to Quit

Your stomach is always in knots.  You yell at your spouse or kids over the smallest things. On your lunch hour, you just want to take a nap. Maybe it’s time to rethink your situation.

Over the years I have had many of those “hit you over the head” moments. You know the one where you come to the stunning realization that NOW is the time? But there have also been times when I have sat and stewed for weeks or months, wondering if I was making the right decision.

I polled my friends on Facebook, and came up with these

Five Signs It’s Time to Quit (your job, relationship, or whatever)

You’re Crying/Dreading/Angry/Sick Every Day

If your job, relationship or living situation is affecting you negatively, be it physically, mentally, or emotionally, that’s a good sign it’s time to quit.

“I knew it was the right decision when I noticed I wasn’t angry all the time (anymore).”

“When it became evident it was affecting my health.”

“When I was secretly fantasizing about the other person dying a natural death.”

“When I developed an ulcer.”

Different Values or Directions

You’ve been there for years and there’s no room left for improvement or advancement. Or your values are way off each other.

“If the job didn’t fulfill me or my children couldn’t be a priority, then it wasn’t worth keeping.”

“Realizing that the direction you are heading is not the direction you want to be going and asking oneself is this what I want to settle for in the end.”

The Situation Goes From Bad to Worse

The last company I worked at went from a 10 person office to a 25 person factory/office in a matter of months. Growing pains aside, we also went from having some degree of autonomy to having our corporate bosses in Spain dictating and second-guessing every move we made. All the fun got sucked right out of the room. That’s when I knew it was time to leave.

You’ve Tried to Remedy the Situation

You can see the problem. You try to have a meeting, offer a suggestion or even fix your own “bad attitude”, but to no avail.

“I went to them and made specific recommendations on how to improve business. They did none of them.”

In my case, it seemed that any time one of us tried to improve/modernize a process, or explain why what works in Spain won’t necessarily work in the U.S., we were immediately shot down. “Because I said so” was heard regularly.

Your Gut Tells You It’s Time to Quit

Sometimes you just have a feeling, that “hit you over the head moment” or God breeze, or gut punch. Whatever, you call it, be sure to trust that “still, small voice.1

“For me, it is a feeling. I know when something is no longer right for me and scary or difficult as it may be, it is time to leap and hope the net appears.”

When I prayed about it and couldn’t get a settled feeling about staying. I knew that was the Holy Spirit telling me ‘It’s time to go.'”

The Next Step

If at all possible, try to have an exit plan (see How Changing My Life Helped Me Move Forward). Sometimes, just knowing you have a way out will make it easier to get through the last few months.

Whatever, you do, don’t wait too long. After all, you have the rest of your life ahead of you!

1 1 Kings 19:12

Five Easy Ways to Motivate Others

easy ways to motivate others

“I’m so frustrated,” my friend complained. “Sam (her husband) and I were supposed to lose weight together.  After about a month, he just gave up. I keep reminding him we had a deal, but he won’t listen. I don’t know what to do! I’m worried about his health.”

Sound familiar? Substitute anyone you care about for husband, and anything that’s not being accomplished for weight loss, and, you get my point. We all know people who could use some motivation.

Over 25 years as a mom, 7 + years as a boss, and 5+ years as a weight loss group leader, I’ve learned a few things about motivation. First, if you want to motivate others, you should, yourself, be motivated. (see Top Five Ways to Boost Your Motivation). Here are a few more ideas:

5 Easy Ways to Motivate Others

Listen

Sometimes just the simple act of venting their frustrations may be enough to help a person regain their motivation.  Other times, your person might want to brainstorm with you. Be available and try not to be judgemental.

Ask How You Can Help

Holding the person accountable for the type of help they need gives him or her ownership in the process.  Offering the help you think they need takes the power out of their hands. And yes, everyone wants to feel like they have some control of their own destiny.

If you really feel you absolutely must offer specific help, why not offer a choice between two options? For example, in the case of my friend and her husband, she could say something like, “Why don’t we schedule a workout date this week? Would you rather go for a hike or take a long bike ride?” This way you are steering your person back on course, but reminding them that you know they are still in control.

Remember Past Successes

When Bud was a senior in high school, he was having difficulty with Algebra II.  The concepts were difficult for him to grasp. He wanted to give up. I knew if he quit, he wouldn’t graduate, since Algebra II was a required course.

I sat down with Bud and reminded him of how good he was at setting goals and figuring out how to achieve them. How when he was ten, he had decided to lose weight, after seeing a photo of himself on a family trip. Bud and I had started run/walking every day and cut back on snacks and sweets. He was so proud of himself when we took family photos the next year and we could all see the difference!

I reminded Bud of how, when he started sixth grade in homeschool, he decided that the following fall he wanted to start public school with his friends, who would all be in the eighth grade. We set a schedule, and Bud managed to complete BOTH sixth and seventh grades in one year.

Bud appreciated the pep talk. He and I made a plan of attack, that would get him caught up on Algebra II by the end of the school year.  I was proud for multiple reasons when Bud graduated on time in June of 2012.

Be an Example

During my years as a weight-loss group leader for Sparkpeople, I have found that being an example can be one of the most positive motivating factors for others.  However, examples don’t all have to be about successes.

If we are honest with ourselves, the path to achieving our goals is very rarely a straight line forward. More often than not, it is more of a zig-zag, a two steps forward, one step back scenario.

Those who are at the beginning of the steps to achieve their goal, can be encouraged by finding out that those of us who have reached the other side had the same setbacks and stumbling blocks along the way.  I like to share how I lost 20 pounds, then gained 50, lost 30, got stuck at a 4 1/2 year plateau, and finally lost another 10 pounds six months ago. Only 10 more pounds to go, but what a journey it has been! And while the destination will be awesome, the journey is where I learned and grew.

Be Patient

Patience is your biggest ally as a motivator. After all, we’re not all on the same journey, even though we may have similar goals. Everyone moves along their own path, at their own speed. You can not singlehandedly make a person move ahead any faster. All you can do is be available with the tools, resources and motivation, if needed.

How do you motivate others? Please share your tips in the comments.