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How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up

Whether it's running a marathon, working towards your dream or trying to make a marriage work, there are some situations we can find ourselves in where we want to keep going but really struggle to maintain motivation. We have to give every last drop of will-power and energy not to just give up and pack it all in.

In these situations we often find ourselves turning to mental tricks and ruminations to try and convince ourselves to keep going. So what are some of the best techniques you can use in the moment to ensure that you persist?

Draw Inspiration

Most of us have stories and memories that we can use to dig deep and find inspiration. Perhaps you had a parent or a friend who never gave up no matter what. Maybe you remember them challenge you to accomplish something and really believing in you. Or maybe you just love the film Rocky (who doesn't?). Either way, these sorts of thoughts and memories can help you to dig deep when you're really struggling for energy, commitment or will-power.

If that doesn't work, try an inspiring music track. Anything by the 80s soft rock artist Stan Bush should do the trick! 'You've got the power!'

Remind Yourself Why You're Doing It

Another trick is to remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing. If you're working towards a dream then try visualizing yourself where you want to be because you managed to accomplish the gargantuan task. If you're trying to make money, that might mean imagining yourself on a yacht in the sun somewhere…

Remind Yourself of the Consequences

Sometimes the stick can be more motivating than the carrot. If imagining yourself being highly successful because you did well isn't doing the trick, then maybe try doing the opposite instead and imagining what would happen if you had to give up. Imagine having to tell everyone you failed. Imagine knowing you failed… Especially after all the effort you've already put in!

Break it Down

If you're tackling an impossible task then sometimes it can help to break it down into smaller milestones. Writing a novel? Then celebrate each time you add a thousand words and count how many units of 1,000 you have left to go.

Take a Break

Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back and have a breather. Most tasks aren't binary meaning it's not 'do or die'. Be strategic with your energy management and realize that a short time out can often yield better results in the long term.

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