Most of the times, I focus on articles that motivate and find ways to encourage the reader to pursue excellence, overcome challenges, and spring forth a healthy change with their health. There are times though, when the most productive option is to quit!
Now I don’t mean to say give up when the going gets tough, or if you are not achieving results quickly enough that you have the license to say “I’m out” or “the system doesn’t work”. What I refer to is the kind of introspection that helps you understand why you’ve reached plateaus in your diet, your exercise, or your treatment plans, and if there are still ways to obtain reasonable gains over time. Giving up because of a lack of motivation, commitment, and follow-through is always an unproductive option, and the primary reason why healthy goals fail.
On the other hand, a reciprocal problem exists when one’s goal is so hyper-focused and overreaching, causing a tunnel-vision that borderlines between sensibility and ideology. Let me give you an example. I love challenging exercises and often feel a sense of accomplishment after exerting myself in an activity. But there were many times when I would take a jog with my wife or ride a bike with my kids, and felt this compelling need to take that activity to another level, one that fits my need to be challenged. Of course this never goes well, as I wind up too far ahead (by myself) or pushing my family into frustration as a result. I’ve taken these instances to make it about me, and not about us. This imposed goal, while seemingly reasonable through the lens of productivity and goal-driven mentality, actually perpetuated a stressful trend! It took too many instances like these before my introspection concluded a healthy dose of quitting this attitude was necessary, and plentiful other opportunities were available to fulfill my exercise goals.
Activities performed on a routine or arbitrary basis, the kind that negates the sensible need for rest and recovery, produces an obscurity between a pending injury and healthy gains. To be fair though, high-end athletic goals and achievements in health often require a kind of dedication and hyper-focus for success. New styles of training or programs might not feel like a good fit until you’ve had a chance to acclimate to the new demands. Many programs and even treatment plans require perseverance through the middle phases in order to arrive at a conclusion that pays off.
Knowing the difference between a self-imposed goal and a necessary action can sometimes be difficult to discern, as they may overlap. But it is a critical key to success in any athletic or health pursuit, and one that can define your action plan. There is no definite answer about when you should quit, except to continually check-in with yourself and perhaps with those you trust, so that you can answer honestly and humbly…”Do my actions serve a meaningful purpose to my goals?”
It takes courage to understand your emotions and your behavior when it comes to a decision to quit or to continue. Check yourself, before you wreck yourself!
Dr. Adrian has been a Chiropractor and Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2000. He has worked extensively with professional athletes and patients of all ages. You can reach him through his website, www.southpaschiro.com