Not giving up is a matter of practice

Not giving up is a matter of practice

During the past weeks I thought a lot about my passion for writing and I tried hard to establish a writing habit, while working as Chemistry and Maths tutor and dealing with everyday chores. As usual, it took quite some will not to give up and that brought me back to the posts I wrote on the subject.

Just to recap what I already said:

  1. step one: take some time to understand what you really want to accomplish, what you are passionate about, what it is you can’t do without. Listen to your instinct.
  2. step two: learn to give up what it’s unhealthy for you, what distract you from the important things and what holds you back. Don’t feel ashamed of giving up on something.
  3. step three: find a mantra to remind you why you chose your passions during difficult times.

Then what?

Practice.

Not giving up on what you really want is hard and there will be moments when you wish to go back to your former life because, even if it wasn’t fulfilling, it was well known and as such easier.

However, if your passion is strong enough, you can fight that moments of weakness with practice. Repeate to yourself that what you are doing it’s worth the effort, because it makes you feel content at the end of the day. Then do it even if you don’t feel like it, even if you are tired, even if there’s a part of your brain that says “No, not today. Maybe tomorrow”.

When you practice long enough, you create a habit. It works for me with writing! I push myself to write even if I don’t feel inspired and, even if at the moment it’s tiring, after I am glad I did it.

Practice works almost for everything, writing, painting, singing, playing an instrument, following a specific diet, changing your lifestyle, doing some form of sport, caring for people… The difficult part is that it’s a matter of choice. Every morning, when you wake up, you have to choose to practice at not giving up untill it cames naturally.

There are several different things you can try in order to practice and establish a habit:

  1. schedule: you can write down a daily plan with the hours devoted to your job and to everyday chores so that you can visualize your leisure time. Then plan some time for your passions and try to stick to your schedule.
  2. set a weekly/monthly goal: if you can’t schedule some time everyday, an alternative can be to set a periodic goal. For instance “at the end of the week I must have accomplished this and that”. Write your goal down, so that you are not tempted to change it as you go, and place it in plain sight (what about pin it on the fridge?). At this point it doesn’t matter if you do a little every day or a lot one single day, what matters is that you reach your goal.
  3. plan deadlines: this works more or less like setting a goal but can be more flexible. Plan a deadline, true or self-imposed, write it on your calendar or your diary (or both) and do your best to comply with it.

So… what’s your passion? How do you plan to practice not giving up on it? I would love to read your comments about it!

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11 Replies to “Not giving up is a matter of practice”

  1. Irene this is the year for me to practice not giving up and i hope I can finish my picture book by end of september, ready for a mock up stage. If I achieve this it will be an awesome event for me. Thanks for your great advice.

  2. Irene – this post is so encouraging. Setting goals is important and it’s so encouraging when we reach a milestone.

  3. Needed the extra reminder today to set deadlines – haven’t been the greatest at that:) Thanks Irene ~ great post!

  4. Great post. Those are great steps for turning our dreams into a reality. Building habits is powerful. Then from there, the regular practice helps us to get better. Following that, my writing has improved greatly over the last couple of years.

    1. I am still trying to build mine, which is not easy because I don’t have a regular day job so my free time changes a lot from a period to another… anyway I feel really improved since last october, when I decided to take writing seriously.
      Thank you for your comment!

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