How to Stay Focused When You Just Want to Give Up


All of us know that we will face failure at some point in our lives, but there are times when it seems that every day holds nothing but failure, confusion and exhaustion. The constant barrage of curve balls can slowly erode your fighting spirit and lead you to just say, “I give up”. You are repulsed by the optimistic cheery quotes that you once pinned to your board and you feel that your days are tiresome and routine with no end in sight. Every single one of us can relate to this experience and the good news is that you can pull yourself out of this – with a few simple life adjustments.

7 Tips to Stay focused when you feel like giving up

  1. Set Mini-Goals

Weight loss or a promotion at work are long term goals that require considerable time and effort. While it is important to keep an eye on your ultimate goal, it helps to chalk out a series of steps or mini-goals that will help you stay on track. For instance, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, set mini-goals such as 1 pound every 2 weeks or set a mini-goal to exercise every day for 5 days a week which would help you reach your weight loss goal. Similarly, if you are trying to get a promotion at work, set each of your projects and tasks as mini-goals so that you can focus on them. A self-improvement bootcamp is a great way to review the various areas of your life in order to determine the best approach for each.


  1. Create a realistic routine

When you decide to make an effort, you are enthusiastic and feel you can take anything that life throws at you. This invincible attitude is often short-lived and when you start to stumble, you lose your confidence and you start to see every misstep as proof of failure. Don’t try to overhaul your entire life at one go; instead, change one aspect of your life at a time and once you are used to it, you can move on and make the next change. Put aside at least a little time for rest and relaxation on a daily basis as this helps to reduce stress and makes it easier for you to stay on track.


  1. Exercise Daily

From the moment you wake up each morning, you’re in a constant rush – you rush to leave for work, you rush through your workday so you can leave on time and then you rush back to make sure you can sleep on time. You look at your schedule and you decide that you can’t possibly make time for daily exercise – this is a huge mistake! Studies show that daily exercise can help to increase mental focus and even improve and skills such as self-efficacy and resilience. Furthermore, researchers have also found that physical inactivity can lead to a depressed mood. If you are in a depressed mood, you are more likely to lose focus and want to give up so make daily exercise a priority.  


  1. Take a break

There are times when you may start to feel overwhelmed and you’re not able to move forward. When that happens, instead of trying to blindly plough through, take a break. You can listen to music or simply sit in quiet meditation as this will help to calm your frenzied mind; after that, you can start to calmly examine what’s keeping you from achieving your goals. Once you’ve identified these problem areas, you can work on a plan to overcome them. If you feel bogged down by your thoughts, go for a walk as studies show that exposure to nature can help to clear your mind and improve your decision-making skills.


  1. Don’t skimp on sleep

All of us aim for a good work-life balance but sometimes it seems like life is a juggling act and not a balancing act! To make time for everything in our lives, we often sacrifice our sleep and tell ourselves that this is the price we have to pay to succeed. However, this is far from true as a sleep study found that even a single night without sleep increases negative moods such as depression, anger and anxiety. They also found that women were more vulnerable to these effects than men. Inadequate sleep has also been linked to lowered cognitive skills as well as poor mental focus. Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep every single night and you will be able to complete your daily tasks faster and manage your time more efficiently.


  1. Visualize achieving your goals

Imagery is a popular performance-enhancement tool, but does it really work? Researchers found that imagining carrying out a task successfully had a positive impact on performance. This technique is especially useful when you start to feel like you’re not progressing at the required pace or that you are still very far from your goal. Take a step back and visualize the entire process – everything that you have already managed and the steps that you still need to take to achieve your goal. Think back to other occasions when you achieved other goals and allow your past successes to propel you forward.


  1. Create a strong support structure

No matter how strong we are, all of us need the love and support of our families and friends. Talk to your loved ones about your goals and plans. Even if they can’t help you achieve these goals, their support will help to keep you motivated when you hit a rough patch. Recent studies show that social and emotional support from loved ones have a protective effect on an individual’s physical and mental health. Talk to your family on a regular basis as this will help you overcome negative emotions such as depression and anxiety which will make it easier for you to remain focused.


Why We Lose Our Focus (And Our Way)

You are pumped up when you start working towards your goal – whether it’s related to work, fitness or a new hobby. But as the days and weeks go by, your enthusiasm wanes and you start to feel like it’s an impossible goal. Your can-do attitude changes to “I don’t have the time” and “this is so overwhelming”. What makes you lose your focus and why are you tempted to give up? Researchers found that people have a preference for immediate gratification which makes them overvalue rewards they can get immediately compared to the ones they must wait to acquire. This means that even though you know that you will have to wait for a while to notice the results of your efforts, you will still start to get impatient within a very short span of time. This means that in order to stay focused you will need to change your approach.


When you lose your focus, you may start to isolate yourself, but this will only exacerbate the problem. Social isolation leads to loneliness and higher levels of stress which will impact your overall health and wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help and keep in mind that you only fail when you give up so don’t stop trying!


Author's Bio: 

 Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.