A quitter never wins and a winner never quits. Sound familiar? The idea that quitting is bad, while sticking something out is good, is rampant in our culture. It might be true in some instances, but like most things, it should be looked at in light of circumstances– because in many cases, quitting can actually be a good, wholesome practice.
Author and attorney Bob Goff has an infamous habit of quitting something every single Thursday. It could be a small thing like dropping a bad habit or cutting out sweets or swearing. Or it could be something bigger like resigning from a board or breaking an apartment lease. The reason? Quitting something new each week is a habit that forces him to evaluate what’s most important in his life and to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t matter.
Creating a practice of intentional quitting like this– whether it’s each week or each month– forces us to take stock of our lives in light of our goals, while also allowing us to create space for fresh opportunities and change. It carves out room for us to grow and explore new things we wouldn’t otherwise have time for. At its core, this practice is meant to encourage us to be more mindful of our schedules and how we’re living out our values.
You see, too often, our calendars are so filled with activities that drain our passions and crowd our lives that we don’t have time to do the incredible things that support our real priorities. We are eager to accept new invites and offers (sometimes even taking on more than we can handle), but are reluctant to give up the things that no longer serve us for fear of displeasing others or being seen as a quitter. Yet, due to the limited nature of the time and resources available to us, we must be selective in how we spend our lives, or we will face regrets later on.
That said, we ought to start asking ourselves; do we feel like we’re in hustle-mode all the time? Are we attending to our work and activities with a spirit of presence, laughter, and connection? Or are we making decisions based on a desire for security and comfort? Once we let go of the belief that we are who we used to be and the expectations we have for ourselves, we become free to see how things could look, and can evaluate our commitments accordingly.
There’s room for improvement in all of our lives. While assessing our schedules, let’s think of just one thing we can nix today that will bring space for something we crave more of. It could be as simple as unfollowing the people who steal too much of our precious attention, unsubscribing from the emails that constantly pile up, trashing a project that’s become stagnant– whatever helps us reclaim our energies for good.
And then? Let’s reward ourselves by sitting down and opening up a new book, starting a new project, or scheduling a weekly happy hour with some ladies we’d actually like to know better. Let’s free ourselves and become quitters.
What is one thing you can quit this week?