How many times have you set goals to work at home? How often have you given up? It’s not uncommon to struggle in finding and building a home-based career, but too often, people quit, choosing to settle for a job and life that isn’t quite what they want.
Goals can be elusive and you may feel like your dream of working at home will never happen. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up. Sometimes I did, and started looking for a traditional job. But then I’d take my kids to the park in the middle of the day, or be available to take care of something for my family, and I’d be reminded of all the benefits I’d get if could work from home.
All big goals involve struggle, otherwise everyone would be thin, fit, and rich. The biggest accomplishment isn’t in reaching the goal, it’s in persevering when you want to quit. Here are tips to continuing your efforts and getting re-motivated when you’re ready to give up.
1) Take a break
A break isn’t quitting, unless you never come off your break. You don’t want too spend too much time away from working toward your goal, but at the same time, it’s okay to step away for a short time. Use the break to reflect on what’s not working and evaluate your plan. I’ve taken breaks and come back with entirely new ideas about what I wanted to do and how to do it. Just be careful that your break doesn’t become permanent.
Breaks come in many forms. Sometimes it’s a ten minute walk, or an afternoon at a coffee cafe. Or it can be a big longer, like a weekend retreat. However, stepping away for more than a week, could end your quest, so make sure your break is design to rejuvenate you, not the first step to giving up.
2) Do something
The opposite of taking a break is taking action. When you feel like quitting, commit to doing one thing, even if it’s a little thing. Action is one of the best ways jump-start your motivation and momentum. Instead of being overwhelmed and frustrated by the big picture, pick one little task and do it. Tweak your resume. Update your LinkedIn profile. Write one blog post. Take a career skills test (i.e. typing test).
3) Remember why you started this journey.
Motivation is the key to achieving any goal. If working at home would be “nice,” your desire may not be big enough to fuel your action during the difficult times. You have to want to work at home so much that you’re willing to get past the nos, the frustrations, the failures etc.
Obstacles can whittle away at your motivation so that you start making excuses and settling for less than you want. Don’t let that happen. Re-affirm WHY you want to work at home. Spend a day “as if” you’ve already achieved your goal, so the feelings of living your dream can sink into your soul. If you want to be with your kids, spend a day as if you already work from home, doing work and taking the kids to the park. Do what you need to do to get that desire to work from home burning in your gut again.
4) Get a buddy or mentor, or join a mastermind group.
Often, we’ll work harder for others than ourselves. We let ourselves off the hook when others will poke and prod. Just because you work at home by yourself, doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Having other people involved means getting feedback, resources and much needed support when your motivation wanes.
5) Don’t let yourself off the hook.
I could write a book on all the excuses I’ve heard over the years about why people don’t work at home. Often, they’ve determined that it’s not for them. They say other people can do it, but they can’t. To that I say, baloney. Everyone CAN work at home. It’s not easy. It’s usually a difficult journey. It requires a tough skin. But people who don’t work at home don’t lack a required DNA, what they lack is a no-matter-what attitude. When you start deciding that maybe your job isn’t so bad or you’re not sure you want to be home with the kids all day or letting go of the dream you had, it’s time to give yourself a swift kick.
Everyone can work at home… including you. Millions of people do it, young and old of all education and skill levels. What ensures their success is that giving up is never an option. Make the same commitment and when the going gets tough, keep going.
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