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How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up And Want To Quit

personal development
 How To Stay Motivated When You Feel Like Giving Up And Want To Quit

Time is a weird thing. Sometimes, usually when you’re enjoying yourself, it seems to shoot by in a flash. And then there are other occasions where it just drags on forever and it's hard to persevere. 

The excruciating slow-paint ninety minutes of double Maths with the terrifying Mrs Vokes at my secondary school in 1987 took exactly the same amount of time as the exhilarating flash in the pan 1999 Champions League final. (Ignore the squeaky bum injury time - Bayern Munich did!)

Time just ticks on, second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour. Ninety minutes takes just as long to complete - ninety minutes - regardless of what you’re doing. But the perception of how long it takes is not the same. And as we know your perception of events is your reality. 

Karl von Vierordt, a 19th-century physiologist, devoted a significant portion of his career to unraveling the mysteries of human time perception. His most surprising discovery challenges our intuitive understanding of time and explains why Vokes vs Utd seems such a mismatch.


Perception Of Time

Imagine placing someone in a room for just one minute and then asking them to estimate how long they've been waiting. It's been shown that they're very likely to respond with something like "three minutes."

Now, extend their stay to an entire hour and pose the same question. You'll probably hear them say, "around 40 minutes." 

This phenomenon is an illustration of Vierordt's Law.

What Vierordt's Law tells us is that as time stretches out, our perception of it can become skewed. It’s why you should always set a timer when you’re cooking. You can’t trust yourself to get the timing right because you’re terrible at estimating time. Everyone is.

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it's only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it's two hours. That's relativity."  Albert Einstein knew his stuff alright.

An important part of Vierordt's Law is that the longer an experience or event lasts, the easier it is to forget the details of its earlier moments. Consider having to wait for a five minute interval. It might feel surprisingly long because you retain vivid memories of everything you've contemplated during those five minutes. 

On the other hand, waiting for an hour can feel surprisingly short because your mind may have wandered through a metric tonne of different subjects during that time, with most of them fading into obscurity.


Push Past Difficult Times

You can use Vierordt's Law to stay motivated when your goal seems unattainable, when you feel like giving up and want to quit. It can help you push on past difficult times and keep working. Knowing that this phenomenon exists can allow you to recognise your perception for what it is, and knowingly ignore those doubting feelings.

In the world of investing, the passage of time plays a crucial role. The investment version of Vierordt's Law would be when a single bad month in the stock market feels longer than an entire decade of steady growth. This lopsided perception of time can lead to under-appreciating the importance of steady, long-term growth. Doing nothing and just trusting in the process can be hard work and make it difficult to stay the course.

You can apply the concept to lots of different areas, not just investing. It's actually one of the least known ways to stay motivated but applying Vierordt's Law can really help you suppress those negative thoughts and making progress toward your target. You can use it to refocus with fresh eyes, ensure you avoid being a quitter and to keep pushing and reach your goals.


Following Through Is Tough

Whether it's getting fit, learning a new skill, or improving our relationships, setting goals or resolutions is a tradition that dates back centuries. Everyone has something they want to achieve however, most people are pretty rubbish at keeping them going. It's not easy.

Statistics show that only a fraction of people actually follow through with their New Year's resolutions and give up way before they see the benefits. We all know what it's like to fail at something, especially if it was a big goal that required a lot of hard work and determination. 

If you're determined to be among the successful few, Vierordt's Law is a psychological principle that can significantly boost your chances of success. Once you know about the law you can leverage it to increase your motivation and stay on track with your goals.


Get Motivated

The first step in applying Vierordt's Law to your personal development aims is to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Lots of people become unmotivated when faced with a big project. When we set grandiose goals that are too distant and overwhelming, it's easy to become discouraged and lose motivation. Breaking them into smaller actions can help you stay on track and keep going even when you tire and giving up seems like a more attractive option. 

If you want to be a successful person you'll need a strategy to help you get to the finish line. By dividing your goal into smaller, achievable steps, you can create a sense of progress that taps into Vierordt's Law. We’re looking to take a step back and make sure progress is little but often.

For example, if you were trying to achieve a goal of reading 50 books in a year, then in order to help you stay motivated it could be better to start small and break the goal into reading one book per week.

This way, you can celebrate your weekly achievements and use the law's bias towards shorter timeframes to your advantage. Checking in every week will help you keep feeling motivated and to keep momentum going, rather than just counting the books up at the end of the year. Even when you don't feel like it, looking at what you've accomplished already can mean you'll even feel motivated when you're not on your A game.


Tracking Progress

Another crucial aspect of sticking with your goals using Vierordt's Law is tracking your progress. Regularly monitoring your achievements and acknowledging your successes, no matter how small they may seem, can boost your motivation. It reinforces the idea that you're making consistent progress, even if your ultimate goal still appears far off, and will help you to get nearer to what you're trying to achieve.

It doesn’t really matter what sort of tracking tool you use. Just go with what you’re most comfortable. One mate of mine, (who is getting bored of being featured in this top tips blogs so I won’t mention him) has extensive records of all of his exercise workouts on paper going back years (don’t you Keith?). He uses this long record as a motivational nudge. Give him a pat on the back!

You might consider using a paper based journal, a habit tracking app on your phone, or an elaborate highly creative vision board to document your progress. You do you, whatever that is, but start taking notes of your successes. These visual representations of your achievements will serve as a constant reminder of how far you've come and get you over any future bumps in the road.


Stay Motivated

To harness the full power of Vierordt's Law fully, set meaningful milestones along your journey towards achieving your goals. These milestones should be strategically placed at shorter intervals to align with the law's bias towards shorter timeframes.

For example, if your goal is to lose twenty pounds by the end of the year, set milestones to celebrate every five pound weight loss. Reward yourself with something you enjoy, like a new workout outfit or a special treat (although probably not cheesecake) each time you reach a milestone. Maybe make each milestone even smaller so you get to experience even more success stories. Don't underestimate the power of small wins.

This not only keeps you motivated but also leverages Vierordt's Law by creating more frequent moments of achievement and you'll feel like you're going in the right direction.


Consistency Can Be Life-Changing

Consistency is key to success when using Vierordt's Law to stick with your goals. Commit to a regular routine that ensures you consistently work towards your objectives. By doing so, you’re not only creating a sense of progress but also building habits that become second nature over time and mean that it's more likely that you don't give up.

Everyone needs a solid plan in their journey to a life of meaning. Incorporating Vierordt's Law into your goal setting strategy can be a gamechanger whether you're working on one goal or many. By breaking down your goals, tracking your progress, setting milestones, and maintaining consistency, you can stay motivated and focused on your objectives. You definitely need to work hard to move toward a goal but it won't happen if you don't take those clear and actionable steps. 

Remember that achieving your goals is not about making massive changes overnight but rather about embracing the power of small, consistent efforts. Even if you're trying to change direction and change your old life for a better one, it's okay to take baby steps. It's not necessary to run a marathon at sprinting speed - when the going gets tough you'll most likely stumble, so take it slow and steady. As long as you've got your eyes on the road ahead you can achieve anything. If you do it's just a matter of time until you taste success. 

We often overestimate what we can do in the space of one month but underestimate what we could achieve in a year. With the help of Vierordt's Law, you can push through tough times, get your motivation back and turn your goals into reality. Good luck!

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