Your ability to stay the course in personal and professional growth or health and fitness programs is one of the most important determinants in benefiting from them. Have you ever quit a personal growth, professional growth or health/fitness program? Why didn’t you stay the course? Here are a few programs you may have heard of:

24 Day Challenge

30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond

40 Days of FOCUS

66 Day Calendar


Do you know what they all of these programs have in common? Most people quit within the first two weeks.

If you quit 40 Days of FOCUS on day 5, 11, or even 39 you can never say the program didn’t work. All you can be certain of is you didn’t complete the program. Or let’s say you quit P90X on day 8. You’re still tired, out of shape, and hungry. And now you’re so sore and frustrated you may never work out again. It’s not an 8 day program!

Stay the courseSo you gotta wonder, WHY DO PEOPLE QUIT? WHY DON’T THEY STAY THE COURSE?

The are three primary reasons people quit personal or professional development programs:

  1. The program. It is perceived as too difficult, too time consuming, lacking value or otherwise flawed. The assessment here is that it’s just not worth it…
  2. Life gets in the way. The unexpected inevitably occurs and the program becomes less important.
  3. Self sabotage. An internal voice makes it OK to break the commitment to the program. This may include using the program or life as an excuse to quit.

How to stay the course.

  1. Know your tendencies. Consider a time when you quit a program of some sort- which of the above applied? When was the exact moment you took yourself out? What led up to it and how exactly did this moment happen? This will give you insight into your formula for quitting. When you see it coming you will have more freedom to choose powerfully.
  2. Know what you are committing to. Not all programs are worth your time. Does it align with your values and what you are currently up to in life? Is it worth it to you to commit?
  3. Set your intentions. Be clear on why you are doing the program. What would make it worthwhile to you? Remember these intentions when the going gets tough. See Focus on Your Goals with the Where, Why, How Method
  4. Structure your world. What external support will help to fulfill the your intentions? Do you need to plan and prepare in advance? What support do you need from others? What shifts in environment support your commitment?
  5. Anticipate. Expect the unexpected. Expect life to get in the way. Expect it to be difficult. Expect that little voice inside you to try to talk you out of your commitment. Consider now how you will respond to the unexpected occurrences of life.
  6. Commit fully. Go ALL IN. This means you fully participate- even when you don’t feel like it, when life gets in the way, when you feel like the program is lacking, and when that little voice tries to talk you out of it. You DO IT ANYWAY.
  7. Save your final assessment of the program until you have completed it. Assess your participation level first, then the results, and the expected future outcomes. Progress can be elusive, dig deep!

The next time you are tempted to quit a program, remember the intended value cannot be achieved if you do not STAY THE COURSE.

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What’s your 40 Day FOCUS?



4 responses to “Stay the Course: Why People Quit Personal and Professional Growth Programs”

  1. Purley Quirt says:

    Any GOAL ( personal or professional) …has to be TANGIBLE.
    You may think the Goal you seek presently exists
    ( while you are preparing for something invisible)
    I would suggest
    … while you are equipping yourself
    ….. to journey on a new road
    … you look for ” the road” first
    … and the rules of passage” there <3

  2. Doug Grady Doug Grady says:

    Look for the road and the rules of passage. Thanks Purley.

  3. […] Staying the course isn’t easy. Consider the option of a coach and programs like 40 Days of FOCUS and 40 Days of FITNESS to support your discipline. If I can be of support to your personally, please let me know. […]

  4. […] 11. Stay the Course: Why People Quit Personal and Professional Growth Programs […]

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About Doug

Doug Grady has been studying and teaching the pathways to personal potential for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Tulane University where he majored in political economy. Read more

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