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Break Time

How strong is your chain?

Kicking off this week full speed into a month-long novel writing challenge with thousands of other writers has been, to say the least, a very firm test of not only my resolve to complete a very lofty goal, but also an evaluation of at what cost it comes. Everyone wants to get to the goal. No one sets out with intentions to not complete a task they set before themselves. So here is the question: when is it okay to take a break, even if it means there is possibility you will not finish what you set out to accomplish?

The answer is anytime you want.

Sitting in my writer’s group this week, listening to this community I love encourage each other and provide a safe space for all the feelings, I heard a phrase I fell in love with. How strong is your chain to begin with if it only takes one day off to break it?


I had to ask myself this hard question. If I take a break for whatever reason and the path I set forth before me falls apart, how strong was my resolve to begin with? If one sway in the wind throws my ship off course, maybe this wasn’t my ship to sail. Hard work is hard work and accomplishes great things. But if it is at the expense of our health or even our sanity, is all that hard work actually accomplishing what we think it is?

The moment we shame ourselves into believing we cannot allow ourselves a moment to breathe, relax, take care of ourselves or even just have fun, I think we have missed the point of why we are here. Maybe we need to reevaluate what the real goal should be.

I have a feeling that many of us are pushing ourselves towards goals that really don’t move the needle, but just appear as if they do. Progress cannot truly be measured if the result is a predetermined checkbox. Just crossing the finish line might possibly not be the only goal.

So for today, give yourself permission to take a break and don’t worry about getting behind. Allow yourself some grace and don’t worry about being the best or the fastest or first. Focus on what you believe more than what you achieve. That is a goal worth chasing.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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