Expert explains the right time to 'just give up' and quit some things

As Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announces a policy redo, the buzzword is "reprioritisation" - so if he's doing it, maybe we all should too.

Former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's already done it, announcing her resignation last month, and even cleaning expert Marie Kondo's doing it. After having kids, she said decluttering no longer sparks joy. She's embraced a new craze called "just chilling the hell out."

Hipkins is also redefining his workload. He's thrown a bone to lovers of cheap public transport and bumped up pay packets for workers on minimum wage, tossed the biofuels mandate onto a bonfire, and stashed the maligned but misunderstood Three Waters in the freezer.

We're six weeks into 2023 and if you haven't yet stuck to your plan to write a novel, become a top athlete, or master the flute, maybe it's time to just give up. 

While you can't quit everything, by next week, 80 percent of us will have abandoned our New Year's resolutions. 

When The Project asked clinical psychologist Dougal Sutherland about when it was a good time to quit, he said it's all about reflecting.

"[It's about] saying, 'Why am I doing this?' If you can think of a good reason you're doing it, sweet," Sutherland said.

"But if you're only doing it because that's what we've always done or just because 'I said I would', that might be a good reason to [ask yourself], is there a good reason for me to continue to do this or maybe I should just give up."

Sutherland also said people shouldn't force themselves to be mindful if they don't enjoy it.

"If you're getting out of bed at the crack of dawn to try and meditate on one leg but it's not working and you lose focus and you can't think why the heck you're doing it, I would say stay in bed," he said.

People also make multiple New Year's resolutions on January 1, but it can be hard to stick to them throughout the year. Sutherland told The Project if you haven't committed to them by now, you most likely won't achieve them.

"I think it's pretty unlikely that you're going to follow up with those New Year's resolutions."

Watch Dougal Sutherland's interview on The Project above.