Have you found that you a great starter, but a poor finisher? It is a common complaint. The beginning of any adventure always seems so full of excitement and enthusiasm, but this excitement does not always last long. Part of being a successful adult is learning how to finish things. It is part strategy and part perseverance. In any project, there will always be a few sticking points to endure and challenges to overcome. Life, unfortunately, cannot be all fun and games.
Developing the Habits of being a finisher:
1. Understand when you are most likely to quit.
- Examine at your past.
- When are you most likely to throw in the towel?
- What were your reasons for stopping at the time?
- Can you think of a strategy for getting through those times? A work-around?
- Is there a way to avoid them altogether?
2. Distribute your time wisely.
- Getting caught up in too many meaningless projects will not improve your ability to finish things.
- When possible, limit yourself to those things that really capture your interests.
- Life is too short for hobbies that make you want to shrug, or worse, cry.
- If you are passionate about something, you are much more likely to get it done.
3. Monitor your progress.
- When you can visually see how much progress you have made, you will feel more motivated to continue.
- Make a chart, a graph, or other some other visual representation of the work you have completed.
4. See the expected result in your mind.
- Constantly remind yourself how great you will feel when you have reached your goal.
- Make notes about of all the benefits you will receive.
5. Set realistic expectations for yourself.
- If you did not start learning piano at a young age and practiced for several thousand hours before your 18th birthday, it is unlikely that you will reach the level of a world-class pianist.
- This is especially true if you are in you 40s or 50s, have family and work responsibilities, and only have 30 minutes a day to practice.
- While it is admirable to strive for perfection, be careful that you do not set yourself up for failure.
- You will always, always, always quit if perfection is the only acceptable outcome.
- Have realistic expectations for your situation.
6. Be realistic with your timetable.
- You may be making great progress, but if you believed that you should have mastered the Russian language by now, for instance, you will become discouraged.
- It is not easy to estimate the amount of time it will take to complete something.
- Do you have a history of thinking that things will take less time than they actually do? Start by building a fudge-factor into your estimates. I do this for large projects, as well as for long books I want to read with some level of understanding.
- After you have make a little progress, revisit your expectations often and adjust them accordingly.
- If you are truly enjoying yourself, who cares how long it takes?
7. Get better at finishing the small tasks in your life.
- If you are washing the dishes, avoid leaving that greasy, disgusting pan until morning.
- Fold all the clothes rather than leaving some of them for later.
- Clean the entire room rather than one corner.
- Pay all of the bills.
- Run the full 3 miles you planned.
Finishing is a habit!
- Get in the habit of completing all of the tasks in your life.
8. Immunize yourself from criticism.
- One of the most important reasons we stop before completing a project is to avoid criticism.
- Once the project is done and available for the world to judge, we tend to get apprehensive.
- Then we can rationalize reasons not to complete the tasks.
- The truth:
- The people that matter will not be unkind.
- The unkind people do not matter.
- There is no way to stop the all criticism, but you must choose to not allow it to stop your progress.
These small tips can be a great help in finishing your future projects.
If there is one trait you will find consistently in high-achievers, it is the ability to get things done.
Half-finished projects are incredibly wasteful. You will put in a lot of work and never receive the benefit.
Re-set your mind. Learn how to complete tasks and observe the impact it has on your life.