Many people are poor at getting started. They make big plans but never take the first step. Others can get started but seem to bail out before they reach their goals. It’s quite maddening to put in a lot of work and then quit just before you reach success.
The most successful people are masters at finishing what they start. They’re like a bulldog with a bone. They’ll never give it up without a fight.
We all have a story of quitting that seems to haunt us. You can put a happy ending to these stories – and this behavior – by learning to finish what you start.
Try these techniques:
1. Develop the habit of being a finisher. This is most easily done by finishing all of the little things you start. Complete every little task you start.
- Wash ALL of the dishes.
- Fold ALL of the clothes.
- Finish the chapter you start reading.
- Be obsessed with driving through to the end.
2. Set reasonable time estimates. We often greatly underestimate how long something will take. When something takes longer than we think it should, we become discouraged and quit the task. Instead of assuming everything will go perfectly, assume there will be challenges and plan accordingly.
3. Release yourself from the need to be perfect. Perfection is a burden that gets in the way of progress. It takes too much time and destroys your enthusiasm. You can still do something well without taking the time or energy to try to make it perfect.
- Remember the adage, “Better done than perfect!”
4. Keep the benefits of finishing in mind. List the benefits of getting this task done. What will it do for you? How will you feel? Focus on the positive, and you’ll be much more motivated to complete it.
- This is much more effective than focusing on how much you don’t want to do it, or focusing on how miserable the experience will be.
- Keep the end in mind.
5. Reward yourself for completion. Plan on giving yourself a reward when it’s done.
- Buy yourself a new car when you finally land that new job.
- Go out for coffee when your taxes are complete.
- Meet a friend for dinner when your work is finally done.
6. Remember the times that you’ve quit in the past. We’ve all given up too soon and later regretted it. Remember those times. Remember how much it bothers you now that you quit. No one wants to relive that feeling. Quitting something meaningful should be something that no one does more than once.
7. Remember the times that you’ve completed a big project in the past. How did this make you feel? Really good, right? Hold on to that feeling and feel more of it, more often, by completing things, even if they’re just small tasks.
8. Keep track of your progress. Make note of the progress you make. Be proud of your progress and use it as fuel to keep pushing forward.
9. Keep away the negative thoughts. Giving up is the result of negative thinking. Notice when your thoughts are counterproductive and immediately switch your thoughts to something more positive.
- It’s hard to believe, but you can choose to think about anything you want. Choose wisely.
10. Be okay with discomfort. Being uncomfortable doesn’t have to derail your progress. Accept that you’re uncomfortable and keep on going.
- The more you give in to discomfort, the less you’ll achieve.
If you want to be successful, it’s crucial to learn to finish what you start. This isn’t a skill that most of us were taught. We like things that are easy and comfortable, but if you learn to finish what you start, your life can easily become more comfortable for you!
You know people that never seem to complete anything. You also know people that finish what they start. Take a long look at their lives. Whom do you want to be like?