Each week, I’m challenging myself to complete a Dare of the Week. A weekly goal designed to live more intentionally and be a better man. And I’m inviting you to join me.
THIS WEEK: START STRONG, FINISH STRONGER
It’s exciting starting a new project! You have this picture in your head of what your handiwork will look like and you can’t wait to get started. You gather everything you need and with gusto you begin the work.
Eventually, you meet some challenges. Some are external, but oftentimes, they’re internal. For many of us, we get distracted and lose focus. Others get lazy and lack motivation. Some simply get burned out and don’t have the energy it takes to continue. And that once exciting new project begins collecting dust as we leave it behind to start something else we will eventually not finish. It’s a vicious cycle.
Have you ever been there? I know I have.
Chances are, you’ve started something that needs to be completed. It might be a home improvement project or a creative endeavor. It could be a goal at work or a personal challenge. It’s time to stop the cycle of putting things off. Procrastination might be a habit, but finishing is a habit too.
This week, let’s take something we’ve started and actually complete it.
To help us make it happen, here are five keys to be better finisher:
1. Write it down – Everything I’ve read about setting goals and making things happen includes physically putting your goal on paper. Yet it’s one we overlook because it seems so simplistic. Why write something down that you already know, right? Yet, the research is clear: those who write down the goal are more likely to see it through.
2. Tell somebody – This can be scary because it means you’re being held accountable to finish. When you tell another person what you want to complete, you’re giving them permission to ask about your progress. Let others in on what you’re working on and increase the odds it gets done.
3. Set deadlines – This adds pressure, which most of us try to avoid. But for procrastinators, pressure can help you move things forward. This is why you must give yourself a deadline. I suggest you break your work into phases and set a deadline for each phase. When you do this, you not only add pressure, but you also help make your project more doable. And that’s the point.
4. Go back to the vision – You will hit a wall. Everyone does. When you do, return to the original vision. Why are you doing this? What excited you about starting this in the first place? Imagine what it will be like to complete it. And when you’re struggling, let others know. Sometimes a word from a friend, or encouragement from a community, can give you the kick in the pants that you need.
5. Celebrate! – There’s a sweet relief that comes with finishing. If you accomplish what you set out to do, give yourself permission to enjoy it. Reward yourself. Soak in the feeling. After all that grinding, you’ve earned the right to celebrate.
Are you game for this week’s dare?