Seven Strategies to Finish What You Start


"Seven Strategies to Finish What You Start"

By Bruce S. Riley, LMFT

It was David Allen who said, "Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started." By putting these Seven Strategies into motion, you will ultimately experience the euphoria of accomplishment.

1.Remember why you started

If you know that you started this endeavor for a good reason, allow this to be the substance for your motivation to keep going. Is your reason strong enough? Will completing this challenge change your future? Will it impact your family? Will it affect how you see yourself? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then you ought to move forward with drive and intensity.

2. Keep trying

Don't let obstacles, distractions, or others peoples emergencies stop you from finishing. You may get slowed down; you may have delays; you might run out of needed resources, but don't let it stop you. Take quit out of your mind and out of your mouth. Quitting is not an option. You must finish! It was Winston Churchill that said, "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."

3. Discipline your time and what you do

Work hard and play hard. Make time for both. But also budget time to rest and replenish your energy and mind. You should never work on more than one major goal at a time. To do so will only invite frustration and failure. Intensity and focus go hand-in-hand. This will allow for maximum results. Finish one thing at a time. Get some wins under your belt.

4. Enjoy the Journey

I experienced much frustration when I was trying to complete my licensing exam as a therapist. I couldn't understand why it was so hard for me to pass until I realized that I was not enjoying the process. I had to remind myself "You love this stuff". So instead of just trying to pass the exam, I changed my focus on why I was doing this - I wanted to help people and I knew the material. Shortly thereafter, I easily passed the exam.

5. Talk, or listen to Finishers

Nothing is more motivating than to talk to people who have had tremendous challenges and never quit. One of my great pleasures was to talk with the Laker legend Jerry West and have him discuss the many losses to the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals, and to eventually win a championship. It's his determination that gives me the courage to never quit.

It is also important to listen to inspirational speeches from others who have triumphed against insurmountable obstacles like...Jimmy V's 1993 ESPY Speech; or Steve Jobs Stanford University Commencement Speech in 2005; or Randy Pausch "Achieving your Childhood Dreams" in 2007.

6. Maintain the Spirit of a Finisher

A person with the Spirit of a Finisher uses words like "determined", "hungry", "excited",

"disciplined", "tireless", "focused", and "relentless". Finishing is the only option. The mind and will are programmed to get the job done. The finisher does whatever is required. Trying is not in the vocabulary of the finisher. The person with the Spirit of the Finisher has an indomitable or invincible attitude, and is convinced of the outcome before he or she begins.

7. Spend time at Finish Lines

Observe the faces, the joys, and the thrill of accomplishment as people cross finish lines, graduate from college, win championships & awards, or climb a mountain. When you spend time at finish lines you get a glimpse of the sacrifice, the pain, and the strain of what it takes to finish. By finishing you join the bond of respect that is developed even among fellow competitors. You see, you don't have to always finish first, just finish. Finishing has its own reward.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

"Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." (Unknown)