There are times in your life when you are going to get off track when it comes to pursuing your goals. These are the moments that you need to decide if you are going to cave and fold like the vast majority of those around you, or if you are going push through a finish strong.
Will you give up or give your goals all that they take? Will you find the strength to push through when the going gets tough, or will you allow excuses to stop you from moving forward. Will you bring all your energy and skills day in and day out, or listen to the doubt that consumes your mind?
The only person that possesses the power to choose your response is you.
It may sound impossible anytime you hear the phrase “finishing strong.” This is because your natural tendency would be to settle for being average, to settle for the status quo, or simply to do enough just to get by. And in the face of life’s biggest challenges, you may come toe-to-toe with the temptation to quit or compromise all that you believe in.
There are many successful individuals in the world who have grown into something despite having nothing. What does this tell you about the game of life? It tells you that no matter what you do, you should never allow life’s challenges to stop you down from finishing strong. The only thing that can stop you from achieving your goals and living the life of your dreams is your mindset.
If you need help or don’t know where to start, these six proven steps will help enable you to finish strong – even if you are years away from achieving the goals you want to accomplish for yourself.
Step 1: Decide to Finish
The first step to finish what you start is to make the decision that no matter what, you are not going to let anything stop you from seeing your goals through. Tell yourself you’re either going to see your goals through, or you’re going to die trying.
Aggressive? Maybe a bit. But that’s the mindset you need to be willing to have.
Be willing to alter your behavior and your approach to actually complete what you start. If something didn’t work in the past, change it up. Sometimes this will mean saying no to more things up front so that you can save time and start saying yes to more things later on. This makes it so much easier to eliminate unnecessary busywork.
Step 2: Make A Plan
Studies have shown that people who write their goals down have a 42 percent greater chance of finishing strong and seeing their goals through. If you don’t know where to start, I personally recommend using the S.M.A.R.T Goal technique. It’s the technique I use, and it’s been incredibly beneficial in being able to make strides towards achieving my goals.
The S.M.A.R.T Goal technique means your goals should be:
While it might look like an additional task to write down your goals instead of storing them in your memory, there are more sides to it.
Two things happen when you write something down:
You are releasing your goals and writing them down on paper, which makes it easier to assess and audit in the future. You can post the paper anywhere at home or in your office. Personally, I keep them on my bathroom mirror so that I see them every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed.
Secondly, you are encoding those goals as they travel to your brain’s hippocampus, where analysis takes place. From that point, your brain starts to do all sorts of amazing wonders. Some goals are stored in your long-term memory while others are discarded. Writing helps to facilitate the encoding process and actually helps you work towards your goals even when you aren’t consciously thinking about them. Therefore, write down those goals!
Step 3: Break Your Goals Into Steps
Breaking down goals into small bites will make them seem a little less daunting and will also help you to celebrate the small victories. You need that momentum to finish strong.
Establishing milestones and breaking down your goals into smaller bite-sized steps helps provide you with a clear focus so that you do not burn out when working on your goals.
To start, break down each task into doable, daily action steps, or if it’s something you can finish in a day, into an hour-by-hour plan to completion. Knowing your plan and sticking to it will be crucial to actually completing these goals. This may mean time blocking or setting a plan to create a certain window of time where your staff and family aren’t allowed to access you so you can work uninterrupted, but if you want to achieve your goals and finish what you start, that’s what you need to be willing to do.
Step 4: Just Get Started
It’s not always going to be pretty, but the most important step is to start. Don’t wait until the morning or after lunch, get started now. Start tackling the first action step in the plan and don’t wait to get going.
Step 5: Track Your Progress
Your plan should include deadlines. Commit to them. Most people don’t finish what they start because they find excuses. If it’s something work-related, there may be some days where you are going to have to stay late, skip lunch, or come in early to push through to complete the steps of your action plan. If it’s not work-related, you may have to devote your nights and weekends towards accomplishing your goals.
Whatever it may be, do what it takes as part of step one, your decision to finish, to keep moving forward to completion.
Step 6: Finish What You Start And WIN!
You’ve made the decision, made the plan, broke down your goals, got started, and tracked your progress. Now all that’s left is to finish and to celebrate your wins. Once you have achieved one of your goals, celebrate your win and your accomplishment, and move on to the next goal that is going to help you finish what you start and live the life of your dreams.
Before You Go
As you assess the various areas of your life, always remember to finish what you start and to finish strong. Take the time to study your past achievements, and apply these very lessons to every goal within your life.
No matter what, always remember, you have all it takes to finish what you started.