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Feel Good: Finish What You Start

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How to Finish What You StartFollowing through on commitments and doing what we say we’ll do is a great way to feel good about ourselves. On the flip side, when we don’t follow through we feel less fantastic, instead we might feel stressed, frustrated or anxious.

These feelings can be avoided by “simply” doing what we said we’d do. Ha, I laugh in simple’s face. There is nothing simple about completing what you’ve started, at least not in my world.

I’m the “Half-Job Girl,” what a wonderful title to own.  It’s true though; I have more half read books, half finished projects, half watched exercise videos, blogs-in-progress etc., than I would ever want to admit to in public.

3 reasons for loss of commitment momentum

I’m also the “Idea Girl,” I have millions of them, thinking up new things to do or write about is definitely no problem. Where things unravel is in the continuity of commitment, somewhere between starting and finishing.  It’s here that I lose focus, usually for one of three reasons:

  1. Boredom
  2. Confusion – over how to proceed (I’m in over my head)
  3. Distraction – either by internal self-talk or by others

Knowing the reason for stalling is important, but – to my mind – the real key to feeling good and reducing stress is in knowing how to jump-start your own engine.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the soul searcher type, I like – no rather, I love – getting down into the weeds and figuring out why I sabotage my own success, why I have limiting beliefs, why, why why?

But this soul searching, more often than not, is just another excuse for not getting going, chewing up valuable time with little forward momentum.

Stop analyzing

Instead of analyzing why you stalled, I suggest you pull out the booster cables and apply them while at the same time starting the engine and applying the gas. Like magic, the vehicle (you) starts and will go where you command it.

Overcoming your stalled state (inertia), as hard as it is, boils down to just one thing.

Decide to do it (whatever your it is) and then follow through and do it. 

Do it now, if you can, right this moment or as soon as possible.

  • Finish the minutes of a meeting
  • Tie up the runners and head out for a walk-jog
  • Find an expert that can provide guidance on a barrier your experiencing

Once your wheels are rollin you can:

  • Develop a plan for continued action,
  • Examine your time-management,
  • Analyze why you’re doing it
  • Find motivation for continued action

John C Maxwell says, “Motivation is a trap, forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar do it without motivation and then guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.” 

Commit yourself to taking action, to restarting your stalled projects. By restarting you’re chances of finishing, reducing your stress levels and of feeling good in the process are also dramatically improved.

Is your commitment SMART?

Trust yourself, trust the journey and avoid the commitment killers by doing these 5 SMART things:

  • Specify – clearly what you’re going to do – I’m going to run
  • Measure – I’m running 5 minutes
  • Achievable – seek realistic results
  • Relevant – to you – run for stress reduction, health, weight loss
  • Time bound – set deadlines for completion  – run before breakfast

When you find you aren’t completing things you’ve started, things you want to finish, instead of asking why just start doing them.  Trust that motivation will come from the process of taking action.

Stopping is normal, but restarting is 100% our choice.

Your commitment to completing things isn’t for the benefit of others; it’s for your personal benefit because how others view us is far less important than how we see ourselves.

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8 thoughts on “Feel Good: Finish What You Start

  1. Such an important life lesson. If you do even one thing each day towards your goal you will eventually achieve it. Task completion is something I tried to teach my kids. They’d have to say if I was successful. Ideas are another matter. It’s important to have thousands of them but not to expect an idea to action ratio of 100%. Not all ideas are great ones but all are worthy of consideration!

    • Here, here to task completion, for our own and our children’s personal happiness and success. I also love how you’ve worded the translation from ideas into achievement, another great lesson. Thanks for the awesome comment Laurie.

  2. OK, Well done. I had to have a gigglle when you wrote “finish the minutes” as I have a habit of procrastinating with this and do them the day before the meeting and then usually there is some kind of interruption, so up all night. Why, oh why, did I not them straight away.

  3. Very well done blog, Allison! Thanks for sharing what you have learned with us, your readers. We all need a little push, for we all procrastinate at times, some more than others. Success comes with action!

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