Finishing What You Start
Do not plan for ventures before finishing what’s at hand.
Whenever you start a new project, you are filled with interest and anticipation. You wonder how the project or event will progress. You think about how hard you will have to work on it. But then one day, sometimes suddenly, the project just doesn’t seem as important as you once thought.
When this happens, your cherished goal loses its glow, its no longer shiny. Plus, you now have some other things on your plat that you need to work on. Gradually, the project you were all hot and bothered about gets put on the proverbial back burner. And, before you realize it, months have gone by and you never seem to have the extra time or energy to go back and get it finished.
Is this a recurring pattern for you? Would you like figure out how to change this recurring sequence of events? Imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment that you’d possess if you could begin to finish your projects, one after the other. But how do you go about turning things around to where you can consistently complete your projects?
1. Prioritize. Before you jump in and begin something, ask yourself whether it is really important to you. One key to finishing what you start is to not begin something that has very little relevance in your life.
For example, buying that expensive Italian language package to learn to speak Italian might sound challenging and fun at first, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you have a trip planned to Italy or some other Italian-speaking country within the next year? Perhaps you have decided to head to Mexico in the interim. How much good will speaking Italian do you there?
2. Assess timing. Ask yourself, “Is this the right time to start something new?” If there are any other big things going on in your life, they will take time away from the new projects you are hoping to start.
For example, if it is November and you want to start a massive project of cleaning out the closets in your home, recognize that the holidays are beginning next month. Is this really the proper right time? Can you get the all of the closets done in a month? If you decide that you cannot, no worries. You can always make a note on your calendar to begin your closet cleaning project on January 1st.
3. Commit. After determining that a project is important enough to you to begin, and it is the proper time, commit to it. When you make this type of commitment, write out exactly what you plan to do.
You know what’s next. Write down every single step. Plan to finish all of the steps within a specific time frame that is acceptable to you, and of course, do-able. Plan your project and then go forward with each step according to your plan.
4. Check your energy level. If you are working doubles and taking care of your family, everything else you try to add in is extra. Are your energy reserves built up enough to take on another project and see it through to the end? You are the best judge for this.
5. See the end. If you finish the project, how will it affect your life? Will your everyday life be any better? Will it be mostly unchanged? Will you feel a sense of pride and completion? Spend some time reflecting on what it will feel like to finish the project.
6. Be realistic. Be completely and brutally honest with yourself about all of the above considerations. The more realistic you are when making the decision to start something new, the more likely you are to complete the task.
Finishing what you start can be a real challenge, but being detailed in your planning will help. Be realistic about the scope of the project before beginning any new endeavor.
If you think proactively, you’ll be much more likely to finish projects once you decide to start them. And then, every project you begin will enhance your life rather than detract from it!
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