Finishing what you start can be the most overwhelming challenges of your life. In fact most of us don’t succeed in what we want to do simply because we don’t know how to finish what we start, and I’m not talking about finishing your snacks or your lunch. I’m talking about the life goals. Something like, you start working on a novel or a book with this great idea but after 30-50 pages all the energy and enthusiasm begins to fizzle out and then one day you realize that you never finished your “world-changing” magnum opus.
Frankly, the desire to finish what you start has to come from within. No matter how many tools you use, no matter how many motivational articles and essays you read, and no matter how many seminars you attend, unless you’re really hellbent upon finishing what you have started, nothing is going to make a difference.
Nonetheless, constantly keeping yourself stimulated by reading blog posts and articles such as this may help you keep the fire burning and eventually you may finish what you started. Listed below are a few steps you can take in order to realise your dream and reach the finishing line after you have started running.
Start taking yourself seriously
You were born into this world to do something special and if you’re not doing that special thing you’re wasting your life. Your primary objective in life is to achieve what you came here for. Start taking yourself seriously. Your time is precious. Your talent is precious. If you keep waiting for the problems of the world to solve themselves before you can start taking yourself seriously then you can wait till eternity because the world has been going on this way and it will go on this way.
Realize what you really want
Do you want to become something or achieve something? Suppose you want to be the greatest footballer of the decade. Is it for the love of the game or are you looking for fame and riches? If you are looking for fame and riches then you will be happy no matter what you do as long as you are famous and rich, right? Although you can say what is the harm of being rich and famous while also getting to do what you love, this is normally not true. All those people who perform great fetes in sports and other fields become famous and rich as an outcome. They are rarely aspiring for the riches. If you’re more interested in such outcome you will become impatient in just a few months and then give up, and worse, consider yourself a failure.
Anyway this is just an example. In order to finish what you have started you really need to desire that.
Have long-term as well as short-term goals
Long-term goals keep you focused and short-term goals keep you energised. Just make sure that your short-term goals are the subsets of your long-term goals. Your long-term goal might be becoming a successful footballer but your short-term goals must be making yourself physically and mentally strong, increasing your stamina, practising everyday, improving your diet and keeping yourself away from drugs and alcohol.
Even these short-term goals can be further broken down to much shorter goals. This requires some planning and strategy. Focusing on short-term goals gradually moves you towards your long-term goals. If you want to write a novel you have to begin with the first sentence and after the first sentence you have to write the second sentence. So in the beginning just focus on the first sentence. Once that is done, focus on the second sentence and so on. Don’t let the magnitude of the effort overwhelm you.
Have something like a business or career plan
Things become difficult to achieve when you don’t have a plan. A well drawn out plan gives you the right direction and keeps you focused. Planning can be a part of defining your short-term and long-term goals but it can quantify those goals and give you a clear picture of what you are achieving and where you are lacking.
Seek collaboration from your near and dear ones
Unless you’re living alone it is extremely difficult to work on your goals without working with your family. Since they are an integral part of your life the pursuit of your goals and they can never be mutually exclusive. In order to finish what you start take into confidence your family members: your spouse, your children, your siblings or your parents. You may also inform your friends and colleagues so that they can understand when you are unavailable. Make it clear that they should respect your aspirations.
Develop a habit of documenting your activities
This may seem something new but it may help you a lot if in some manner you can document your activities. You are already doing that if you are writing because writing is after all documenting. Even when you are writing, don’t depend upon a single document. Create different versions whenever you’re revising your drafts even if you have just 20 pages. Take multiple backups. These days you can easily store your documents on various cloud-based backup services.
Similarly if you want to improve your health you can document your activities on a daily basis; how long you run, how many laps you did while swimming, what you ate, etc. This way if something goes wrong you can always refer to your documentation to see exactly what you have been doing that led to the current situation.
Hold yourself accountable but never give up
Remember that it’s up to you whether you succeed or fail so hold yourself accountable for your failures. But it doesn’t mean you beat yourself to depression and defeat. Failure is as normal as success. The one single thing you have to do is never give up. Learn from your failures and start doing again.
As mentioned in the beginning finishing what you have started is all about your mental framework. If you are fickle by nature it will be very difficult for you to finish what you have started. You need to train your heart and your mind and keep yourself focused.