Do you have grown the habit to never finish what you started?
You’re not alone! Many people have a habit of starting projects but not finish them, and you can count me among them!
If you’re like me, you would start a project with (what seems to be) a solid plan, and a full stock of motivation to achieve it… And find yourself dropping your project halfway through achieving them. This is a bad habit that I’ve been fighting for years now.
Good news is that there are ways to fix it and improve at finishing what you started!
Finish the year with a bang and start fresh in 2020 with my 5 best tips on how to finish what you start!
1 – Make sure it still aligns with your goals
Maybe you haven’t complete this task or project that is still in your mind because it simply doesn’t align with your goals anymore.
Ask yourself : does it serve my purpose or long term goals?
Do I need to achieve this to move forward towards my goals?
What advantage do I hope to get by achieving this?
And finally: is this still worth the time and energy it will take me?
If you answered “no” to the questions above, it’s probably time to let it go.
But if you decide to do so, don’t feel like you wasted your time!
Review the bits of projects you already completed and focus on growth. What did you learn with this project? What would you do differently next time?
If your project doesn’t align with your goals anymore it may be because you embarked yourself on this without taking the time to think it through in the first place. This usually happens when people ask for your help on something. The project looks exciting and you find yourself saying yes the next second.
Saying yes to opportunities or demands that don’t align with our goals is the perfect way to end up in the situation where you will lack motivation to finish things.
I’ve been there SO many times that I can’t count them.
So in addition to getting rid of the projects that don’t give you any feeling of accomplishment, make sure to be super mindful about the projects you say yes to in the future.
2 – Connect with the final result
If you’re doing this project / task, that’s probably to get closer to one of your goals, or to achieve something new. In any case, you probably had a good reason to embark on this in the first place.
Take a few minutes to remind yourself why you started this project in the first place.
What are the benefits you expect from it?
What is the result you hope to get by achieving this project?
Then, picture the feeling you’ll get when you will finally achieve your project or task.
What will you feel? Relieve from putting this commitment behind you? A feeling of accomplishment because you extended your comfort zone with this project? Pride of this new thing you created?
Project yourself in the moment you’ll consider what you need to finish as done.
And build on this feeling to find motivation back to complete your task or project!
3 – Celebrate what you’ve done so far
As we look ahead of us, it’s sometimes easy to get discouraged by what still needs to be done to finish something. We soon get overwhelmed and drop out halfway.
Before you do anything else, review the work you’ve already done and list all the tasks that you completed so far. See how far you’ve already come.
It’s already an accomplishment in itself.
Take the time to acknowledge it, recharge and celebrate the distance you already covered before you continue on to your project or task.
Look a t how high you’ve climbed before you move forward!
4 – Commit to it
Once you decided to finish your task or project, commit to it.
Reclaim the time and motivation to finish what you already started and give yourself the opportunity to start fresh when you’ll be done.
Discipline yourself to not start anything new before you finish what you already started.
If you’re getting impatient on starting anything new, create a wishlist of all the exciting projects you’d like to focus on when you’ll be done with your open tasks and projects.
Don’t allow yourself to start any of them. Treat them as the rewards you’ll give yourself when you’ll be done with everything else.
Commit yourself to find the time to cover the last miles that are remaining before you hit the finish line. My favourite trick here is to time block a few hours that I would dedicate to the open task / project that is on my mind.
Most of the time, we realize after finishing them that we didn’t even need that much time to achieve it!
5 – Quit being a perfectionist
Stop aiming for perfection in your project. It doesn’t exist anyway.
I’m all about getting the best output in all the things I do. But we can’t let our inner perfectionist to hold us back and prevent us from achieving our projects.
If just like me, you’re a perfectionist, it’s time to challenge your requirement level!
Ask yourself: what could be a first acceptable version of this?
And then: What are the basic requirements to fulfil to consider it good enough? Be as specific as possible.
Imagine your goal is to build many chairs to sit all your guests at a party. Do you chairs have to feature 4 legs and a proper back to allow someone to sit? Do they have to be fully ornamented to complete their function?
Do the same with whatever you have on your plate. Write down the requirements you aim to fulfill and stop when you’re there!
You’re probably closer to finishing whatever you have on your plate than you expect!
Why not taking the last few days of 2019 as an opportunity to get it done and start fresh in 2020? I’m sure you can do it!