I’m an idea person. I love to start things. I don’t always finish them. I’ve been this way since I was a child — just ask my parents. As an adult I’ve seen this in so many of things I’ve
done tried to do. I’m better at setting things up with processes and making it look great than I am at continuing the process I created.
For example, I have redesigned my blog 2x in hopes of triggering my discipline to write daily or at least just a few times a week. It’s been my “New Years Resolution” for no less than the last two years. Every weekend I tell myself I’m going to write. And then I don’t. Until … I wrote a book. I signed a contract and wrote an entire book. I can you that had I not been under contract to finish by a particular date, I would still be working on it. As I mentioned before, I’m GREAT at starting things. Not so great at finishing (let’s not even talk about going to the gym regularly). But I have worked recently on perfecting the art of follow-through.
For Lent this year, I decided to get off my duff and do something about the fact that this particular trait of mine drives me crazy. Upon the realization that I wrote a book and finished it — early I might add — I have learned that I can, in fact, do anything. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be a published author in the next couple of months, I would have told you that you were nuts.
So I’m channeling that insight, that creativity and that drive into finishing things. I started designing a dear friend a blog almost a year ago. This weekend I finished it. I set my mind to devoting time to my blog and wrote a content calendar. I have the next week and a half planned out. It is only by planning that I will succeed.
I’ve learned at work with many projects and from watching others achieve things I would also love to that you have to plan. You can’t just expect to make the time or find the time accidentally. If you want something, go after it and plan your steps. When I was writing the book, I had to block off time on my calendar. I had to say no to people who wanted to hang out and it was disappointing at the time, but now I am so glad to have given up a few outings in order to finish the biggest project of my life. I feel nothing but
pride surprise that I accomplished something so huge.
I know I didn’t start by finishing big projects. It started when I decided a year ago to grow up and stop allowing my shoes to sit in my living room until there was a giant pile of them. I now take off my shoes when I get home and put them away immediately. If I have a lazy thought, I’ve trained myself to be neurotic enough that it bothers me if I walk away from them. I also no longer allow clothes — clean or dirty — to pile up on the floor of my closet. I also make my bed daily. It gets my mind kick-started first thing in the morning by accomplishing something. I honestly cannot tell you how much stress this has alleviated out of my daily life. I suppose it has helped that I now work from home almost exclusively, but I’m not sure that’s the whole reason. Good habits don’t just happen — a person must develop them.
So if you are dreaming big but can’t seem to finish something you’ve started, start small. Make a to-do list and put something easy on the top and check it off! The motivation and sense of accomplishment can help push you towards checking off that next item … and before you know it, you’ve got a list of healthy and good habits developed!
So I’m planning. I’m planning my blog posts. I’m planning my meals. I’m planning my goals so that I can accomplish them and serve God better in all that I do.
I haven’t yet perfected the art of follow-through, but I sure am trying to get there.