The hard thing about finishing

It is really easy to start something. Especially today in our digital world where the tools to translate ideas into action literally at your fingertips.

I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to starting things. I have started lots of things. We have all started things. But for some reason, for the longest time I have found it really hard to finish things worth finishing.

Maybe you have a new business idea? Maybe it was a project at work? Maybe you were going to the gym to increase your strength?

After a flurry of activity at the start… after a while you start to lose motivation. Life gets in the way. Something new and more interesting comes along and captures your attention. And before you know it, that think you needed to finish is no where near complete. Finishing things is hard!

But what sets starters apart from the finishers?

Over years of “false starts” I have started to realise what the secret sauce is for finishing (or if there is no finish line, how to focus on incremental (or exponential) growth).

As I type this article I realise what I am about to say is complete common sense. The problem is that I didn’t have the common sense to realise it when I needed to. I suspect if you find finishing things hard… that you may not have the common sense to realise it either.

It is simple. Commit to doing a little bit every day. And share your progress with others.

Whilst the above statement certainly does not sound earth shattering, the impact of doing just that certainly is. Doing something daily adds up very quickly over time.

Here is an example. You know that your $5 coffee every day is costing you over $1500 every year right? Paying $1500 is tough. Paying $5 per day is easy. Simply focusing on small short term wins every day takes the pain out of finishing things.

And from my experience the return on your investment of emotional, intellectual and physical energy compounds — just like if you put that $5 per day in a high interest bank account, or an index fund.

Sharing your progress with others not only helps you stay accountable to execute daily, but also allows you to feed on the energy of your supporters — the kick in the pants you need if you ever start wavering from your goals.

So whether you are trying to finish your Masters thesis (just like me), or wanting to finish an Olympic distance triathlon in under 2 hours 45 minutes (just like me), or are wanting to grow your business 2 fold every year (just like me)… make a commitment to yourself to take action every day and share your progress with others.

Because one day… you will look back and be surprised where it took you!

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