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How to finish what you start

By Cheryl Wright • Jan 27th, 2008 • Category: motivation

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Kudos to you if you have dispelled the rumors and made a few resolutions or more accurately, set goals for yourself this year. Nevertheless, setting goals and writing them down is a great start. But that alone will get you nowhere if you don’t get busy taking the crucial steps that will propel you towards the targets you want to achieve. You have to finish what you start. That is what determines your success.

The measure of a goal or dream is not how simple or grand it is or how easily you can articulate
its minute details. Rather, the true satisfaction, beauty and joy of your dream is found in the often slow but steady pace at which you work your way towards the finish line.

You’ve taken that all-important first step. You’ve tossed the ball. Now here’s some advice to ensure that you finish what you start.

Create momentum.
This is simple and easy. Take systematic small steps, at least one every day, every week or even just once per month. That’s not hard if you have a list of the actions you need to take to achieve your goals. All you need to do is keep taking consistent and effective small steps in a systematic way.

Try this. Glue a photo of yourself onto a picture that depicts the fulfillment of your goal. Tack it up where you will see it every day. Carry a copy of it in your bag or keep a copy in your desk at work. Each morning, each evening or all day you can look at the picture and be motivated to keep plugging away even when it’s difficult.

The year is moving along. You should have already taken at least one step, done one thing, even a small thing to move you along the path to your goal. Have you?

Resist procrastination.
Many motivational gurus tell us that 80% of people fail to achieve what they want in their lives mainly because of procrastination. They know what they need to do in order to achieve their goals, but they procrastinate and do not take action.

This is the greatest enemy against my writing goals. But I’ve discovered that when I plant myself in my chair, ignore my inner critic, dispel distractions and do what I need to do, the temptation to set the writing aside, grows weak.

This could be a lifelong battle but you can develop strategies to fight this nemesis. You may never defeat it utterly but you can have success in the moments when you need it most.
Just sloughing through the urge to stop, reading inspirational quotes, praying and talking with your most ardent supporter are some of the ways you can combat procrastination.
Monitor your progress.

Life changes every day and staying focused on what you need to do to get where you want to go may necessitate a willingness to shift gears slightly or drastically to accommodate life’s unexpected twists. But to achieve success in your endeavors, you will need to devise strategies to cope with the unexpected without missing a beat. Or, even take a break to manage disquieting circumstances and then pickling up where you left off. That shouldn’t frighten you. It may detain you – have patience. It may derail you –get back on track or build a new roadway if necessary.

As you do new things and take more action, it becomes very important to check your progress and make sure you are heading in the right direction. Take your queue from airline pilots. They know that a one degree deviation can send them miles off course so they constantly check their instruments to make sure that they are on track.

When you check your progress on a regular basis, you develop a habit that will keep you motivated and focused. Without doing regular check-ups you could easily loose sight of your goal, get side-tracked and forget where you are supposed to be headed.

This is how you do a check up.
1. Every day read your written goals silently or out loud several times. Make them an integral part of your daily routine. Don’t give yourself a chance to forget. Don’t leave them to fade into the background.

2. Note your activity level. Is your momentum slowing down? Are you stuck? What obstacles are preventing you from moving forward? What unexpected life event (an injury, pregnancy, job change, or death in the family) has occurred and threatens to stall your progress?

3. Analyze, dissect and manage your stumbling blocks. Seek advice, garner support, adjust your modus operandi. Do whatever it takes to help you to get back and stay on track.

4. How is your physical and spiritual health? Keep bolstering your spiritual immunity with prayer and trust in God. Make sure that you are physically fit. Eat healthy meals. Get sufficient sleep and factor exercise into your schedule.

Many people only set their goals and they forget about them few days later. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember to create your momentum, find your rhythm and ease into the groove that’s most comfortable for you. Shake off the hold procrastination has on you and monitor your progress. There may be a long stretch ahead but you have to finish what you start.

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