Finish, Why Don’t Cha?

So I have been reading the first chapter of Finish by Jon Acuff for about 3 months. Ironic, I know.

Basically he is saying that his last book Start isn’t really the problem. Starting isn’t the problem for most of us… it’s finishing that is the problem… and he is right.  

I have 4 manuscripts written… ready for an editor, and 3 more parts of books. I have at least 4 unfinished and unpublished online courses, and dozens of unfinished blog posts.

And that is not even the half of it.

But yesterday – yes, this happened yesterday – I started chapter 2 and I couldn’t put it down. He is hilarious – not sure if you know this yet, but you must know. So, it was easy to keep reading late into the night – an insane 11pm (I know, not late for some of you). 

Well, here are a few things that he said.

Take a break from things that are stopping you from achieving your goals.

*cough, cough* Facebook… ummm…  Yeah, it’s been stopping me for a while, so I went ahead and paused myself in the middle of reading the chapter and deactivated my account until I catch up on my projects (about 5 of them that have been put on the back-burner).  

Since I have paused Facebook 3 days ago, I have written and published 4 blogposts, and have finished 1 out of 5 of my projects. I’d say it’s working.

It’s important to know if you are motivated by fear or by achieving a goal.

People are normally shocked to hear – not sure if it’s fake surprise or not – but I’m about 35 lbs overweight. I still love myself yadda yadda, it’s no big deal whatever, but it is a deal that I would like to change about myself. One of the main reasons I want to change it is because I have been trying to change it with no luck… for years, since my youngest was born.

And my competitive nature won’t let me be okay with having zero noticeable progress.  

I am a veteran Marine, so I know what it is like to push my body and mind to the absolute limits… and I don’t mind working hard but even I get lazy. I get into a mode where I ride the elliptical thinking my measly 20 minute workout is going to make any difference.

Last Friday I went to the boot camp class at the YMCA.  It was killer. Here’s a photo of the workout and what I accomplished. Notice that I didn’t finish; however I only got as far as I did because I went back in to do an extra half hour. I also hate burpees if I am doing other workouts so I just avoided those… I avoided perfection, yet I pushed my body further than I have in a long time.

I went back to the gym last night to do a similar workout. Of course since I’m out of shape, I huff and puff between sets… barely keeping myself together and sweating like a dude. I look around and see most people (as I was just last week) getting their workout done in peace and not the sweating insanity that I was putting myself through. It hit me!!

  • I do love pushing myself beyond reasonable limits.
  • I do enjoy feeling the effects of my workout for days.
  • I do not like wasting my time at the gym to get a soft workout in just to say that I did it. I want results!!

I am motivated in this instance by the reward of knowing that I gave it everything I had, and I get the reward of being sore for days. Some people might not think of that as a reward, but I do.

Reward yourself by doing what you love no matter how weird it may seem to others.

I absolutely LOVE writing. Writing for me is a requirement in my life. I sort of fall apart if I’m not writing consistently. So writing can be a reward.

But I’ve realized that during this entrepreneurship journey I’ve been on I have not been writing consistently. If I am not reading and writing consistently, I start getting really down on myself (not in a disparaging way, but because it clears my mind and it’s good for me).

But I stopped because I had been putting so much pressure on myself to create systems to write more often, make sure it was right on topic, effective and connected to my audience – I was shooting for perfection- so I stopped writing.

I also stopped reading as much because not only was I stressed about keeping my life in order while trying to figure out how to grow and maintain my business, I was also putting pressure on myself to not waste the read.  Meaning, when I read I always want to write, so that I can use the time I was reading effectively. Since I put so much pressure on myself to write in response to what I was reading, I also stopped reading.

As you can imagine, this pressure that I put on myself took the fun out of reading.

That’s why I have absolutely loved Finish. I stopped to write this blog because I was truly inspired by what I read, I really have had fun reading it, and I knew that I wanted to capture my thoughts and experiences for the future… not because of the pressure to be perfect.

This may or may not be a series until I finish Finish. I don’t want to put that pressure on myself and make it a chore instead of just plain fun, which this post has been to write.

So answer me these questions:
  1. What do you need to pause to finish some immediate goals?
  2. Are you move motivated by fear or by reward?
  3. What are some weird or unique rewards you can use to motivate yourself to finish your goals?

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