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5 Ways to Follow Through and Finish Something That You Start

5 Ways to Follow Through and Finish Something That You Start

As humans, we’re great with the idea of starting things. Whether it’s a home renovation project, 1,000-pieces jigsaw puzzle, book trilogy, or yard work, we’ve got the “start” aspect down. However, very few of us are good at finishing. If you – like many others – don’t follow through on a regular basis, this can be frustrating and worrisome. It’s time for you to learn how to consistently finish the tasks that you start.

1. Be Careful of What You Start

In order to finish something that you start, you have to be selective about what you start in the first place. If you’re always starting new tasks and projects without considering the amount of time, money, or effort required, then you aren’t going to be much of a “closer”.

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“I have embarked on things which I was half-interested in in the past, for example learning tennis or learning Japanese. Eventually I stopped them mid-way. This resulted in waste of time and resources which could have been better utilized elsewhere,” life coach Celestine Chua says. “If you set a high threshold on what you want to do, the completion rate is also higher.”

2. Set Goals and Milestones

Let’s say you embark on the massive goal of building your own house. If your only goal is to finish the house so that it’s move-in ready, do you really think you’re going to stay motivated for months or years? Probably not. However, if you set goals and milestones along the way – such as finishing the foundation, framing the walls, installing plumbing and electrical, constructing the roof, etc. – you’re much more likely to stay on track. The moral of the story is that goals are good.

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3. Use A Reward System

CBT Nuggets, a leading online IT training vendor, encourages using some sort of rewards-based system with clients to help them stay on track. They even use it in-house to ensure success.

“One of our team members here at CBT Nuggets talks about his training habit including hot tea with lots of sugar in it when he sits down to train, every afternoon at 1:00,” Karin Klinger explains. “He is so consistent in drinking sugary tea while he trains, that now when he gets a craving for tea and sugar, his brain also expects that it’s time to train. He has successfully married his training to a time (cue) and reward (tea with sugar), which has resulted in the development of a true habit.”

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4. Carve Out Time

The reason so many people fail to finish projects is because they don’t make time for them. They always put the work off, saying something like, “I’ll get around to it tomorrow.” Well, the truth is that you won’t get around to it if you don’t carve out some time. Add the task to your schedule and you’ll probably succeed.

5. Find an Accountability Partner

Depending on how your intrinsic motivation works and the amount of ambition and discipline you have, it may be challenging for you to stay on track. It’s possible to encourage yourself, but it’s also good to have someone else help you out.

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Find an accountability partner and ask them to check on you. For example, let’s say you’re reading a book and have a goal of finishing it in 10 days. You can have your accountability partner call each evening at 9 p.m. to ask for a recap of what you read. This simple act will increase your chances of staying on track.

It’s Time to Start Finishing!

Once you realize that it’s possible to consistently finish what you start, your whole mindset will change. Suddenly, you’ll realize that you can accomplish things and embark on challenges without fear of failure.

Use these tips to get started!

Featured photo credit: Entrepreneur via entrepreneur.com

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Larry Alton

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Last Updated on May 16, 2019

The Daily Rituals of 7 Successful CEOs

The Daily Rituals of 7 Successful CEOs

One of my favorite success quotes ever comes from one of the original and most successful ‘CEOs’ of his era: Aristotle. Here’s what he said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

This advice is just as sound today as it was when Aristotle first expressed it, way back when. I’m reminded of this at least once a week, when I interview an inspiring author, leader, or successful CEO on my show. I ask my guests a series of questions about what has contributed to their success and their ability to build something meaningful.

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You want to know what nearly all of them say? Almost every time, they respond by telling me that their success is the result of simple habits  enacted day after day.

These quotes from seven successful CEOs demonstrate the daily rituals that have contributed to their success:

1. Promote what you love.

“It’s so much better to promote what you love than to bash what you hate.” – Jessica Alba, CEO of The Honest Company

2. Develop a feedback loop.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk, CEO of TESLA Motors

3. Create things that are better, not just “different.”

“Our task today is to find singular ways to create the new things that will make the future not just different, but better—to go from 0 to 1. The essential first step is to think for yourself. Only by seeing our world anew, as fresh and strange as it was to the ancients who saw it first, can we both re-create it and preserve it for the future.” – Peter Thiel, CEO of Palantir and best-selling author of Zero To One.

4. Meditate.

“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the connection.” – Oprah Winfrey, CEO of OWN Network

5. Read every day.

“Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest.”-Warren Buffet, CEO of investment firm Berkshire-Hathaway

6. Block time for email.

“Set aside a 20- to 30-minute chunk of time two or three times a day for email. Do not check continually through the day.” – Doug Camplejohn, CEO of predictive lead marketing company FlipTop.

7. Make your customers happy.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com

Develop the right rituals. Become a successful CEO.

If the majority of these daily habits are new to you, avoid making the crucial mistake of adopting all of these habits at once. Research on habit-formation indicates that lasting habits are formed one at a time.

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For example, let’s say you’re excited about developing the following daily habits:

  • daily reading,
  • daily meditation, and
  • updating your to-do list every night

Let’s say that daily reading is the one that excites you the most out of the three habits noted above. It would be wise of you to begin by choosing and scheduling time to read every day, and then sticking to that time until it becomes a habit. Once it feels effortless and automatic, you’ll know that you’ve turned it into a daily habit. Now you’re ready to install the next habit… and the next… Until before you know it, you’ll start looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of a successful CEO.

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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