Finish Strong and Make January Count
As we approach the end of January are you confident that you will finish strong? It’s merely a few days before we conclude the first 12th of the year. Will you be able to look back over the preceding weeks and feel confident that you have given January a fair crack of the goal whip?
If, on reflection, you know you’re going to fall short, then all is not lost. Whilst there are just a few days of January left to make your mark, going all in for the next 48 hours could give you and your goal a huge boost. There’s nothing to stop you from using these hours to finish strong!
It’s Not About Results…at least not yet
This finish strong quote from Og Mandino, for me, is the epitome of why it’s so important to take a look back periodically (end of week, end of month and end of year, which is often too late) to assess whether we’ve progressed sufficiently that we will achieve our goals in the long term.
Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.
Indeed, what you plant now, you will harvest later. It can sometimes seem that the small actions we take now are insignificant. And frankly, they probably are if taken in isolation, but, if your goals are big enough and important enough to you, then it’s in these small, consistent but often immeasurable actions that the harvest will be brought in.
It can be so easy to let the months slip by without checking in on ourselves. The problem is that we often start strong, but then lose enthusiasm as the size of the task becomes all-too-apparent. But, in taking action, no matter how small, we often find hacks, hints and tips which sometimes speed up our journey or maybe just give us a sign that we’re moving in the right direction.
But waiting for those tips or the extra support is not a strategy to be relied upon. In fact, waiting in any shape is definitely not helpful when it comes to goal achievement.
To a large extent goal achievement is a personal journey. Yes, there will be times when we can get support from others on a similar journey to our own, but, as the saying goes, you can’t hire someone else to do your sit-ups!
Finish Strong and Feel Inspired
It can sometimes be a struggle to keep going when tasks are small and/or repetitive. We can get bored or frustrated. Coupled with this, it may be many weeks or months before we start to see results. However, using a small slice of time, like 48 hours, to give yourself a metaphorical kick can and will fire up your motivation and help you feel inspired again.
I keep a reminder on my desk that it’s the small daily tasks that make the difference to my overall results. This little verse also reminds me that I will feel much better if I just get the task done rather than ruminate over it! I know this to be true, as I always feel so much better when it’s finished!
Finish Strong and Turbo Charge your Outputs
Think about it. How would you feel if you set yourself a target for the next two days and then really went for it? Would you feel happier with yourself? Would your self-confidence feel boosted? Would you feel inspired to keep going? The chances are that the answer to all these questions would be a resounding Yes! In contrast, how will you feel in 48 hours if you choose to overlook this call to action and continue to mope in the doldrums?
So how can you finish strong every day? There are many ways to approach and apply finishing strong, but here’s a technique that works for me. If you’re out of practice or don’t have your goals for the year set out yet, then start with Step 1 and move on as you have more information to hand. Even just finishing strong every day will super-charge your results, and as you become more focussed on your important goal task(s) you will naturally gravitate towards a fuller and longer term plan.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. H Jackson Brown Jr
How to Finish Strong Every Day – Step 1
1. Write out your most important task (MIT) at the beginning of the day.
2. Highlight it, put stars around it, email it to a friend. Do whatever it takes to assign it the MIT-Status!
3. At the end of the day check-in with yourself to confirm the task is complete.
4. If it’s not, do it! That’s how you finish strong!
How to Finish Strong Every Week – Step 2
1. Choose your three most important tasks at the beginning of the week (or use your calendar in Step 3 below).
2. Write Your MITs out and put them somewhere highly visible.
3. Assign a day of the week to start and finish them.
4. Apply step one above on a daily basis.
How to Finish Strong Every Month – Step 3
1. Review your annual goals.
2. Note down the goals you want to complete or progress this month.
3. Under each goal, determine and write down exactly what ‘complete’ or ‘acceptable progress’ means to you. Eg, I want to write 10,000 words of my book, I want to eat clean for 25 days this month, I want to complete my assignment and hand it in at least 3 days before the deadline, I want to save £1,000 etc.
4. Using a highly visible calendar write the appropriate tasks into your calendar. As appropriate, assign words/day; days to eat clean; days to work on your assignment (start and end date specified); deposit days with amounts.
5. Use your calendar to inform your weeks and follow step 2 above.
Staying focused on your goals can be challenging, but using the ‘finish strong’ techniques can help you stay on track and get you closer to your goals sooner. Give then a try and let me know what you think!
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