How to start and finish a new project (even if you have failed before)
March 13, 2022
Do you ever start something new just to abandon it halfway through? (Sometimes it's not so much quitting as it is forgetting about it)
That's more common than you think. A lot of people have trouble committing themselves to finishing their projects. To find out why and what we can do to resolve this kind of conduct, we went with the advice of "Finish," a book by Jon Acuff. Here are 3 tips to finish what you started.
1. Embrace imperfection
The beginning of your new project is usually very easy. You have the motivation to start, but eventually it gets harder, especially on the day after perfect: this means the day you miss, the day you get late, the day you mess up and don't go through with your plans.
"This is a surprisingly common reaction to mistakes. The first lie that perfectionism tells you is to quit if it isn't perfect." - Jon Acuff, Finish
Do not quit because you're no longer perfect. It's okay to miss one day, to do one bad thing. You can get back and start over. You can be imperfect and still progress.
Your goal will never be perfect. If you can be okay with not being perfect, you can actually finish your goal.
"This is the reason a lot of people don't start a new goal, they'd rather get a 0/100 than a 50/100 because they believe "perfect" is the only standard and if they can't hit it, they won't even start." " - Jon Acuff, Finish
2. Cut your goals in half
We often set supersized goals because we believe bigger and better goals are super attractive. They sound cool, they get you ready to go, but you don't ever reach them.
Imagine you want to start running and you automatically set your goal to run a marathon, when in reality you haven't even run 100 feet in the last month. Why would you go for the marathon out of the gate? You do it because you're trying to be perfect and are chasing the "perfectionism lie."
"92% of people fail at their goals because they tend to set goals that are foolishly optimistic. Scientists call this "the planning fallacy," a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed."- Jon Acuff, Finish
Achieving goals is a marathon, not a sprint. You can pile up several smaller goals and victories to collectively hit a larger goal over a longer period of time. You can have a lot more success this way than trying to tackle a huge goal at once.
Get that win, and go to the next milestone. It is okay not to have huge goals.
3. Make it fun
Fun will come from what motivates you. The book remarks on 2 forms of motivation: reward-based motivation and fear (which is something you might not associate with fun, but we'll get to that).
People who are motivated by a reward have what psychologists call an "approach motivation." They find fun in acquiring that reward. They're wired to approach the reward that accomplishing a certain goal will generate.
However, not all people are wired that way. Some people just don't care for the reward; they are motivated by "what would happen if they don't act". This fear comes in the form of a certain rush: avoiding a bullet, beating the deadline at the last minute, and avoiding a disaster. That is very motivating for a lot of people, dangling what could potentially happen to them versus the reward.
You must determine what motivates you—advancing toward a bright future or avoiding a "punishment". This will make it easier for you to have pleasure while working toward your objective.
"The aggressively not fun approach doesn't work, it may make you look good on Instagram, as you impress your friends with miserable grind, but scientifically speaking, joyless goals fail". -Jon Acuff, Finish
If you want to find more tips to finish what you start, definitely get "Finish" by Jon Acuff.
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