Break the cycle, finish what you start: It’s time to start crossing the finish line.
I have the WORST habit, I start projects… and never finish them. I don’t know what it is, but now I have an inventory of never-completed projects that make me feel anxious and unmotivated. Starting a new project is always the best part. It’s exciting and sometimes addictive when I first start. Then, after some time goes by, the activity or book or whatever turns into harder work than I expected. It takes longer to complete than I’d hoped, or I don’t think I’m good enough to finish it. Either way, I begin to convince myself that I’m not sure about the next step. I understand that this sort of procrastination may or may not be fueled by some sort of underlying perfectionism and a fear that the next steps may not be excellent enough.
Why You Aren’t Finishing Your Projects
- Fear of failing to impress.
One of the things I think we all fear, possibly without realizing it, is our fear of being evaluated. I’m sure none of us want our skills or work to be judged, especially outside of the context we intended to present. Most of us are taking a leap of faith when we start certain projects or habits and the last thing we need is the possibility of a negative reaction. Prolonging the completion of a task or project could be one way of avoiding that fear of being harshly evaluated.
- Fear of setting the bar too high.
Sometimes it’s not the failure, but the success that makes me worried. What if I can’t live up to my own expectations (and that of others)? This often leads to the avoidance
- Time, and the supposed lack thereof.
Sometimes it feels like I’m always going to run out of time or when the time comes to finish a project, I’m so scared that everything will crash right at the finish line. So, I’ve figured some ways to help you, and I, to make our way over that finish line.
6 Ways To Finish What You Start
- Think Hard About What You Want to Start
We need to ensure we don’t start something unless we’re absolutely passionate about it. I have started things that I was half-interested in before, and eventually, I stopped halfway. The best way to combat that is if you aren’t sure that this is something you really want to do, try it out on a small scale and see how you feel about it. I realized my love for writing stories when I tried writing my short story as practice.
- Quit Being A Perfectionist
How many times have I delayed doing something to bring my brainchild to life, in order to attempt to get it exactly the way I envisioned it? Our desire for perfectionism is preventing us from getting things done. When we’re stalled at a particular stage and become obsessed with going over it we need to pull up the hand brakes and move on to the next part. Maybe if we return to it later on and see it with fresh eyes, we’ll notice that what we were hung up on can be morphed into something better. Better yet, we may see a new opportunity to head it in another, more suitable direction.
And when perfectionism is preventing us from getting started in the first place? I think we can first break down the task into many little steps, and if we still put it off after breaking it down, then break it down further into mini-pieces. Soon, we’ll be left with such a simple task that is more doable and makes us feel less anxious.
Secondly, we should allow ourselves the chance to attempt things without finality. Meaning, there’s no need to get it done right the first time. Even if we produce something way below our standards, we’ll have become closer to our goal and have something to work off of instead of waiting on the “perfect thing” to happen the first time around.
- Honestly, Just Commit To It
Whatever you planned to do, commit to it. Also, start to think about your priorities – what are the things you need to pay more attention to and what things can you put on the back burner until you’ve completed what you set out to do? Think long-term and really consider how this goal will/can change your life and help you to become your ideal self.
- Never Look Away From The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
I’m sure most of us may have experienced this. Whenever we begin a new project, we’re absolutely hyped about it. But then when you get into the thick of it, the energy fades away, bit by bit. Eventually, you realize you’re not so hyped up about the nitty-gritty tasks that come as part of the work.
Given this, we need to remember that every little bit we’re doing now counts toward that end vision. Don’t let the bigger picture slip away from you. Surround yourself with anything that reminds you of your end goals, such as a vision board, or objects that represent the goal.
- Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress helps you understand how you’re doing and gives you a target to reach. This makes it easier to build up your momentum. Tracking is an easy way to make yourself accountable to your goal and helps you stay on track.
- Celebrate What You’ve Done So Far
Sometimes we get discouraged by all the things we need to do. It almost seems impossible to finish everything. The amount of work overwhelms us and we stop halfway. But what you may not realize is that everything you’ve done so far IS an accomplishment! Everything you’ve done and what you’re doing now contributes to the final goal. So celebrate it. Take this chance to recharge and build up a new momentum that will motivate you to keep going.
With all that being said, I have to admit that this only works if you’re passionate about what you want to do, and sometimes, it just so happens that you lose interest in the goal. It happens, and it’s normal. We are always changing. The way we think can change, our perspective sometimes changes, our interests change, and we get new ideas and inspiration all the time.
We should always give ourselves the permission to drop what you’re doing if it’s not working out, and it might just lead to bigger and better things that you can put your time and energy towards. Of course, don’t start dropping every single thing you’re doing now just because you lose interest (HUGE note to self). Instead, make an effort to evaluate what you want to pursue and what you want to achieve, giving yourself the opportunity to make that judgment call whenever you need to start and finish something.
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