How To Become A Finisher: The Art of Achieving Your Goals
If you’re anything like me, when you have an amazing idea, you set goals for it and you start off full force! You hit the ground running, the juices are flowing, strategies are coming together, and you even do a really good job at recruiting people to help you.
But once you get to a certain part of your project, whether it be starting a new business or even spring cleaning the house, your momentum begins to slow and progress stops.
This can happen for a number of reasons: loss of passion, distractions, discouragement, or even depression and anxiety, etc..
I can’t even begin to tell you how many business I’ve started and haven’t finished for one reason or another. I can tell you first hand that depression is definitely one thing that can stop you in your tracks when trying to achieve your goals.
Thankfully, having a measurable action plan (with margins to help you determine where you are on your journey) can be a huge life (and career) saver.
One of my goals for the year of 2017 is to become a finisher! I honestly decided to write this article in hopes of my research being beneficial to me. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help someone else along the way.
Here are 8 steps to take to become a strong finisher:
Focus on one thing at a time. I have been guilty of trying to do more than one project at a time and I can tell your first hand that this does not work. There is no way that you can give 100% of yourself to more than one thing. Don’t even try. You’ll let yourself down.
I used to be a firm believer in, “I’m a strong, independent woman with many talents and I can do ten things at once to perfection!” WRONG!
If you have more than one business idea, pick one and focus on trying to make that business profitable. Once it is profitable and you find a way to make the business sustainable without you having to be hands on with it, then it is safe to start with the next one.
Plan with the end goal in mind. It’s always a lot easier to figure out a sound plan when you know exactly where it is that you’re going. So my advice here is to work backwards.
I’ve created a printable goal setting chart where you can begin the journey of achieving your goals. When you download and print this PDF, you’ll start from the bottom (your end goal) and work your way up.
In this article, we’re going to focus on building our subscriber list to 500,000 by May 2017. When I am filling out my action plan, I will start there.
When setting your end goal, be specific as possible. In my goal of having 500,000 people on my subscriber list in the third quarter of 2017, I specify an exact number and an exact date. This is very important!
Set small goals that lead up to your end goal. Once you’ve set your specific, ultimate goal and have written it down (mine is to obtain 500,000 e-mail subscribers by May 2018), it’s time for you to set small, measurable goals that will help you get to the end goal.
A few small goals for obtaining e-mail subscribers would be to create a posting schedule (consistency) or running a few Facebook ads (investment) for a specific amount of time to a targeted audience. I can also break down my goal of 500,000 into quarters.
If your goal is to declutter your home before your in-laws come for the summer or for the holidays, set small goals for cleaning out one area of your home a day. This way you’re not overwhelmed by the task at hand, nor are you shuffling to do it while they’re on their way to your house!
Small, actionable goals make your ultimate goal less daunting and makes it more likely that you’ll finish the task at hand.
Create a reasonable timeline. Like your end goal, you want to be sure to take out a pen and paper and actually write out a timeline for achieving your end goal. Be very strategic on how and when you will accomplish each small goal, leading all the way up to how you’ll achieve your end goal.
If my end goal is to obtain a total of 500,000 e-mail subscribers in by May 2018, I would create an action plan for that goal, sticking to a strict timeline with checkpoints throughout.
What makes a goal measurable is having something to compare your progress against. This is called your margin. In this case, my margin would be 500,000 e-mail subscribers.
I’ll work backwards for this as well. In 12 months, I want to be at 500,000 subscribers, in 9 months, I should be at 375,000. In 6 months, I should be at 250,000. In 3 months, I should be at 125,000. Super easy! Super doable.
But be realistic. If you only have 30 subscribers now, you can’t expect to have 500,000 in two weeks. Not unless you’re doing some major leg work! This is very rare.
Have a daily routine. This is the area that I’ve had the hardest time, but it is also the area that makes or breaks you when it comes to becoming a finisher. Going through life by the seat of your pants is no way to guarantee a successful life, whether that be business or personal.
My last day working was April 22 of this year and the weeks following that, I kind of did things as they would come to me. I would write blog posts, but I was never really consistent about when or how often I posted.
I began to notice that I wasted a lot of time being distracted by things like Netflix and Facebook, when I could have been spending my time writing, designing, or collaborating with other lifestyle bloggers.
On top of that, my dog, Nala passed away and the event was a huge trigger for my depression.
With that being said, create a daily routine, especially when you work for yourself, are a stay at home mom or dad, or if you struggle with depression.
You don’t necessarily have to plan out every minute of every day, but having a few things on your schedule that you do each day will make life a lot easier.
Some of the things that I make sure that I do every day (usually at the same time) are:
- Wake up by 7:00 AM
- Eat breakfast while listening to Craig Groeschel’s Leadership podcast
- Bible Study/Worship/Watch a sermon until 9 AM
- Write a blog posts +Work on client projects (until 3 PM)
- Cook + Eat Dinner/Spend time with my husband
- Go to the gym at 7 PM (5 days a week)
- Clean the kitchen at 9:30 PM
- Post to Instagram at 10 PM
- Lay in the bed by 10:30 PM
My days are usually pretty jam packed, but I always try to make sure that I get all of these things done. There are days that I don’t do every single one of these things, though most of them (the ones highlighted) are non negotiable.
When you have a daily routine set in place where you’re penciling in the time to complete the small, actionable goals, you will be a finisher and achieve your ultimate goal.
Be sure to download your printable Daily Routine PDF! Print it out and put all of your non negotiables on it FIRST. This will serve as a good reminder of all the things that you must do daily, as they are crucial to the finish! When you schedule out these things, you will also see where you have time to do anything else you need to do.
Don’t be discouraged by sucky starts. I have started a lot of businesses, y’all! One of which was an app that I was working on with my Make Up Artist friend, Shawnacie. When I came up with the idea for this app, I just knew that it would be so easy to find beauty industry artists that would want to be involved in this project!
To my surprise, it wasn’t as easy as I thought and the project didn’t move as quickly as I had anticipated. Now the app is not an app, it’s still what it was around this time last year. An idea.
Don’t let this be you! Don’t be discouraged by sucky starts! Seldom are things amazing and mind blowing the instance they are created. Things that have any hope of being profitable take time. They need to be shaped and molded and changed in order to teach you things!
So take the sucky starts, don’t beat yourself up over them, learn as much as you can from the good and the bad, and keep pushin’! I have hopes of getting back on the development of my app! This time I’m gonna keep with it no matter what!
Fail fast. Fail fast doesn’t mean to try out your business and see if it will be successful or not a quickly as possible, but it means to try as many things in your business and see what works and doesn’t work for your business.
Never played around with Facebook ads? Instead of studying it and trying to figure out what may work, get in there, create different audiences and see who responds and who doesn’t!
Want to find out how to get more people to read your blog? Stop reading and doing research and join different Facebook groups and chat with people! Put your self out there and see if that helps.
No one’s going to know you exist in this huge internet world if you don’t get out in the forefront and get noticed!
Don’t know what it is that you want to do for a living? Turn in a job application to a place that you think you would like and try it out!
Can’t figure out why you can’t pass your exams in school, maybe it’s the way you study. Maybe you don’t study at all. Don’t drop out of school because things are looking up right now. Pick up the book and read it! Try different studying techniques! Find a tutor! Try everything!
Failing fast isn’t about shutting the business down quickly if it doesn’t work in a year! Or giving up on your children if you’ve tried everything in the book. It’s about trying little things and seeing what’s effective and what isn’t!
Celebrate successes. Achieving your ultimate goal shouldn’t be the only thing you celebrate! You should celebrate the success of your small actionable goals as well! Because though they only seem like a small piece to a large puzzle, you’re that much closer to becoming a finisher!
So there you have it! 8 ways steps to becoming a finisher!
Be sure to get your free printable downloads so that you can become a finisher.