How To Finish Strong and Not Give Up
Have you ever been super excited to start something? You get going on this goal or project. You start out STRONG. It's in your schedule every day for 3 weeks. However... the next week an obstacle gets in your way or the project just becomes BORING. In other words... you give up on the project and you don't finish strong.
This goal reminds you every day that you didn't finish it. You weren't strong enough to see it through. Therefore, you feel like a failure.
A Finish Strong Story
I know I have felt this way. Here's a little story about wanting to give up. However, I used tips to help me finish strong.
For example, recently I tried to record myself... many times. I am a reading teacher for grades K-3. During this Coronavirus pandemic, I have been recording myself and giving my students different reading or writing challenges.
However, my recordings are not pretty and they are nowhere near natural.
So, I get all excited about this video, thinking it was a really good idea. Most importantly, my students were going to get to see my face. But... I'm not a huge fan of being on camera.
The first 3 times I tried a little bit of impromptu action. That didn't work. So... I wrote a SCRIPT (I'm literally laughing at myself as I type this.) But, yes. A script. It takes a few minutes to write my script, feeling frustrated because I couldn't just do the video on my own.
I bring my script with me to where I was recording. I try with the script 2 MORE TIMES. But... I still fail. The madness! I'm ready to give up. I thought to myself Really?! I can't do this simple 1 -minute video!
What Did I Do?
During my little rant inside my head, I go sit on the couch. I take a deep breath and I continue the conversation in my head. Ashley, why can't you do this simple little video? Because I'm afraid of judgment. But, you are teaching children, the children miss you and want to see your face. You are doing this in front of kids. Yes, but the parents will see it. Who cares? They will be appreciative that you are making an effort to give their children activities to do at home rather than doing nothing. That's true... hmmm.
After this conversation, I take a deep breath... a lot of them actually. I asked myself what would I tell someone else who is trying to do this? I go back into the office to record the video.
Now... I did not get the recording right on the sixth time or the seventh time. It took me 9 TIMES to record a 1 minute and 19-second video and a SCRIPT.
Teaching is something I do DAILY. All I was doing, was giving kids a word challenge in this video. The difference was the camera. Most importantly, I wanted to throw in the towel. But I didn't, I took 10 minutes to calm down and I was able to finish strong.
Finish Strong Without the Judgment
Most people get blocked or stuck because they are afraid of being judged by others.
Take my story as an example. I was afraid of being judged by parents. This made my project longer and I struggled to finish it strong at first.
When the fear of judgment creeps in, negative thoughts ALWAYS follow. What if they don't like it? What if they laugh at me? Do I sound stupid? As a result, you give up. Unfortunately, giving up is easier than following through, especially when it comes to judgment.
If you don't do it, no one will be able to judge you. However... you can judge you and sometimes you are your worst critic.
To combat the fear of judgment, first, you need to accept how you feel. Fully accept it. Give yourself a 10-minute break to let those feelings happen. Listen to the conversations in your head. Once that conversation is over, take a few deep breaths. In for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds. Repeat this until your breath has slowed down and the negative conversation in your head has slowed down.
Then, ask yourself... why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve? What will it do for me when I finish it?
Take a few deep breaths again. Once you are ready, get back to your project.. with a new purpose.
Don't let the fear of judgment stop you from creating or reaching your goals. Do what you want to do and be YOU. Finish strong... you got this!
Cut It In Half
If you are working on a goal or project, cut it in half.
Yes, this sounds almost like cheating. But... it works.
Sometimes we can make our goals a little too long. As a result, we can have a hard time reaching that goal or finishing that project.
If you cut your goal or your project in half into more manageable parts, you will feel successful. Each time you reach that manageable goal that you cut in half, that feeling of success can help you go farther. Who doesn't love the feeling of success, right?
Break your goal or your project into little bite-sized pieces. Kind of like those 100 calorie backs. They cut them down so you don't eat as many calories.
According to Jon Acuff's findings, when you cut your goal in half you are 63 percent more likely to succeed. I like those odds!
For example, instead of losing 20 pounds in a month, make it 10 pounds. If you are a writer, instead of writing 2,000 words a day, make it 1,000 words a day.
You have a goal to get your nutrition on track... here's an idea to cut your goal in half. Instead of I will cook at home every night, make it I will cook at home four nights a week.
Working on a creative piece? Instead of I will work on my project for 1 hour each day, make it I will work on my project for 30 minutes each day.
This will help you create a more successful environment which results in a bigger push for you to get to the end goal.
Remember, the big idea here is to create goals that help you succeed and finish. You can always change this once you get going!
Extend the Time to Finish Strong
When we make a goal, we usually set a time frame. I want to lose x pounds in x weeks. I want to have my manuscript sent to an editor in x months. Or I want to finish x project in x amount of weeks.
This causes pressure especially when that deadline we set for ourselves is near. Pressure results in stress. Stress results in giving up. Like I said before, giving up is easier than finishing.
To relieve this pressure, extend the time to your goal. Yes, it may take you longer to finish but extending the time can relieve the pressure. You will still be working towards your goal.
For example, a good friend came to me and was feeling pressure to finish a script he wanted to be done by a certain time. He felt like his creativity was being squashed because of all this pressure that he had built up to achieve this goal.
I told him to extend the time he put on his goal. Guess what happened?
He felt free. He said his creative juices came back and he was flowing. This resulted in a better script and better ideas. The pressure he had on himself was released and his mind was better for it. Likewise, his creativity was better for it.
For example, instead of saying I will lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks, extend the time to 12 weeks. If you are a writer, instead of saying I will have this manuscript finished in 3 months, give yourself 6 months. Are you working on a project? Instead of having that project finished in 3 weeks, extend it to 6 weeks.
If you are feeling the pressure to finish a goal, extend the time to be more successful. More importantly, to finish strong.
The Bottom Line
As humans, we all love working towards something. However, we let a lot of different situations or our own mindset get in the way. Do NOT let fear, stress, or pressure be the reason why you give up on something. Extend the time, cut it in half, and breathe. Use 1 or all of these tips to help you FINISH STRONG. You got this!
Your Certified Brain Health Coach
Owner of SustainaBRAIN