July 16, 2014

Finish Strong - Get Back on Track!

It was embarrassing and painful. After weeks of careful preparation, it ended in a humiliating defeat. We enter a race with the idea of winning.

Would we remotely think of entering a race with the thought of not finishing it?

When I was nine, I spent weeks building my Pine Wood Derby car. The car kit included one block of wood, two axels, four wheels, and four nails. I shaped the body, glued the axels in place, and carefully attached the wheels. I painted the car fire-engine red and stenciled a black number “8” on its sides.

The night of the race I walked into the auditorium excited to race my car. As I began to look at my friends, with their dads, looking over their cars, my excitement was quickly replaced with fear. My dad would have loved to have been there, but he was in Vietnam. Now more than ever, I really wished he would have been around to help me because my car didn’t look anything like the other cars.

The track had four lanes, and when my turn came I placed my car in lane one. The gate went up and as the cars picked up speed going down the hill my heart sank, and my greatest fear was realized. While three of the cars sped down the track, my car came to a stop long before the finish line.

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

—Frank Herbert

We enter a race with the idea of finishing strong.

Didn’t you start the year with goals you wanted to achieve this year?

When the flag went up, everyone started fast. But, a few challenges popped up, we didn’t build the right plan, we looked around and doubt replaced our enthusiasm, we didn’t get enough help, and we have stopped before we reached the finish line.

54% of us have abandoned our goals or resolutions for the year! If you are over 50, you are even more likely to have abandoned some of your goals for the year as only 14% of men and women, over the age of 50, will achieve their goals.

In your twenties? Only 39% of you are on track to finish strong.

We have abandoned losing weight, getting organized, improving our financial situation, eating better, spending more time with our families, and learning something new and exciting.

One of the top reasons we identify to explain why we fail to make lasting lifestyle changes and achieve important goals is the lack of willpower. You possess the willpower! A Stanford University study concluded,

“People have a greater ability to regulate their behavior than they think.”

It’s not too late to finish strong! Here are four simple steps to fuel a strong finish and breakthrough achievement barriers.

  1. Simplify to energize your commitment and focus. Look at the goals you are not making progress towards and pick one goal to work on.
  2. Write the goal you selected in “first-person, prepossession form.” If you had a goal to lose 10 pounds, your goal would read, “I lost 10 pounds.” When you write a goal as if you have already achieved it you prime your mind to not only focus on the goal, but to take action.
  3. Engage an accountability partner. Identify someone you can share your progress with on a weekly basis. The simple act of reporting progress can improve goal achievement by nearly 50%.
  4. Identify the actions you are going to take and place them on your calendar and to-do lists. These actions will be the basis for reporting your progress.

“Are you going to finish strong?

— Nick Vujicic

Take a quick moment and share a goal you are going to focus on to finish strong.

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