We have all heard the saying, “It’s not about how you start but how you finish.” I was a big fan of this statement because it would always justify my mid-year complacency, but I never fully understood what it meant. My goal with this blog is to answer ‘WHY’ we must finish strong.
I was inspired to write this blog while I was reflecting (intentionally looking back to make required changes) on 2017 and somehow while doing so I subconsciously thought, “Yeah, Yeah, like they always say, ‘it’s not about how you start it’s about how you finish.” Moments later I found myself perplexed by this train of thought and I asked myself (in the context of having 365 days in a year) WHY is this important. My conclusion was fairly simply,
“Finishing strong gives you MOMENTUM for the restart.”
The restart could literally be anything from a new year to a new term. Momentum you may think, is it really that simple?
I’ll share my short story of 2017. After going through a really challenging year in 2016, I never really had the courage or conviction to reflect or even think about everything that happened in that year. So when 2017 started I was ‘floating’- had no goals for 2017 and no vision for how I wanted to start the year. It took me 3 MONTHS to realise that I needed to have goals for the year and I needed to get my act together or else I would lose and regret an entire year. The real reason why it took me so long to wise-up was because I was building momentum during that time. I had a very low and discouraging finish to 2016, hence it took me 3 months to get my confidence back and remember who I really am. This momentum building time-period consisted of: reading a lot, exercising, reflecting on 2016 (which was really difficult), having difficult conversations with my close friends and really just praying a lot. If you think about it, in a year of 12 months- I only fully lived my life for 9 months, because I had no momentum from 2016. I write this article so that you don’t have to start on the back foot like I did and I wish that you’ll fully live the 12 months of the year.
My desire for you who is reading this is that you will think about 2018 in a different way.
“A new year is more in what you think and do than what it is on an annual Calendar.”
If you think about the 80/20 rule you will realise that,
“Success is 80% Psychology and 20% Mechanics”
Your thought life then becomes really important for making this New Year work. So think about finishing strong, because when we Finish-Strong; we ultimately Start-Strong.
“Our calendar is not like in sports. There is no off season for us, when we finish- we are back to the start.”
If you are anxious about this New Year, I have chosen 3 things you can do now (regardless of when you are reading this article) to help you build the momentum going into this New Year.
Set your goals now!
This journey of life is extremely long, the last thing you need is not having direction. After my 3 months of momentum-building, on the 7th of April 2017, I sat down with Mr Hubert Barlow (former MD of Barloworld and a very influential leader) to ask him many questions I had been asking myself. One question I asked was, “How does one deal with the mental disposition of seeing your friends achieving stuff while you have not done much personally.” I remembered his response till this day because I really had to think about what it meant for me. He said
“Set your goals at your own pace in your own time.”- Hubert Barlow
And this statement set me free from comparing my life to many of my peers and it favoured the idea that I had a lot of time on my side. So don’t delay setting your goals because of what people close to you are doing, just remember like Mr Barlow said, “Set your goals at your pace in your own time.”
Reflect and Review 2017
“When we reflect, what we reflect upon changes into insight.”
Nothing is as frustrating as repeating the same mistake twice. Taking time to think about how 2017 was for you will help you escape this common trap that has ensnared many people over the years. This is literally thinking about all your achievements, how you managed to grow personally in the process, goals that you never reached, activities that you missed out on, money management that could have been better, literally everything. If you would like to know ‘How to Reflect’, then you can read my blog on Reflection. Like Noah Kogan said,
“If you didn’t measure it, it did not happen.”- Noah Kogan
Don’t discredit an entire year by not reflecting; take time to do this very important step.
66 Days to from a habit.
I shared a post on Facebook about thinking about this New Year of 2018,
“If you are not convicted to act ‘now’, a new year will not change your attitude.”
It is important to understand that a new year’s resolution won’t change how you have been thinking or your habits. Whatever you want to start doing in 2018, start now already, don’t deceive yourself by waiting for a new year. If you want to start running, reading more books, starting a blog, then you REALLY have to start now. I learned that there is no such thing as a perfect start. This journey is a marathon and unless we start, we will constantly be looking at people cross the finish line.
I hope that you’re inspired to view this New Year differently and I believe that 2018 is going to be a greater year for you.
Please share this link with those you think really need to read something like this. I write these article to the few that I can reach, but you can really help many make 2018 a great year. Remember, “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” You can also leave your comments below.