Year after year, readers pulled me aside at events and said, “I’ve never had a problem starting. I’ve started a million things, but I never finish them. Why can’t I finish?
According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals.
For years, I thought my problem was that I didn’t try hard enough. So I started getting up earlier. I drank enough energy drinks to kill a horse. I hired a life coach and ate more superfoods. Nothing worked, although I did develop a pretty nice eyelid tremor from all the caffeine. It was like my eye was waving at you, very, very quickly.
Then, while leading a thirty-day online course to help people work on their goals, I learned something surprising: The most effective exercises were not those that pushed people to work harder. The ones that got people to the finish line did just the opposite— they took the pressure off.
Why? Because the sneakiest obstacle to meeting your goals is not laziness, but perfectionism. We’re our own worst critics, and if it looks like we’re not going to do something right, we prefer not to do it at all. That’s why we’re most likely to quit on day two, “the day after perfect”—when our results almost always underperform our aspirations.
The strategies in this book are counterintuitive and might feel like cheating. But they’re based on studies conducted by a university researcher with hundreds of participants. You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent more successful just by following a few simple principles.
If you’re tired of being a chronic starter and want to become a consistent finisher, you have two options: You can continue to beat yourself up and try harder, since this time that will work. Or you can give yourself the gift of done.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Jon Acuff is the New York Times-bestselling author of Start, Quitter, and Do Over, among other books. He is a popular public speaker, blogger, Tweeter, and the creator of the “30 Days of Hustle” online challenge. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jenny, and their two daughters.
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Excerpted from "Finish"
Copyright © 2017 Jon Acuff.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: The Wrong Ghost 1
Chapter 1 The Day After Perfect 7
Chapter 2 Cut Your Goal in Half 19
Chapter 3 Choose What to Bomb 31
Chapter 4 Make It Fun if You Want It Done 47
Chapter 5 Leave Your Hiding Places and Ignore Noble Obstacles 73
Chapter 6 Get Rid of Your Secret Rules 99
Chapter 7 Use Data to Celebrate Your Imperfect Progress 123
Chapter 8 The Day Before Done 169
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read the whole thing and Jon (yet again) keeps throwing in comedy at the right places. Thanks for this! I will be recommending this and sharing bits and pieces in conversation. It made me realize why my 3 year band project even failed. A drummer was afraid to finish the project. Valuable insight, worth it!
Loved the principles and the humor.
JON ACUFF HAS BEEN READING MY MAIL!!! And for the past 50+ years... I've read his first book. Got Quitter, Do Over and Starter. Just haven't gotten around to reading them... Then I was fortunate enough to be an advance reviewer of Finish, which had a deadline of TODAY for a review (so I had to finish). First, I've been a fan since his blogging days. My family joined in (my eldest went to a book signing in a gorilla costume and got a selfie with Acuff but that's a different story). Second, the book is precious, yes, precious because it is based on facts - the hard data I cannot refute or rationalize away. Third, it is NOT self-help. It is self awareness. His last book was about punching fear in the face - this one is about shaking yourself by the shoulders, clearing away the fog that prevents you from seeing the next step in your possibilities: staying with the diet, the reading or exercise plan, the everyday stuff we give up on so easily. And fourth, it is sincere, authentic, honest and darn funny - you can laugh with him and yourself and others - never at any of them, including yourself. Acuff has a true Will Rogers approach to life and the success we all want in our everyday lives - and to model for our kids and others around us. This is the best gift book in years, for yourself and people you care about. I know, where are the quotes and funny stories from the book? Not going to spoil the ride for you! Even the golfers!
Finish focuses on those goals you have attempted to complete but was sidetracked by life, circumstances, or busyness. The ideas discussed provide an interesting mix of self-help, research based introspection that is missing in many leadership books today. From being led to cut goals in half, determining to be really bad at more peripheral items, all while having fun along the way will lead to a stronger finish. Overall, this isn’t my kind of book. While it offers many easy to understand principles to finishing well, it seems to be lacking in overall depth. If you have read many other books by Acuff, this will not disappoint. His candor and writing style speaks volumes to his desire to see people succeed and hear his voice as your biggest cheerleader along the path to the finish.