I believe in always learning something new and gaining new perspectives. The way I love to learn is to read books. When I come across good material, I love to share it with others. I love to talk about it to see what others think about it. This last fall, I attended a Leadership Conference called “Catalyst” in Atlanta, Georgia. I went into the conference tired and drained. As each speaker shared their message I slowly found my energy tank filling. On the second day Jon Acuff came on stage and before I knew it he had me belly laughing. He is a hoot, but along with that he has a very inspiring message (backed up by research). I bought his book Finish – Give Yourself The Gift Of Done and loved it so much I wanted to review it for you at the beginning of this new year.
“According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. Every January, people start with hope and hype, believing that this will be the New Year that does indeed deliver a New You. But though 100 percent start, only 8 percent finish. Statistically you’ve got the same shot at getting into Julliard to become a ballerina as you do at finishing your goals.”1
Wow, that puts things into perspective! The question is then, how do we finish? Here is one big insight I walked away with:
“The less that people aim for perfect, the more productive they become.”2
I have come to realize that I am a perfectionist in a lot of areas of my life. If you are too, anything less is not acceptable. Jon lays out a really good argument that our desire for perfectionism could be what is actually holding us back from reaching our goals. Chapter number one is titled “The Day After Perfect”. Here is a snippet that makes me giggle but is painfully true, too.
“While exercising, I decided to “get serious.” I remembered that in Timothy Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body, he recommends a simple breakfast of eggs, black beans, spinach, cumin, and salsa. When my family sees me rooting around the cupboards for black beans, they all groan. “Oh no, here we go again.” They know that the next twelve days in a row I am going to eat beans. Why only twelve? Because on Day 13 I’m going to get too busy, have a meeting, or be on a business trip without my traveling beans. Upon missing one day, I will quit the whole endeavor. Once the streak is broken, I can’t pick it back up. My record is no longer perfect so I quit altogether.”3
Holy Cow! I can relate! The thing that comes to my mind with this is that working on a goal is hard work. We don’t think about it in those terms, but working towards anything good takes a lot of effort. When I hit “the day after perfect” my momentum stops and I realize how tired I am. I really have a hard time getting going again.
All of us start the new year with energy and great ambition. We want to reach our goals and increase the percentage of successful resolutions.
The rest of the book gives great tips on how to move forward successfully. As I read it, I kept thinking “I want to share this with others. This is very helpful stuff!” If you are looking for a helpful and practical book that will make you giggle at times and move you towards achieving your goals, this is a book I recommend.
Here’s to looking back on 2019 and saying “I moved forward on my goals and dreams!”
How about you? What is it about the day after perfect that stops you in your tracks? Leave your answer on Facebook, Linkedin, or right here in my blog. Me and other amazing women need to hear from you. It’s great to know we are in this together. Let’s not do this alone!
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1 J. Acuff, Finish: Give Yourself The Gift Of Done. (Portfolio/Pengium 2017), 2-3.
2 Ibid. 4.
3 Ibid. 8-9.