Let’s start by talking about the inspiration I’ve gained from the book Finish.
I now have a running list of things I’ve finished.
They’re not necessarily tasks that set the world afire, but they are daily proof that I can put my mind to completing tasks.
What qualifies? I would say anything that I would generally put off for another day, hour, or month qualifies.
I’ll start with simply doing daily reading. That is why I’ve gotten as far as I have with this book.
I have to finish ‘Finish’! I’ve already written about this task, I realize, but it’s that important to me.
What spurred the drive to finish? Along with the book, I had a morning recently where I simply felt crappy and I traced it, since it was the end of the year, to my simply not meeting many of my goals.
And I had plenty of time to reach them, but son of a gun if Jon Acuff’s major points didn’t track me down.
I had a number of noble objectives.
And I had plenty of secret rules. Example: “You really don’t need to do this extra work. Money isn’t really that necessary.” Believe me, I am not a money grubber. But if it makes it easier to donate to charity, then yes, money IS important.
And perfectionism/resistance was really at the root of them.
But have I worked hard enough to get past all that? Not in the past year. Nope.
But, and this isn’t a new year’s resolution, I was just sick of being master procrastinator.
In fact, I’m writing these words instead of going out to do errands.
These words had to come first. And I’m not going to grind toward these goals, because I really do agree with Jon that if something becomes a grind, you probably won’t stick with it. But I guess there are levels to low-grade misery. There is the grind of getting something done despite obstacles and moments when it’s less than fun. But that pales in comparison to the grind of looking yourself in the mirror and admitting that you have simply failed yourself. [Not fun.]
And so what kinds of things have I finished lately?
A major cooking display—quinoa, lentils, roasted squash. [pretty boringly healthy sounding, isn’t it? Now in the past, I would have viewed it as giving in to a noble objective of providing meals for my wife and me. [Yes, ‘me’ is grammatically correct. Bless-it, people continue to mess that up by using ‘I’ because it sounds better. Believe me, Brother Cunningham back in my sophomore year wouldn’t tolerate that.] But I view it also as an investment in a week’s worth of easy meals so it will be easier to crank out the words throughout the next five-plus days.
What else? Contacting my employer regarding the change in health benefits and coverage. Totally boring and clearly one of those things I could easily talk myself out of following up on.
Contacting the dental plan company to cancel that membership and get some money back. Again, boring beyond comprehension—almost worse than the scratchy, canned music they played while I was put on hold for 20 minutes. And really, I was more gratified by actually following through than by the $200 I was refunded.
Contacting some freelancers re: book cover design for my ‘eclectic’s journal’.
Contacting other freelancers for formatting the pages of the journal.
And what do I have to work on?
My online course. I have a lot more reading to do. And more lessons to create.
Cheating, as Jon Acuff would call it. Example: Reducing the number of steps needed to even start writing. Maybe you have your computer timed to start up at a certain time. Or you’ve actually cleaned your desk, ridding yourself of countless distractions. Making your creative process just a bit less onerous.