Monday, May 23, 2011

Musings on Finishing

"Winning isn't always finishing first.
Sometimes winning is just finishing."
~ Manuel Diotte

To-do list © 2009 Justin See (coming back) | more info (via: Wylio)
I'm a pretty great list maker.

My 'to lists' are generally neat and tidy.  They are not overly long and if I can, I'll use brightly coloured ink on a crisp piece of paper or a fun font on the computer to make things look pretty.  And while there is not always a sequential order to the tasks listed, there is something very satisfying about seeing a list of goals or tasks waiting for me to put a tick beside them marking them as completed.

I wish I saw more ticks.  (Not the nasty, literally-get-under-your-skin kind; I mean the pen or pencil check-mark kind.)

No, I'm not a very good list finisher.

I recycle more goals and 'to do' lists than most bottle depots do bottles during a long, hot summer.  It's crazy.  But I've really been trying as of late to a) not look at former lists as 'things I have failed to do' and b)look more at where I need to go from here to get to where I want to be while hoping I'm staying in God's will for my life.  In other words, I'm trying to change my mindset so I can become a better list finisher.  If I'm constantly berating myself for what I haven't finished then I'm not moving forward.  I need to accept that, yes, I messed up but it's not the end of the world.  While I still have breath and life, there is an opportunity to pick myself back up and to keep going.

It's good to have goals, and it's necessary to write them down.  It adds concreteness to things; it makes them more than just dreams from a cloudy day.  But there also needs to be accountability, something to help keep you on track, to keep you going when the road ahead looks like a long, tiring climb up a steep and rocky trail.  And the same thing won't work for every goal in every situation.  Sometimes I can push through a sticky spot in the next blog entry by promising myself some time to read a new book.  But that tactic wouldn't have worked in regards to picking up my strength-training program after petering out on it last week.  For that I had to remind myself I have people to report my success (or failure) to at the end of the month.  There is definitely trial-and-error involved in pushing through to the finish line.

What about you?  How to you push through the dips or tough spots when working towards a goal?

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