A simple definition of finish is to stop doing an activity or task after reaching the point at which there is nothing left to do or to arrive at or attain the end of a task or course, to reach the final part; the conclusion or the completion.
Now imagine you are watching a race and you see a person and they are in first place as they start with energy and excitement, but halfway around the track they begin to lose steam and eventually they just give up and stop right before crossing the finish line as they just walk off the track defeated and never complete the race. This is one of the saddest realities that occur every day. Your breakthrough is just around the corner but you must stay on the track.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Here are 12 points to help you cross the finish line and receive your reward.
Make it Accessible – Accessibility means to place in or be able to reach. Unfortunately we can’t trust our memory banks alone. It has been said that things out of sight are out of mind. So to have whatever you need completed on your mind you may need to see or be able to have a reminder. There are many things that you can do as physical reminders. For instance If there are books that you need to read, then put them in a place where you can see them often or make a bright sticky paper sign for your computer or somewhere you go often that will jog your memory. Put a deadline on your calendar or a mini vision board is a visual object that has proven to be very successful. Surrounding yourself with objects or reminders of your goal will inspire you to focus on completion.
Be Accountable– Establish an accountability structure to aid you in this process. We are more likely to finish something if we know that someone else is expecting it to be finished as well. This can be a great help if you choose the correct people that will encourage and motivate you. An individual in authority willing to also hold you accountable in correction without causing shame will help you to overcome any apprehension. Even greater is if you get an accountability partner to run alongside you as you challenge each other towards completion. This is you being proactive to establish an accountability system to ensure your success.
Prioritize– One of the things that successful people do is they have an understanding of priorities and how to put first things first. You can ask yourself a simple question “Do I need to have this done now?” If you are distracted by something else that isn’t of great importance then it will continually take away from you completing your desired immediate goal. Realizing where each task fits into your life ultimately will aid you in deciding what needs to be accomplished first. Make a daily commitment to devote your immediate attention to what is truly important.
Self-Discipline– The practice of being disciplined or self-controlled is vital to finishing anything. Regular practice of consistently repeating anything allows for you to be able to establish a pattern that will ultimately become a habit. You will also become better skilled at whatever you are doing over time. Just like we create bad habits we can also establish good habits as well. We are the master of our own ship. Manage yourself appropriately. Be truthful to yourself and don’t lie, saying tomorrow you will do something knowing that you don’t value the commitment. Follow through with your promises to yourself.
Be Encouraged– When we are teaching small children we give them prizes and stickers to encourage them to continue the good work. Sometimes we need external rewards to give ourselves motivation and recognition. Celebrate the milestones and accomplished goals that you have set on your way to finishing. Our feel good hormone Dopamine is released in our brain as a stimulus for reward. We need to understand that our mind and body functions better when we have immediate gratification rather than only long terms seemingly unreachable rewards.
Know Yourself-If you understand who you are and how you learn and what works best for you with your strengths and weaknesses this will help you to reach your desired goal. If you are a person that works best under pressure then creating pressure for yourself will help you to finish, if you work best with a coach or maybe you need it to be quiet and have no outside disturbances, whatever it may be you need to be aware and do whatever helps you to work more effectively.
Align your Timing– I love how they say that timing is everything. Find and create the proper timing to work on each task, take into consideration the duration, intensity and other factors involved that when done at the incorrect time can lead us to become discouraged and unproductive. Our goal is to be in alignment with the correct timing for every task to ensure our ultimate victory.
Create Smaller Achievable Goals– Often we focus on reaching the end goal that we want to have finished, but to help us to get there we may need to break it down into smaller achievable goals. There is a saying that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. The task may seem enormous but it can be done if you only focus on one area at a time. As you accomplish each individual goal you become that much closer to the end. The energy and enthusiasm you create from finishing one smaller task will propel you forward to the next one.
John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.
Understand the Importance– Once you have committed to finish something you need to go back to the reason and passion that caused you to commit to the task in the very beginning. Your completion rate will be much higher if you have passion and enthusiasm to not just begin but also to complete your task. You may have forgotten your vision, so bring it back in plain sight. Ask yourself the WHY? And understand it. Remember that every little task you do now is slowly and surely taking you to the desired end vision of your future.
Quit Being a Perfectionist-How many of us keep delaying work because we want to get it just right? Perfectionism can delay your completion and sometimes even halt your progress. Understanding that time and energy are precious commodities that need to be rationed to help us to live in balance. You are not required to be perfect, only to work in excellence. Excellence is taking in to consideration all the resources that you have and making the best out of what you have to complete every task. I always use this analogy and it helps me when I have limited resources or time. If I am given 3 lemons and some water I will not try to make a Pina Colada. I will find some sweetener and make the best lemonade I possibly can. When I have a coconut and a pineapple then I will venture to try to make a Pina Colada. Use what you have and do your best with it. That is enough.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Make a Path of Enjoyment– For an example, most people will finish the tasks on their list in sequential order. They will begin with 1 and then 2 and 3 and so on. Another way is to complete the more enjoyable tasks first as to give yourself momentum in finishing and then allow the flow to keep you as you complete the more difficult parts that also need to be done. Or if you know that some things are easier, do those first and then schedule ample time to finish the harder tasks later. Understand this strategy will not work for projects that require each prior task to be done before the next one (Precepts upon precept).
Count the Cost – After you have begun it is important to look back and realize what you will be sacrificing if you don’t finish and weigh it with the cost that will be required from you to reach completion. Many times we forget all the sacrifices we made to get this far and the relief of not having to do the menial daily tasks to complete the work seems the best option. Try not to underestimate the true value and cost of finishing. Be sure to budget your time, energy and resources accordingly. You will need to have a realistic idea of how much time and effort is needed for completion. Create a plan and then amalgamate it into your schedule. Be aware of and prepare for unplanned occurrence which may interfere.
2 Corinthians 8:11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
The Apostle Peter was a disciple of Jesus. He was with Him during His years of earthly ministry and was taught personally by Christ. Peter is a great example of someone who stopped in the middle of the race. After Jesus was captured and crucified, Peter did not finish the task Jesus had trained him to do. He decided to go back to fishing, his trade that he had done prior to Jesus calling him to the ministry. But Jesus in John 21 came back to Peter and encourage him to finish the task he had been given. Three times Jesus told him what to do to complete the task. He was to follow in the way of Jesus to finish as Jesus had done on the cross.
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The truth I have found about finishing is that it is not always just about arriving at the end goal, it is many times about the process that it takes you to get there. My encouragement to anyone that is struggling to complete anything is to be alert and conscious to what is happening and allow courage, determination, perseverance, and tenacity to bring you into full completion.Here are some scriptures to aid you in the task of completion.
James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Charmaine Hinds October 2015