FINISH: Looking back at my Word for 2021
I'm a really good starter. I am full of ideas, optimism, and belief.
When I watch Shark Tank, I think I've come up with an amazing new idea that's going to change the world.
When I get inspired, I love to START NEW THINGS.
A new workout plan.
A new book.
A new diet.
New. New. New.
Start. Start. Start.
You get the idea.
I love starting things, but finishing them is not my jam.
In 2021, I knew I needed to grow. God was calling me to FINISH. Through conversations with God in what I call prayer, He was revealing this to me. This was confirmed through conversations with mentors, family, and close friends.
So, I decided to make my word for 2021 "FINISH".
I really didn't want to. Truthfully, I was scared. It was very comfortable for me to stay the same. I enjoyed starting things. I liked having good ideas. Every new idea gave me a dopamine rush and it fed my enthusiastic personality.
Choosing “Finish” as my word meant that I would actually have to grow and make some changes in my life–and that’s uncomfortable. It meant that now I had created accountability and I might fail. Failing isn’t fun at all.
Yet, rather than choosing to stunt my own growth and avoid a challenge, I went for it! Instead of focusing on possible failure, I chose to focus on potential growth!
Here’s what I did:
1. I told my circle
Without accountability, we will always justify our own laziness. If you want real change, you need to tell important people in your life–people that you allow to give you real feedback, not just ones that will blindly applaud you.
For me, this meant telling my circle, including: my wife (fiancé at the time), my two closest friends, and my dad. Yes, I did tell more people than that and I certainly mentioned my word on social media throughout the year, but these were the people that knew why I chose the word and the specific areas of my life that I needed to improve in.
2. I put myself in a position to succeed
The first thing I did was order Jon Acuff’s book Finish (you can order it for yourself here). It helped me to prepare my mind and put action steps into place so that I could become a better finisher.
In addition, I wrote down specific outcomes that I wanted to see in my life. For example, I wrote down sentences like this:
“Finishing means that I will have finished the _______ (fill in the blank) project by the end of the year.”
“Finishing means that my yes will be yes and my no will be no.”
“Finishing means that when I commit to something, I will complete it with excellence.”
“Finishing means ending this season of life before marriage strongly.”
“Finishing means being intentional in my relationships with my brothers before they go to college.”
These statements & specific outcomes served as both accountability and inspiration to become who I set out to be at the beginning of the year. You know what happened?
- I finished a massive project that I had allowed to cripple me before
- I started a book club, which I had always wanted to do in the past, but never actually did anything about it. We went through 3 books in the past year and had discussions on Zoom twice a month.
- I finished the season of life before marriage well, and I made the most of the time with my brothers before they left for college
The list could go on and on, but that’s not the point. The point is that I can look back and see transformation in my life. Without focusing on the word finish, I would still be unreliable to see a task through to completion. Now, I can confidently say that I have grown in my life.
3. I didn’t let failure become fatal
Whenever we choose a word for the year, set out to accomplish a big task, or create a large goal, there will always be failure along the way. At the end of the day, everyone fails. The difference between those who end up succeeding and those who don’t is not that they didn’t fail, but how they responded to the failure.
In my life, I used to be crippled by failure. I thought failure was fatal. The truth is that failure is actually a building block. Failure creates an opportunity for us to learn, adapt, and problem solve. Don’t let failure paralyze you. Learn from the failure, re-evaluate, and keep moving forward!
Too many people are losing fights before they even step in the ring. Don’t be one of those people. If you get knocked down, get up.
Failure isn’t fatal, but quitting is.
Choose it. Rep it. Live it.
- Josh Lane