From New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff, a book for those who are great at starting but never actually finish anything.
It took author Jon Acuff 3 years to complete 6 days of the P90X program. That puts him on a 45-year schedule to attain a strong core, but unfortunately, he’s not the only one who has a hard time finishing goals. Studies show that 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. And although common self-help books blame lack of motivation for the massive rate of failure, bestselling author Jon Acuff begs to differ. He says people don't fail because they're not trying hard enough - they fail because of perfectionism.
In his new book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done Acuff draws upon research conducted by University of Memphis Ph.D. candidate Mike Peasley who studied nearly 900 participants in Acuff's goal-reaching video course, 30 Days of Hustle, to highlight what does and doesn't help people reach various goals. What he found was that the exercises in the program that helped people the most dramatically were the ones that took the pressure off and did away with crippling perfectionism. Whether they were trying to lose a pant size, write more content on a blog, or get a raise, the results were the same: the less that people aimed for perfect, the more productive they became.
Finish offers unconventional, yet revolutionary wisdom: if you want to finish, you've got to get rid of perfectionism right out of the gate. Acuff uses his own experiences, signature sense of humor, and stories from those surveyed to provide concrete steps for reaching any goal, like:
· Cut your goal in half. Instead of cleaning your whole house, just clean two rooms. Instead of shooting to lose 10lbs this month, try to lose 5. Attaining a smaller goal motivates us to do it again and again, while failing at a large goal discourages us from ever trying again.
· Make it fun if you want it done. Perfectionism tells us that we have to be miserable in order for any accomplishment to "count." But people are 46% more likely to reach a goal if they actually enjoy it. And if the goal isn't inherently fun - reward yourself along the way to make it fun.
· Get rid of secret rules. Everyone has rules they strictly adhere to – for no reason. Telling ourselves "if you have to ask someone for help, you're failing," or "success is bad and should be avoided," makes no sense, but we do it nonetheless. Silencing these ridiculous ideas improves the likelihood of success and eliminates self-sabotage.
Finish teaches readers that it's not only okay to not be perfect, it's preferable, and provides the tools for quieting perfectionism and knocking out any goal.
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