Do you start projects and then they just sort of . . . fade into the abyss?
Recently, as I was thinking about what project I want to immerse myself into next, I started browsing through my idea/project folder.
I discovered about 5 years worth of content and several super duper book ideas tucked away in those folders.
For me, it’s never been a lack of inspiration or ideas. It’s a bit of a failure to launch problem.
It’s an issue of being distracted by butterflies, baking or organizing my underwear drawer… and not finishing things I start.
Can you relate?
As creative types and thinkers . . .. we are often flooded with inspiration, but get lost in the follow through stage.
So what to do when you have tons of great ideas, but they aren’t translating into a finished product?
Here are 7 tips to help you FINISH WHAT YOU START (and it’s what helped me write a bestselling book about making amazing, conscious choices + got me on track to having a business that I love and that feeds my soul)
- Read The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. This book speaks to the very heart of artists, creative types, entrepreneurs and visionaries. Your gift to the world isn’t a gift to the world if it’s sitting incomplete in your documents folder. The War of Art is a great reminder that we need DISCIPLINE. I know, I know, this is a tough one for us rebellious creative types, because watching butterflies and baking really can be quite relaxing. But…most often we are using these things as a form of distraction that keeps us detached from our potential. Read the book! It will help you manage butterfly watching + masterpiece creation.
- Discipline and routine. I know I already mentioned discipline, but hey….you MUST do this is you want to get in the habit of finishing what you start. You must create discipline and a routine for your day, week, month and year. There are gobs and gobs of great systems out there to help you do this. Just decide how you best work in regards to this. Do you like old-fashioned daily lists? Do you prefer setting up things in your outlook calendar? Do you need a coach to help you with this? Choose a system that works for you and then commit to sticking with it.
- Batch + Bundle. Wherever it is that you put your ideas (and hopefully you are transferring them from your pretty head to paper or computer) start to batch and bundle them into different categories. For example, I created an “idea folder” in my email and when inspiration strikes, I write down the idea and move it there. I also take my 7 million little pieces of paper and sticky notes and move them from paper into either a word doc or email reminder. You can then batch and bundle your ideas into various categories…such as, blog post ideas, book ideas, video series idea, guest blogging ideas, etc.
- Know thyself. Ok, now that you have somewhat of a rudimentary system for chunking and organizing your brilliant ideas, you need to decide which of those 7 million ideas to attack first. How do you know? What FEELS juicy? What could you go on and on and on about? Do that. Go with the thing that really lights you up. Revisit The War of Art because we do create sneaky ways to self-sabotage our creative endeavors—so be aware of that when choosing what you are going to complete.
- Stick with it, no matter what. After you have chosen an idea— stick with it, see it to the end, and be committed to completion. Create a new habit and way of doing things. If you are a chronic quitter + have tons of great ideas, that aren’t getting out to the world, then what is the point?
- Life + work, heart to heart chat. What I mean here, is that there can be an important time to really look at your life + business and decide if it really is your passion and love. There is a difference between being a serial non-finisher because you are simply in a habit of being distracted and hiding from your next, best creation…and a true need for a makeover of your life. If we seem constantly disinterested and bored with what we are doing, that is different than this habit of staying a bunch of things and not finishing them (because we have created a non productive habit)
- Mind cleanse. What I mean by this is that is you are the type of person who has tons of ideas, then you need to cleanse your mind on a regular basis. In other words, you need to download it, get grounded and give your mind a good rest, or cleanse. Go out in nature, light a candle and meditate, take a bath, listen to you favorite music, get lost in good lovin’, watch butterflies (yes, at times this may be a good things) knit, dance, stare at a tree, a river, just DON’T THINK FOR AWHLE. In order to be clear and to get on track to being a completing wizard as well as a creation wizard, you must give your mind a break. Just don’t let it get in the way of STARTING THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MEANT TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD.
This is really about having many choices. And with those many choices comes responsibility + awareness. You can choose to be a dreamer, a creator, a visionary and butterfly watcher, and get your (bleep) done.
Don’t let your gift lay dormant though. Don’t get caught it the trap of putting it off until tomorrow, next week, next month, when you move, when the kids are gone, when you feel more rested.
We are designed to be connected to what makes us feel alive.
Choose that one thing, today that you will actually start and finish. Start there and then let me know how it goes.
Cheering for you, as always.
p.s. I think we can watch butterflies AND create our masterpieces! Let s just make sure it’s both! And maybe we create our masterpieces WHILE butterfly watching. Oh yah.
pps. Here is the link to my book, The 2 Choices, if you haven’t picked it up yet, please do! It’s real life proof that if you create a new habit of sticking with it + keeping your eyes on the prize, that we can turn our dream into a reality.