Book Summary: Finish – Give Yourself the Gift of Done

For each month this year, I picked a word or theme of the month that are listed below. During each month, I pick a few books to read that align with the word.

January: Focus
February: Obedience
March: Prayer
April: Resurrection
May: Remember
June: Finish

With June’s word being Finish, I figured I had better prepare. So I read a book I have had on my Kindle for a few months that I started but didn’t complete. Ironically, or maybe not, it’s called “Finish” by Jon Acuff.

The book title is part of what inspired my word for June. The rest of the inspiration came from undone dreams, half finished books, and my overall lack of follow through. You may think I finish things, but you’re wrong. I start things. I don’t always finish them. I actually don’t often finish them. Which is exactly why this book was so helpful. That, and the fact that his humor throughout the book legitimately made me laugh out loud while reading it.

Below I will share a few of my favorite takeaways and quotes as well as some topics that I’m still pondering.

3 Takeaways

  • The Day After Perfect

“Imperfection is fast, and when it arrives, we usually quit. That’s why the day after perfect is so important. This is the make-or-break day for every goal. This is the day after you skipped the jog. This is the day after you failed to get up early. This is the day after you decided the serving size for a whole box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is one. The day after perfect is what separates finishers from starters.”

The day after perfect is hard. But like Acuff says, “it separates finishers from starters”. After you’re done trying to be perfect, get back up and keep going.

  • Choose What to Bomb

“The only way to accomplish a new goal is to feed it your most valuable resource: time… I’m here to tell you today that you can’t get it all done. Forget that. I’d say you can’t even get most of i done. Go ahead and pound that sand Charlton Heston-style if you must, but once you’re done mourning the myth of doing it all, let’s get practical for a minute. You only have two options right now. Either attempt more than is humanly possible and fail or choose what to bomb and succeed at a goal that matters.”

Things I chose to bomb regularly – having a model clean apartment, making fancy dinners, watching all the Netflix and Hulu and Amazon shows, knowing famous people’s names in any way shape or form, and recognizing movies that are well known to everyone but me. I chose where I spend my time and for me, it’s not on those things.

  • Cut the Goal in Half

Acuff says either double your timeline or half your goal. John Maxwell talks about this same idea in his books too – specifically doubling the amount of time you will think it takes. I’ve learned over the last few months that I agree with both. We all think things are going to be easier than they will be, or that we will have more time than we actually will. So rather than creating a plan that’s bound to fail before you start, either double your timeline or half your goal. You’ll make far more progress that way.

2 Quotes

  1. “You will never accidentally end up doing a difficult project. The work you’re trying to avoid is not something you’ll stumble upon one day unexpectedly.”
  2. During the race, Jeremy, the blind athlete, told Chad, “Don’t tell me when we’re on the hills, okay? I can’t see them, so I don’t feel them. They don’t bother me.”

1 Idea

In Judo, you don’t try to stop an opponent’s power, you use it. You take his momentum and weight and strength. You don’t push back against a charging foe, you lean backward and allow the rush to topple your opponent unexpectedly. That’s what you should do when distraction gets too loud. When new ideas or goals get shiny, put them at the finish line. No ____ until _____ is done.

Question – How can you use the power of distraction? Fill in the sentence – “No _____ until _____ is done.”