This post is a part of our New Year’s Book Club! If you haven’t already, check out our introduction post to learn more about book club and download our free resources! You can purchase the book here. Perfection. It’s the thing that keeps us up at night. It’s the thing that keeps us from completing the things we want to. The Introduction and Chapter 1 of Finish: Giving Yourself the Gift of Done help us define the biggest obstacle on our road to completing our goals: Perfectionism. “When it stopped being perfect, I stopped, too.” (pg. 9) Does that sound familiar? In Chapter 1 specifically, Jon talks about “the day after perfect.” It’s the idea that once we miss one day of nailing our goals, we simply give up on the goal altogether. In our minds, we know perfection is impossible to achieve … so why do our slip-ups discourage us so much? I hope your readings for the week created a new level of self-awareness when it comes to struggling to achieve perfection. If you didn’t have time to read this week, that’s okay! Here are some of the big takeaways:   WEEK ONE TAKEAWAYS:

1. Perfectionism makes us believe we should quit if it’s not perfect. (pg. 9)

What an unfortunate lie that often gets the best of us! See if this sounds familiar: You set out to eat healthy in the new year. You buy all the supplies you need to stay strong during the week. And then you eat a big ol’ hamburger on day three of your new lifestyle! What do you do in response to your slip-up? You can choose to get back on the clean eating wagon, or throw it all away out of discouragement and disappointment in yourself. Choose to keep going, even if it’s not perfect!

[bctt tweet="Choose to keep going, even if it’s not perfect!" username="dukematlock"]

2. It’s important to develop a tolerance for imperfection. (pg. 11)

According to Jon, “… developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.” Go into your goals knowing that you’re probably not going to have perfect attendance. You’re going to skip a day or two. You might make some mistakes, or get discouraged every now and then. Acknowledge and accept that truth now so it doesn’t end up derailing your entire plan when it happens!

3. Perfectionism minimizes progress. (pg. 14)

Jon writes, “The problem is that perfectionism magnifies your mistakes and minimizes your progress. It does not believe in incremental success.” Celebrate the small wins as you make progress towards achieving your goals!

  WEEK 1 LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: Throw perfection out the window. This week’s challenge is going to be a little difficult, especially for those of us who struggle with perfectionism on a regular basis. This week, I want you to throw perfection out the window. Choose a big task you’re being faced with, personally or professionally. One that is particularly hard to commit to. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you throw perfection out the window and finish those tasks.

1. Just do it (first).

Don’t wait too long and don’t think about doing it too much. If your goal for the week is to exercise, don’t wait until the end of the day to do it. The longer you wait, the easier it will be to make excuses and get yourself out of it.

2. Do now, analyze later.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Done is better than perfect”? Keep that in mind as you approach your goal. In the craft of writing, it’s better to get all your thoughts out on paper before going back to edit grammar. If you try to think too much about nailing a perfectly constructed sentence, it will take forever to finish an entire piece.

3. Don’t quit after the first skip.

Missing one day on your Bible reading plan doesn’t mean the rest of the week is for not. Give yourself a break, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss one check mark on your to-do list. While consistency is crucial to building better habits, quitting after your first loss will get you nowhere!

[bctt tweet="While consistency is crucial to building better habits, quitting after your first loss will get you nowhere!" username="dukematlock"]   How will you throw perfection out the window this week? Write it down on the back of your Challenge Worksheet for Week 1, and keep track of your progress throughout the week. If you haven’t downloaded our Challenge Worksheet, you can grab it for free here. What did you learn this week? Be sure to share with us by using the hashtag #ILIreads or #ILIFinish!  


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