You gotta finish what you start!

hourglassSeptember 1, 2007. That’s my deadline for completing research on how to move forward with this idea I’ve had about a book for a long time. I have to have a list of publishers, a written synopsis or proposal, and a few pages completed.

This deadline isn’t my idea – it’s being imposed by my best friend who has decided to kick my almost-30-year-old butt into high gear. She first heard about my book a year ago, thought the idea was fantastic, helped with some preliminary research and brainstorming… and then never heard me speak about it again. The subject came up yesterday during an IM conversation and when I had absolutely nothing to tell her, she gave me a virtual pep talk. Hence, the deadline, which I’m determined to meet. My Ideal Life depends on it!

Ideas and so-called “passions” die out when they lose momentum. Sometimes they never get off the ground, and sometimes they hit a plateau and you stop seeing growth or improvement. It’s so easy to get comfortable with the status quo and it takes a swift kick in the pants or wakeup call to get you back on track to reach next level. Success always requires some kind of extra effort whether it’s in a relationship, hobby, career or for big idea. If something doesn’t grow, it remains stagnant and eventually dies. I think that’s a universal truth.

Starting something without ever finishing it happens a lot with me. I bought an expensive guitar but never learned how to play. I shelled out $1,500 for turntables and never learned how to scratch. I still have one swimming lesson left over from last summer. I let several prepaid yoga classes expire. I never even broke up with my fifth grade boyfriend so technically, we’re still together! Am I lazy or noncommittal? Unreliable or ADD? Do I fear failure or am I scared of success? Or am I just guilty of biting off more than I can chew?

I don’t know but I do know that friends are an amazing source for motivation. Be accountable to your friends for your success and failures. Use them to stay on track and achieve your goals by helping you map out new strategies, learn from your mistakes and constantly remind yourself what you truly want to accomplish in your life and career. Ask them call or text message you to get your butt to the gym every morning or to see how your pottery class went (or whatever you’re trying to learn). Have them e-mail or IM you every few days to find out what steps you’ve taken to change jobs, eat healthy, apply to grad school or any other goal you have. And by all means, text, call, e-mail or IM them to keep you sane when your significant other, children, family or boss is driving you completely crazy! Thats what friends are for and besides, nobody wants to be friends with Mr. or Mrs. Crazy…