Always Have A Finish Line In Sight

At lunch yesterday with one of the participants in the BrandU seminar I’m attending, she shared a fun story about her 7-year old daughter’s experience in a 5K race.

Apparently, her daughter was so excited at the start of the race that she sprinted to keep up with the older kids for the first half-mile or so. Then, by the end of the first mile, she was ready to give up. But mom came to the rescue: She picked up her 3-year old son, took her daughter’s hand and began running right along with her.

With every step, the daughter’s complaints got worse and worse: “My side hurts.” And, “These shoes don’t fit. They hurt my feet.” And “I just want to go home!” But mom was not buying it and they kept on running until…

They came around a bend and the finish line came into view. And guess what happened then?

The daughter’s complaints instantly changed to squeals of delight and she took off at a pace reminiscent of the start of the race, leaving mom and brother in the dust.

I’m sure you’ve had an experience similar to that little girl’s. We all have. We’ve all been in The Dip when we were sure that we would never make it to the finish line. And we’ve all experienced the rush of energy that comes when that finish line finally appears. In my recent talk with Mark Joyner we touched on this experience.

This “finish line phenomenon” is why it’s so important to break down larger goals into smaller tasks. Whether it’s a work project, a personal growth goal, a financial intention, or a home improvement project, when you have clearly defined benchmarks or milestones – mini finish lines – along the way to the “big” finish line, it’s much easier to maintain your momentum and enthusiasm and to ultimately reach the big finish line.

Why do you think books have chapters? Just imagine, for a moment, how daunting it would be to pick up a 900 page Harry Potter book if there were no chapter divisions! Each of those chapters is a mini finish line. And each time you cross one of them you get a little burst of energy that helps you reach the big finish line at the end of the book.

So if you’re struggling to complete some project or attain some personal growth goal you have set, check to see if your finish line is too far away or too difficult to see. If it is, consider adding some mini finish lines along the way to that big one.

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      4 Responses to “Always Have A Finish Line In Sight”

      1. GadgetGadget.info - Gadgets on the web » Blog Archive » Always Have A Finish Line In Sight on September 20th, 2007 8:33 am

        […] Monika Bartyzel wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptThis “finish line phenomenon” is why it’s so important to break down larger goals into smaller tasks. Whether it’sa work project, a personal growth goal, a financial intention, or a home improvement project, when you have clearly … […]

      2. SimoneM on September 20th, 2007 5:49 pm

        Hi Ed,
        I’m a fan for mini finish lines! Both in my own life and when I’m manging projects I also insist upon celebrating each milestone.
        This may just be the party girl in me, but when you’ve slogged up even a small hill, it’s great to have a reward at the top.
        The only rule is to make sure the reward is in proportion to the achievement – in other words, don’t eat a pizza for losing a couple of pounds!

      3. may on September 21st, 2007 1:09 am

        Hi Ed,
        You’re spot on with this post!
        Thanks for reminding that we all need mini-finish lines when the big one seems too far away….
        It certainly helps to know at least we’ve crossed another hurdle, passed another lamp post, went across another ditch, while enjoying the journey..

        Blessings.

      4. Steve on September 24th, 2007 6:04 am

        Great Story Ed,

        See you at the finish line.

        Stephen Martile
        Personal Development Made Simple
        http://www.stephenmartile.com

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