Typically, coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and staring Christmas squarely in the eye, I would be writing about taking the time to appreciate family and friends. It’s a time of gathering with those closest to you at holiday parties and meals. It’s a time of celebration and thanksgiving.
Instead, today, I have a different message. With a little more than a month to go in 2017, I challenge you to finish strong. As you look back on the first 11 months, there’s a lot for you to be proud of. You have worked hard and accomplished many things. You have done both big and small things that have made a difference.
But instead of taking your foot off the accelerator and looking back at the year that was, remind yourself that 2017 isn’t over. There is more you can do, more you can contribute, more you can accomplish. I challenge you to remain focused and push on to the very end—to finish strong.
Years ago, I had a friend who was in software sales. His company had a compensation structure that allowed for retroactive commissions to be paid to its salespeople on all their sales for the year if they hit certain thresholds. Imagine entering December within reach of a target that would pay you an incremental commission on every sale you made over the course of the entire year! Instead of coasting in December and preparing for a fast start to the next year, my friend and his colleagues were pushing to hit that goal and its handsome reward. I remember it all these years later because it made an impression on me. My friend and his colleagues were determined to finish strong.
But a strong finish to 2017 doesn’t have to be about money—it can be about making sure you accomplish what you set out to do this year. It can be about doing everything in your power to meet the goals you set for yourself.
The old adage “90 percent of success is just showing up” might be true, but you also need to be there in the end. So, could it also be true that 90 percent of success is finishing what you started? No matter how big your halftime lead, you don’t win the game if you don’t come out for the second half. It doesn’t matter how fast you ran the first half of the race if you don’t finish it. With everything, you need to finish strong.
Remember back in January when you wrote down your goals for 2017? Pull those out and take a look. How many of them have you accomplished? How many are left on your list? My guess is that there are some items left. There is still work to do and time to do it if you finish strong.
It’s amazing what can be accomplished in 30 days. One month. What can you still get done in 2017? How many more goals can you knock off the list before the year ends? Remember, you didn’t write down your goals for 2017 and expect to accomplish them all in 11 months. You had a full year to reach them—don’t stop now when you’re so close to the finish line. Finish strong.
So, as we head into December, I challenge you to push until the very end. Chase those remaining goals. And if your original goals are impossible to reach this year, come up with some new ones for December that will help you push until the very end. Make a commitment to yourself today that you will finish 2017 strong!