Day #257: How To Make The Most Of The Final Stretch

As we enter into the final stretch of the year, today you are encountered with the mark of completing 70% of the year. (Where has it gone…) The first thing you need to do is ask yourself this:

Are you happy with what you achieved so far?

If yes, then kudos to you, but this doesn’t mean you slack off. It means you need to buckle up and push even harder for the final stretch.

If you are not happy, then you still have a choice to make. You can sit around being all sad that you have failed to make it to where you wanted to be, or you can get out there and put some hard effort to work and make a dint before then end of the year.

So how can you make a dint in the final stretch?

Earlier this year (Day #88: Habit + Willpower = ?) I told you that if you want results, you need to apply some action and keep momentum. While at the same time if you apply daily discipline and create a new habit through willpower to prove to yourself that you even can do it – then you will be motivated more and more by the result. 

Forming habits can be hard or really, really simple. It is all about limits, quotas and challenges. With only 109 days remaining – you have a wonderful chance to still make some noise and a big enough impact to whatever it is you wish to do. All you need to do is set yourself a daily quota to do something and this will enable you to more likely stay dedicated.

So what will you do? Grow your mind? Read more books? Develop you writing passion?

In quota terms this is how you could do it: “Do 20 math exercises a day”, “Read a chapter a day”, “Write 500 words a day”.

Make this a priority for each day for the next 109 days (starting today).

Then you need to just evaluate what this can do for you. Remember make sure you pick something realistic.

I say keep it smaller to enable consistency.

Now you want to take whatever it is and calculate the development of this daily discipline.

  • If you do 20 math problems a day, for example, after 30 days you’re 600 problems smarter. So for 109 days that’s 2180 problems solved. 
  • If you read a chapter a day, after 2 weeks you have read the entire book (based on the average book size). So for 109 days that’s roughly 7 to 8 books.
  • If you write 500 words a day, after 2 months you end up with the equivalent of a full novel. 109 days would mean the equivalent to almost 2 novels.

Where the real magic is found is if you improve your effort by increments every day for the next 109 days instead of not or even less.  My favorite example on this is push ups. 

Start with a baseline of 1 push up. Then increment daily by 1. The next day, do 2 and so on. So by the end of 109 days year you will do 109 push ups on your final day. But think of the compounding. If you do not increment each day by 1, by the end of the year you have done 109 push ups. BUT! If you increment by 1 each day for the next 109 days. By the end of the year you have done 5,995 push ups. And that’s just push ups. Imagine what you could with all your other goals!

The point is, go back to your list of goals for the year and have a look of what you have and have not done. Don’t waste any more time and pick one goal that requires action and make it your priority today. The more time you invest, yields a higher return. 

Just like when I go for a run, the final 500m is where I push the hardest, I fight for a burst of energy and a bolt of speed to wipe off some of those slacked seconds. It is my chance to finish strong, to finish on top and to come out with a smile. This is what you are doing. If you have been taking it easy this year, it is time to make the final sprint and really make it count. No you may not reach the final tip of your goal, but you will make noise and make enough effort to make you realize you have what it takes. 

With this said – this will only work if you take action and invest the little time left and bring it home in the final stretch!

“The biggest difference between success and failure is total time invested.” – Oliver Emberton