From 1st grade through graduating high school, I was a bowler. I bowled on a league the entire time. One of the phrases my couch would say continuously, “Follow through”.
Who knew this was a key to success in so many areas of life. When I was out in the working world, there were deadlines imposed on me. If I was late with a project or simply didn’t get something done, there were immediate consequences.
Making the shift to staying at home made something very clear to me…I am not so good at follow through. If a blog post or chapter of my book doesn’t get written, then they don’t get written. There is no immediate consequence. However, after being home for several years now I am realizing the consequence is there; it is just far more subtle.
The consequence is not moving forward in life.
If I do not discipline myself to follow through and complete certain projects, then I remain in the same place in life. No book published, no blog making money, no digital art to sell.
Another lesson from bowling, every time I remembered to follow through, I would hit my mark and almost always get a strike or high scoring roll. Without the follow through, I would miss my mark and it would not go so well. That is so parallel to life. When I push myself to follow through and write for those planned two hours a day, then I move forward. Things get completed.
What I realize now is that the act of “follow through” is not natural, at least not for me. This is something that I must discipline, train myself to do. When I sit down for my two hour writing block, I will inevitably find my mind wandering (and sometimes my body) and have to bring myself back to the project at hand. I now say out loud, “follow through”. Even this simple intentional act of speaking out loud to myself has made an impact in how much I am moving forward.
A second thing that has helped me in the discipline of “follow through” are these amazing monthly, weekly, daily calendar printables from Productive Flourishing. I have tried so many calendars without much success, or with little success. I am not very good at sticking to an incremental timed calendar. The calendars found at Productive Flourishing are said to be geared toward the creative mind flow.
Creatives tend to think less on a timeline and more in chunks or projects.
These calendars help you “chunk” your time and order it for the day as well as helping plan the scope of your project(s) for the week/month.
The third element for me in this “follow through” epiphany is realizing that my kids have the same non-follow through nature as I do. There are numerous Lego projects, art projects, building projects, craft projects, etc. all over the house. I have no problem with having more than one project going; however, I now have the desire to help discipline (train, not punish) my kids so that they can actually complete these projects.
In the realm of learning and practicing this discipline called “follow through”, I have asked Builder and Princess to pick a project that they want to work on. We now have “project time” for 30 minutes each day. They are welcome to work on it more as they wish, but they must work on it for that designated 30 minutes.
Builder has chosen to break down all of his currently built Lego sets and organize them into tubs according to categories. For example, all police sets will go in one tub, all city or fire sets will go in each of their own tubs, etc. This is a huge project, and he is continually making forward progress.
Princess has chosen to build all of her Lego sets. For her to actually complete any one Lego set is quite an accomplishment. This week already, she has finished two and started working on a third just because she was having fun!
The kids’ project times have also helped me to realize that I need to pick a project to work on that is for me personally and not related to business/work. I know this will be an on-going learning process for us all, and I am determined to follow through!
And You? ~ How are you on following through?