Be a Non-Finisher

110401-N-HC601-027 SAN DIEGO (April 1, 2011) Sailors cross the line during the first annual Chief Petty Officer Birthday 5K Run/Walk at Naval Base San Diego. The run/walk celebrated the 118th birthday of the chief petty officer rank and was open to Sailors, dependents, civilians, contractors and retirees. (U.S. Navy photo by Candice Villarreal/Released)

Tomorrow not only brings a new day, it brings a new year.  And with the new year, new hope, as many of us will resolve to lose weight, manage our time better, spend less (money), spend more (time with family), or enjoy life more fully.

Something I’m resolving to do this year is to be a non-finisher.  Now, this isn’t my main resolution, but by being a non-finisher I’m confident I’ll better be able to finish what’s important.

Since childhood we’re told to finish what we’ve started.  And although I think that message is all well and good, I think we use this mindset when things are easy or when we want to make things easy.

Many of us can relate to this.  As children, our moms and dads would tell us to finish eating what’s in front of us.  We developed this mindset that we need to finish everything that is on our plate.  If we didn’t, our parents would send us on a guilt-trip to Africa where children were starving.  Help me out here.  How is me finishing my French fries helping children in Africa?!  Answer: It’s not.

Also, how many of us have watched the first 20 minutes of a movie and thought, “Man, this movie is awful, but I gotta finish it.”  We tell ourselves it’s got to get better, right?!  Guess what?  They don’t.  M. Night Shyamalan movies are the only bad movies that suck for basically the entire time and then have a moderately redemptive ending.  All other bad movies suck the entire time.

What if we were to become non-finishers?  Perhaps you have a weight-related resolution.  How would not finishing your plate help accomplish this goal?  Well, you’d eat less.  And, in order to over-simplify weight loss, by eating less you’d lose more.  Maybe you have a goal to give more (money) to charity.  Instead of finishing a meal you maybe shouldn’t have ordered in the first place, why not give those few dollars to a charity that will actually feed children in Africa.

What about those who want to manage their time better, give more (time) to charity, spend more time with family, or live life more fully?  What is the common currency in all of these?  Time.  How often do you hear (or say!) I don’t have time.  Well, what have you been investing your time in . . . or wasting your time on?

I don’t know about you, but it seems weekly I’m told I need to watch some show or see some movie.  Need?!  I need a lot of things, but catching up on five seasons of Friday Night Lights is not one of them.  (“But, Adam, you reeeeally need to see that show!”)  What if we gave up finishing Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or whatever the next great show will be and instead invested our time in those things we say are important to us?

I don’t mean to bust on television shows, movies, or dining out.  I like those things as well.  But at year’s end, 2017, I don’t wanna measure my accomplishments by the number of Oscar-nominated movies I’ve seen, entire television series completed, or an increased pant size.  I wanna measure it by reaching my fitness goals, giving my wife more presents (remembering my anniversary would be a start), spending more time “training” my children (I’ve been more concerned with my clients’ health than my own children’s), and growing my business.  I want this year to be a year of finishing things that bring fulfillment and a year of non-finishing things that simply bring entertainment.

P.S. If you’re reading this on the first of May, or any month for that matter, instead of January, it’s never too late (or early) to start a resolution!

Question: What will you not finish this year to help you accomplish your resolution?