Finish What You Start Book Summary I Accomplish More

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Book – Finish What You Start (The Art of Following Through)

Author – Peter Hollins

Genre – Self-Help

Published in – 2018

As much as the words “Finish what you start” sound inspiring, we all have time to time start things and leave them unfinished when they get inconvenient.

Looking back at those times, we do know the feeling of regret for not sticking to what we started, be it exercising, eating healthy, or pursuing our projects.

Finish What You Start is the crisp guide that diagnoses why we don’t finish many things we start (Mainly our inability to follow through) and suggests ways to spend what we create and grow with every accomplishment.

About the Book

Finish what you start in less than 100 pages. It explains why we don’t follow through on many things we create and the hurdles we face, and most of them can be curated by understanding how we function and what motivates us to act.

Books are written in 8 small chapters explaining our inability to follow through and how to fix it to accomplish any goals we set for ourselves.

Here are excerpts from the book –

What is Follow Through?

Peter divides Following through into four parts: Focus, Self-discipline, Action, and Persistence. He gives all these four parts equal importance.

  • Focus – Focus guides your thoughts in figuring out how to follow through and directs your actions toward achieving your vision.
  • Self-discipline – self-discipline- enables you to get your head down and work when needed, even if you don’t want to. It’s the ability to control yourself so that you retain focus on what needs to be done despite the temptations and distractions you may encounter.
  • Action – Action means prioritizing execution and simple motion. This is what makes following through more than just having focus and self-discipline.
  • Persistence – Finally, at the heart of following through is persistence. The industry is firmly sticking to something for a prolonged period, even as you encounter things that try to unstick you.

Why Don’t We Follow Up?

Peter suggests many reasons that restrain us from following through on our goals. He also encourages identifying what holds you back and applying suggestions in the book to combat those excuses.

1. Setting Bed GoalsThis is at the top of the list. This often happens when we set unrealistic goals in an emotional state and find ourselves too overwhelmed to act on them as soon as initial enthusiasm fades away.

2. Productive ProcrastinationIt is when we are so occupied in planning and setting up things to begin working, thinking we are making progress, while unconsciously procrastinating the work that needs to be done.

3. Temptations & DistractionsIt is part of our life, and instead of fighting or feeling guilty, Peter suggests managing to keep to limits by strategic avoidance and healthy, moderate use.

4. Fear of Judgment, Rejection, and FailureBy abstaining from action, we eliminate the possibility of producing any output subject to evaluation or judgment.

Staying Hungry

Peter claims that losing drive is common when we aren’t aligned with our reasons and fail to anticipate negatives before starting and expect and prepare for them.

  • External Motivatorssources of external motivators are accountability partners, accountability groups, putting money down, and self-bribery. Accountability is a critical factor in follow-through.
  • Internal MotivatorsInternal motivators are about what you want instead of avoiding a negative consequence or punishment. Internal motivators are your “WHY” for acting and putting in effort.

Create a Manifesto

Peter advises creating a set of rules to reduce the number of decisions daily, which helps save energy to focus on things that matter. You may consider the suggestions below.

  • Rule #1 Evaluate YourselfBefore you give up, make it a rule that you always ask yourself if it is laziness or fear holding you back from action.
  • Rule #2 Three Task maximumUrgent & essential – make sure vital tasks fit in your top three task list rather than urgent, as what is critical is barely significant.
  • Rule #3 Create limitations and Requirements – Limitations are restrictions on temptation, and requirements are things you must do daily.

Follow Through Mindset

Peter suggests that follow-through is a mental game; one needs a mindset to survive all the temptation and distraction, facing the unknown.

A mindset is a set way of visualizing and approaching situations and problems. Certain attitudes are all it takes to find the will and motivation to follow through on something.

  • Mindset #1 – It’s Worthwhile If you have set the right goals, you can remind yourself while going through tough that all the hardships and changes you face are worth the goals you have selected.
  • Mindset #2 – Comfort with DiscomfortWe must be comfortable with discomfort. As they say, all growth and success await us outside our comfort zone.
  • Mindset #3 – Allow LearningWe need to be open to learning as we move along; the more we know, the higher our chances of facing challenges easily, enabling us to follow through quickly.

No Distraction Zone

  • Minimizing Distraction You can make discipline drastically easier by eliminating the mindless and effortless lapses in discipline made possible by an environment that hasn’t been optimized.
  • Single TaskingA lot of single-tasking is about consciously avoiding distractions that seem small and harmless. The biggest culprits are electronic devices. Ignore them when possible.
  • Batching is when you group similar tasks to complete them all at once. Ford’s assembly line was essentially 100% batching because his workers only efficiently performed one study.

Deadly Pitfalls

  • False Hope Syndrome False hope syndrome occurs when you think you can do everything on your to-do list and reach your dreams in less time than required.
  • Overthinking is a silent killer of joy, hope, and reason. It kills your positivity and desire to carry on. So, instead of overthinking, emphasize action. Most actions are reversible.
  • WorryWorrying is pondering on problems, real or imagined. This takes you out of the present, which you have control over, and puts you into the future or past, which you have zero control over.
  • Worrying causes you to suffer twice. Once during the worrying and again if the dreaded event occurs. And if it doesn’t happen, you’ve just suffered for no reason.

Daily Systems for Success

  • Relying on your willpower and self-discipline alone to be successful can fail you if you rely too heavily because you cannot push yourself past your maximum.
  • A system is a set of actions you consistently perform daily to streamline your success and reach your goals.
  • Creating systems begins with having an overall goal in mind. Then, you can build the scaffolding that will get you there.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book – I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change.


This little book will empower you with small steps to build a habit of follow-through, which will help you finish what you start. There is nothing better than the feeling of finishing what we create. I highly recommend the book.

If you like this book, you may also like The One Thing.

I hope this summary helped you in some way. I would highly appreciate your two cents on this post in the comment box.

Thank you for your time. I wish you a Great Life.


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