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 these words “Finish what you start” sounds inspiring, we all have time to time started things and left them unfinished when they got 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 the reasons why we don’t finish many things we start (Mainly our inability to follow through) and suggests ways how to finish what we start and grow with every accomplishment.

About the Book

Finish what you start in less than 100 pages explains the reason why we don’t follow through on many things we start, what are the hurdles we face, and most of them can be curated by understanding how we function, 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, is what enables you to get your head down and work when you need to, 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. Persistence is firmly sticking to something for a prolonged period, even as you encounter things that try to unstuck you.

Why Don’t We Follow Up?

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

1. Setting Bed GoalsThis is on 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 FailureWe think that by abstaining from action, we cancel out the possibility of producing any output that might be 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 partner, or accountability group, putting money down, self-bribery. Accountability is key factor in follow through.
  • Internal MotivatorsInternal motivators are about what you want, as opposed to 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 making the number of decisions on day to day basis, which helps in saving energy to focus on things that matter. You may consider the below suggestions.

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

Follow Through Mindset

Peter suggests that follow-through is the mental game and 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 mindsets are all it takes to find the will and motivation necessary to follow through on something.

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

No Distraction Zone

  • Minimizing Distraction You can make discipline drastically easier just by eliminating the mindless and effortless lapses in discipline that are 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.
  • BatchingBatching is when you group similar tasks together to complete them all at once. Ford’s assembly line was essentially 100% batching because his workers only performed one task incredibly efficiently.

Deadly Pitfalls

  • False Hope Syndrome False hope syndrome occurs when you think that you can do everything on your to-do list and reach your dreams in a short amount of time than it requires.
  • OverthinkingOverthinking is a silent killer of joy, hope, and reason. It kills your positivity and desire to carry on. So, instead of overthinking, place an emphasis on 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 occur, you’ve just suffered for no reason at all.

Daily Systems for Success

  • Relying on your willpower and self-discipline alone to be successful can fail you if you rely on it too heavily because you cannot push yourself past your maximum.
  • A system is a set of actions that you consistently perform every day 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 – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change


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

You may download Finish what you Start Free E-book here. If you like this book, you may also like the book The One Thing.

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. Wish you a Great Life.


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