From Start to Finish, a Review

I really suck at goals y’all. No, scratch that. I am awesome at making goals when they pertain to work or my health. What I suck at is finishing the one goal that has been before me for years.

After getting a pre-release copy of Jon Acuff’s new book, Finish (out on September 12th) that is all about to change. This guy taught me how to quit, how to start, but now he’s focused in on how to finish what you’ve started.

Goals you refuse to chase don’t disappear, they become ghosts that haunt you.

He does it succinctly and practically. Guiding you through assessing your current goal, where you are in it, and what might need to be dialed in differently in order to get you to your goal of finish. And finish you shall.

I honestly didn’t want to finish the book, because then it would mean I was perfectly armed to face down that goal of writing a book that I have wanted to do for so long. But it’s a lot nobler to point to the outline and the chapters that lay unfinished as I take on new tasks, new distractions, more excuses. To say if it’s not perfect, it won’t be finished.

Jon tears through all that to point out how we self-sabotage our own goals before we even get started because we like to ruin it ahead of time. Those New Year’s goals? How ya doing on those here in September? Interlaced with humor that Acuff does so well amidst the practical steps of addressing your failure to finish, his newest book will get you to the same it did him-finishing.

If you pre-order Finish before midnight September 11th there’s over $200 worth of freebies to lay claim to, including a video series with Jon that’s a HUGE value. Pre-order here. And then fill out this form.

Begin Again

So here we are a week into 2017. How are those resolutions treating you? Or better yet, how are you treating them? I know all the statistics surrounding the people who keep their resolutions is staggering at best. It reminds us of failure and best laid plans.

Shoot, even I indulged in cheesecake yesterday and thought “well, here you are ya failure.” But then I remembered it’s my choice. I chose to grab that deliciousness (and it was delicious) with the same choice I made to get in good health this year. One doesn’t nullify the other but it can overshadow it if I let it.

I can allow the weight of one poor decision to counteract the good intentions and focus I had the other six days of the week. Or I can say that this was a choice today, that has no effect on what I accomplished the other six days this week and will have zero bearing on the next six days following.

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Recently I was listening to a friend speak about beginning again…something we all often like to do in January each year. We have come off the indulgences (and some over indulgences) of the holiday season that lasted well over six weeks. We have said “come January” more often than we would care to admit. In my friend’s sermon I couldn’t help but think about how we reserve January 1 as a do over day. We hit reset, wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

But what about April 18? Or July 24? Or October 1?

I think we put far too much emphasis on the date on the calendar than we do the intentions and purpose of our hearts and minds. We lump in so much, put alot of pressure on a new year, on January 1 to bring about some radical shift in our lives that when it’s a week later and we’ve not seen much we grow discouraged. Or when we slip up because we’ve lived for the last eight weeks, eight months, eight years, a lifetime a different way that we chalk it up to us being failures.

What if instead of letting one slip up damage the whole focus of your determination, preparation and focus, you allow it to give you another reset? What if instead of focusing on the location of where you find yourself on January 8th, you focus on the people you get to interact with, what you can learn from them, how you can bring brightness to their day?

Maybe you do need to begin again today. It’s a new day, full of new mercies. It’s full and waiting for you. Maybe it’s about not letting the date on the calendar or one poor choice dictate how your life is structured and lived out. You get the choice. You get the decision. You get to tell failure that it had it’s time, you have learned and you are utilizing that to move in the direction you feel led. That it’s not about where you are in location, job, relationship, hardship or joy but it’s about choosing to begin again with yourself.


You can listen to my friend’s sermon here. (And you should)

Sailing Takes Me Away

This post is a little out of the norm here on my blog, but it’s something worth sharing. If you can’t share on your own blog, then where can you share?

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This is my cousin Randy and his wife Angela. Randy has probably one of the most interesting life stories of anyone I know. In all honesty though, I think everyone’s life story is interesting (because it’s not my own). Randy was always the cool cousin who lived at the beach. He set off after high school to be a lifeguard at the beach. He did that for a few years, when he met Angela. They fell in love, married, and have two amazing sons.

Both have worked hard and long for years, like many Americans. They saw one son join the Marine Corps and is now on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. They worry and fret like any parent would. Randy had a passion, a dream of one day building a boat and sailing it.

You know what he did? He started on that dream. He saved, he scraped, and he sanded his 12018_4795074398725_689999902_nway to what he wanted to pursue. At this very moment, as I type this, he and Angela are sailing the boat he built by hand (from wood on my uncle’s farm) to Costa Rica to live permanently. They will journey for three weeks to their new home they have constructed on the water. This is their new learning phase in life. I am excited for them both, and love seeing someone’s Start cycle around. It also doesn’t hurt that I got an invite to come visit once they are all setup at their new home…and I am one of a very few in the family who has a passport.

I think one thing we don’t talk enough about is a continued pursuance of a dream. We start so often with good intentions, but get mired in the day-to-day, the fears, the busyness of life. Right now, my cousin is sailing after years of toiling, of scrapping plans, and replacing boards. Many hours went into this, along with work that he enjoyed but didn’t look like his dream. He started though. He continued to start, not knowing what the finish line looked like for him. My hope is that inspires you to start on what you’ve been putting off.

Now I’m off to start saving for a visit to lovely Costa Rica, but I’ll be traveling via plane thankyouverymuch.

Escape Average.

fb_acuff_start_v2That’s a relatively easy statement to believe in, right? I don’t know of anyone who sits around going, “Yep, I’m average and I like it.” But the large majority of us are in fact average. Our lens of average may differ a bit, but for the most part, we are sailing the high seas on the Average cruise liner.

With Jon Acuff’s new book, Start, you find yourself not on the Average cruise liner, but having just been pulled from the water of the Average Titanic. Start is the iceberg here. But you don’t just clip it, you slam headlong into it. That is my opinion though as someone whose leaving Average behind for the Awesome dinghy.

Acuff brings both heartfelt passion for encouraging and motivating you to begin pursuing your dream, while also being realistic in those pursuits. If you like lists and need check-offs, probably not your best bet because Start is more along the lines of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And that is refreshing.

Why? Because my awesome path, that navigates through the same areas as yours, has a different end point, has a different terrain, and I go at a different pace. That’s what makes Start different from other motivational books, simply because it’s not a motivational book. It is inspiring, yes, but it’s practical. It doesn’t build you up with promises of instant stardom and overnight changing of habits. Jon weaves a blanket of trust with the reader while also giving just enough tension to shock you into action.

To quote Jon, You only control the starting line when it comes to your dream. Might I suggest you start with this book?

And to spur you along, I am giving away a Start book, upon it’s release on April 22nd. Winner will be announced on Saturday, April 13th!

Here’s what you have to do though to be eligible:

  • Leave a comment stating what your dream is you’d like to start, by Friday April 12th.
  • Include your first name and email address.