I have a confession. Although I’ve spent years helping people improve their ability to follow through, I’ve never found a way around this paradox: To follow through a lot, you have to be able to make yourself follow through just a little — just enough to take the first easy step. Sadly, I have yet to figure out how to make someone take that first easy step.
Imagine you’ve been assigned a huge project that will require you to spend dozens of hours doing extremely unpleasant work. While fretting about how you’re going to make yourself do what needs to be done, you learn from a credible source that there’s a nearly painless way to get the whole project done in less than five minutes.
All you have to do is climb one flight of stairs, open an unlocked utility closet, and flip a switch.
Easy isn’t always easy enough
Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? It is, but only if you can make yourself climb the flight of stairs, open the closet door, and flip the switch!
So it goes with following through. I can teach you proven strategies and give you tools that will allow you to follow through consistently. But I can’t make you use those strategies and tools. Honestly, I wish I could. But I can’t.
Here’s the paradox
This is the paradox of following through better: You have to make yourself follow through a little so that you can follow through a whole lot!
I’ve struggled for years to find a way around the follow through better paradox. I’m still searching for that silver bullet that would make people take that easy first step — climb the stairs, open the closet door, and flip the switch — that would allow them to get the really hard stuff done.
I hope this helps
For now, the best I can do is tell you the truth and hope it helps: People who make themselves use follow through strategies and tools are thrilled with the results!