Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Power of Follow Through

Like many of you, I love new projects!  The excitement of planning & preparing for them are fun because they usually involve a few hours getting inspired by Pinterest!  I also tend to announce new projects with audacious enthusiasm. . . like I have found the cure to cancer or something. 

But then a few weeks (or sometimes only days) pass and my passion has vanished and taken with it my motivation and determination!  Then the embarrassing crown of "Queen of Good Intentions" announces my failures to the world much like The Scarlet Letter!  

Since I didn't want to wear this heavy crown another year, I asked God for help.  I want to be a finisher, not a quitter!!  

That is when I came across a life-changing blog series by Jon Acuff (one of my favorite bloggers/authors) that he is calling Finish Year.  It captured my attention.  Every Sunday, Jon writes on his blog about how he did on the six things that he is working on this year. He is very honest about his progress or the lack thereof, which prevents the "drop out syndrome" that tends to accompany those who are focused on perfection.  He keeps his readers focused on finishing, no matter how many times they have to start over. 


  1. the completion of a motion, as in the stroke of a tennis racket
  2. the portion of such a motion after the ball has been hit
  3. the act of continuing a plan or project to its completion

After reading Jon's Finish Year blog posts, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about the power of follow-through.  In tennis, you must know where you want the ball to go before you ever hit the ball with the racket.  But simple contact with the ball doesn't get it to your desired location.  It is the follow-through that determines the place the ball will bounce first--which sets you up for a winning or losing play.  

And the same is true in life.  

Having a good job does not make you financially secure.  Having children does not mean you are a good parent who will leave a great legacy.  Going to church does not mean that your life is marked by the truth and power described in the Bible.  

"Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."  Proverbs 19:20-21


  • What should be the focus of my life this year? (Top 2 priorities for me personally, at home, at work, etc)
  • What relationships will help me stay focused on His directions? Which ones will distract me from them?
  • Which projects or dreams do I need to pursue? Which ones do I need to shelve for now?
Then God spoke to me to work through my calendar with the entire year in view using Michael Hyatt's "Annual Time Block" template.  It became so easy to make decisions regarding opportunities or invitations because I was planning my time according to my answers to the above questions.  No more "tyranny of the urgent" or people-pleasing for me.  I want my life to be a winner for the Kingdom of God! 


  • Dedicating time for the priorities of this year in measurable goals. 
  • Sharing these goals with others.  (It becomes real when said out loud!)
  • Evaluating progress on goals one week or month at a time
  • Committing to accountability with others pursuing similar goals.
For me, my "trainers" have been found in the Hello Mornings Challenge and Finish Year.  God has given me places to experience the joys of accountability and encouragement through the Body of Christ. 

The power of follow-through is practice. . . practice truly makes progress

As I look at my life, it is marked by progress--in my devotion life, in my marriage, in my parenting, in my home, in ministry, in my job and in my special projects!  And I am celebrating what God has been doing in my life!

What areas of your life could use the power of follow-through?  
What is your plan to make that happen?


drenie said...

beautifully written and SO right on for me. i have lots of unfinished work and i'm glad to know i'm not the only one who at times feels like i'm just a good starter. i want to and need to finish. thanks for this inspiration and for hello mornings :-)

Jen Baierl said...

My husband has always said I go in with a bang and out with a phht (that's the fizzling sound of a firework.) It's because of my follow-thru but who wouldn'tve known there are writers all over the place and other people with this same condition? I'm so glad you put this gear. It gives me the validation to not feel so "crazy" in my "drop this project & move onto the next one" moments. Thanks for the links. BTW... How many blogs does Jon Acuff have going on? (Rhetorical...I can find out) That's the 3rd now that I'm aware of.

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