Sunday, July 23, 2023

The Magnitude of Follow-Through

"It's the follow-through that makes the great difference between success and failure, because it's so easy to stop." - Charles F. Kettering

Have you ever made a commitment to do something, only to find yourself needing to follow through? How about getting motivated at a conference or professional learning, only to keep everything the same once you are back in your classroom, school, or district? What about promising students assignments would be graded within a specific timeframe only to not deliver on that promise? If so, you're not alone. While I still struggle with visualizing new ideas and how they will play out when acted upon, I have made a great deal of progress. Truth be told, many people struggle with follow-through, but it's a vital competency to develop.

There are many reasons why following through is essential. First, it shows that you're reliable and trustworthy. People expect you to keep your word and take action when you make a commitment or bold proclamation. If you don't follow through, you'll damage your reputation and make it harder for people to trust you in the future. From an individual standpoint, it helps you achieve your goals. When you establish where you want to go, you're more likely to reach it if you're able to follow through on the steps necessary to achieve it. If you keep putting things off or giving up on your goals, it becomes much harder to reach your full potential. Following through builds self-confidence. When you're able to complete a task or achieve a goal, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes you feel good about yourself. This can boost your self-confidence and make you more likely to take on new challenges.

Rina Koshkina shared the following advice:

There are many things in life that are out of our control, but you have full control over your ability to follow through. You are the only one who can choose to be consistent and proactive, creating the sense of accomplishment and closure for yourself and those around you.

You can do a few things to improve your willingness to follow through:

  1. Breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps is important. This will make them seem less daunting and more achievable.
  2. Set deadlines for yourself and stick to them. I can speak to how this dramatically helps me stay on track and avoid procrastination when writing, preparing presentations, and mapping out model lessons to facilitate when coaching.
  3. Find a way to stay motivated. Consider setting alarms on your phone, putting reminders into an online calendar, finding a colleague to work with, developing rewards for yourself, or simply reminding yourself why you want to achieve your goal.

Following through is a skill that takes practice, but it's worth it. When you can follow through on your commitments, you'll be more successful in both your personal and professional life. You'll also build stronger relationships and gain a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy. So, if you want to improve your follow-through skills, start by breaking down your goals into smaller steps, setting deadlines, and finding a way to stay motivated. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to follow through on your commitments and achieve your goals.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, following through can also help you to:

  • Develop discipline
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Build resilience
  • Gain a sense of control over your professional life

If you want to be successful in life, it's crucial to be able to follow through on your goals, responsibilities, and any other commitments. By following the suggestions in this post, you can achieve your goals while improving relationships in the process.

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