Consider it Done! Ten Prescriptions for Finishing What You Start
Stanley H. Hibbs, PhD
Impact Publications (2008)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (7/08)
This quick read might just give you the kick start most of us need to turn things around. People who are ready to make a change don’t have a lot of time or the patience to read through lengthy chapters to find a bit of wisdom that might be useful.
The author easily sums up concepts while inspiring readers to take action on the variety of Behavior Change Projects that we are interested in. He discusses two types. Linear projects consist of tasks such as finishing a degree, learning a new skill and others that include a beginning, middle and end. Habit change projects are different in that the goal is to develop a new model of behavior. These can include handling paperwork timely, exercising regularly or managing your health.
I was happy to accomplish my first goal of completing the book in a weekend. And I came away from it inspired to meet my other goals. Like many others, I go through periods of procrastination and incomplete projects, frustrated by my failures. But Hibbs provides a process and a plan to follow. He comes with a great amount of experience as a teacher, psychologist and a personal coach. He knows from experience that part of being successful is committing in writing what your plan is and then following up on it.
As far as scheduling goes, he uses the example of filling a bucket with rocks, sand and pebbles to illustrate our priorities. I’ve actually used this in a training class and I enjoyed being reminded of its truth. We all know we need to do what’s important, but we tend to get sucked into the priorities of others. At least I do!
Next he discusses motivation. Reminding ourselves of the benefits of completing a project is important and more meaningful than just saying we have to do it. Sure my closet was an overwhelming mess and anyone would say it needed to be cleaned out. But once I realized the benefit of having access to clothes I’d forgotten I had, I got busy and made it happen.
Hibbs addresses what to do when you hit a brick wall or your ‘gremlin,’ as he calls it, starts talking you out of something. There are several strategies he suggests to incorporate from positive self-talk to deep breathing and others. It is important to address the rationale of why we don’t get these things done in the first place. There is a good reason our garages pile up or the bills go unpaid or thank-you cards never get written. This book helps us addresses why our gremlin appears and what to do about it.
Once I finished reading, I had wonderful intentions of completing all my outstanding projects and I got underway. As you might imagine, I was a bit too eager and now I have several unfinished piles throughout my bedroom waiting for my return to enthusiasm. Hibbs acknowledges that we will have inconsistent rates of progress. It helps to remember a time when we were really focused and productive, or ‘locked in’ to something. The feeling that came with that success can be a great motivator.
“Consider it Done!” by Stanley H. Hibbs is the kind of book that you can easily refer back to you from time to time as you need help. I know I will keep it on a shelf within reach so I can be re-inspired from time to time.