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Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  7,741 ratings  ·  972 reviews
Year after year, readers pulled me aside at events and said, “I’ve never had a problem starting. I’ve started a million things, but I never finish them. Why can’t I finish?

According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. You’ve practically got a better shot at getting into Juilliard to become a ballerina than you do at finishing your goals.

For years, I tho
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Portfolio
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,741 ratings  ·  972 reviews

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Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Well, I finished. So that's a start. ...more
Jenny Baker
Wow, this book got me thinking about how I think, and that’s always a good thing. These are some of my favorite points in the book and apologize for the length.

***Spoiler Alert*** --> Warning, I'm about to ramble.

“If you want to finish, you’ve got to do all that you can to get rid of your perfectionism right out of the gate. You’ve got to have fun, cut your goal in half, choose what things you’ll bomb, and a few other actions you won’t see coming at first.”

There are four lies that perfecti
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
1. Strategic incompetence - choose to suck at something that drains energy.

2. Data kills denial.

3. Perfectionism shows us a distorted view of the world.

4. Fear or victory - pick which one motivates you and add it to as many tasks as possible.

5. Perfectionism gets louder only when people get moving.

6. Expose your hiding place: if something is stealing from your reserves, eliminate it.

7. Perfectionism is a desperate attempt to live up to impossible standards.

8. Data tells us the trut
Hope Eifert
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-to-read
I love self-help books, and I usually get some good take-always, but every once in a while, I discover one that is a game-changer for me--like this one. I am a chronic starter (and daydreamer) and this book completely resonated with me. He identifies all the sneaky ways we let perfectionism sabotage our goals, and he's funny and relatable along the way.

I don't re-read books too often, but I'm already planning to read this one 2-3 more times this year. It was totally exactly what I needed.
finished it :)
Nicole Conlan
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book was totally fine, and an easy read, but nothing particularly revelatory. Maybe it's because over the past year or so I've gotten much better at finishing what I start, so nothing here was particularly groundbreaking, but I could see how this would be useful to past-me, when I had a thousand incomplete projects. Also didn't love the trying-to-be-funny tone. You know that CoCo Chanel quote about taking one accessory off before you leave the house? I wish the author had done tha ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a few good tips in this book. For example, perfectionism stops most people from finishing their goals. For example, we start going to the gym regularly in January. But then after missing a few days, we quit "I blew it. I can't meet this goal." Or even before we start, we pick the "perfect" goal, like "run a marathon by the end of the year" (although we have never ran 5K).

The steps in the book are basic but still good advice:
* Think back to other goals you've attempted. Were they too bi
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone else have a book inside you? Anyone else have a dream that maybe you've started a hundred times or more...but never really quite completed? Anyone else chased by the spectre of perfection, that mean ugly voice that says if you can't do it perfectly, why bother?

This book is for you, then. Dream, yes. But DO. The world needs to hear your voice.

Now pardon me while I go write.
Andrew Shaffer
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Lost interest halfway through and skimmed until the end. That’s what I call “giving myself the gift of done.” 🤗
Jan 8, 2021 This is my third time reading this book and I am happy I did before doing my vision board. I want 2021 to be the year I finish and I think going with the key advice in this book:
- Make the goal FUN
- Cut the goal in half
- Forget perfect!
I think these will really help in making 2021 be the year I finish and finish strong.

According to studies, 92 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. But though 100 percent start, only 8 percent finish. Statistically you’ve got the same shot at ge
Kimberly Gordon
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THIS WAS SO GOOD FOR ME! I’ve read a bit about my personality type, and know enough that I’m *pretty* Type A, and do a lot of things out of a motivation of perfection. So pretty much everything Jon had to say in Finish about setting goals and finishing them-not perfectly, but finishing, was convicting for me.
He’s super funny, as usual, and that makes it enjoyable to read, but his wisdom about how to finish goals by cutting them in half somehow, intentionally choosing to bomb certain things to a
Elizabeth Bienas
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Acuff's best book, by far. The research that went into the examples here is relatable. The advice is practical and can implemented right now without extra time or money. Tons of added humor and zero fluff. Loved it! ...more
Erica Clou
A short and useful book. Here's what I got from it, but it might be worth a second read.

Pick a fun goal! And fun ways to achieve the goal.
Make the goal smaller than you originally want
Make the timeline to achieve your goal longer
Don't let "noble" prerequisites get in your way.
Don't let perfectionism stop you when you're almost done. (Actually usually for me, it's the opposite-- it's pessimism that gets me before I'm done.)
And you don't need to figure out what's next before you're done.

What are
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
I enjoy Jon Acuff's books, especially his injection of humor. Sometimes the humor becomes a bit overpowering as he gets too caught up in anecdotes or humorous asides. In his latest book, Finish, he tipped the scale. Instead of humorous interjections scattered throughout the book to keep it lively, it was distracting to the extent that I would derail from the point he was trying to make, following him down a rabbit hole. I was hoping for guided wisdom and thoughtful approaches with some humor wov ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loveddd this book! I'll post a longer review later & some quotes. But this was definitely a 10/10 for me ...more
Jane Maloy
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book about facing your fears of perfection. Perfection is the enemy for the entirety of the book and he shows you how you can shine light on your sense of shame and get those projects done once and for all! Perfection is says you couldn’t possibly bring yourself to finish your goals, but acuff says you make adjustments, cut yourself some slack and cross that almighty finish line.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to finish, you’ve got to do all that you can to get rid of your perfectionism right out of the gate. You’ve got to have fun, cut your goal in half, choose what things you’ll bomb, and a few other actions you won’t see coming at first.
We intentionally make things harder on ourselves. People who reach their goals find ways to make things easier on themselves.
Strategic incompetence - choose to suck at something that drains energy.
Perfectionism is a desperate attempt to live up to impos
Adriane Devries
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, eunoia
As queen of starting new things, I create a lot of personal angst for myself by leaving a trail of dismembered, unfinished projects lying about, both physically in my space and metaphorically in the landscape of my imagination. For months (let's be honest, years. OK, almost a decade), the bare skeleton of an armchair awaits reupholstering. Large canvasses fester with only a background and no subject painted. Several beginnings of books brood in my laptop. Guitars and other stringed instruments c ...more
Andrew Scholes
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the read. It was a excellent example of things I did not do. Part of my problem was having so many balls in the air at the same time.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, advice
This book was longer than necessary. In fact, I picked it up because of the lovely Grant Snider drawing based on the book (which I love! And bought the print of!) The book has these ideas, but they are peppered between bizarre pop cultural references I did not enjoy. I fear I just don't share Acuff's humor. It's rather juvenile and from a strong male gaze.

In addition, he mostly focused on procrastination as the barrier to finishing. I think this is a barrier for many people. But it's not my barr
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chronic starters who struggle with finishing projects. Procrastinating perfectionists!
Recommended to Lauren by: Michelle
Where are my fellow recovering perfectionists at? This one's for us!

First of all, Jon Acuff's writing is a breeze to read because of how gosh darned funny he is. My margins are littered with the words "ha ha" and deranged smiley faces from all the moments that had me snickering. (I had to read the bit about Taco Bell aloud to my husband. It had us rolling and could have been delivered as stand-up.)

But amidst all of his laugh-out-loud humor is real practical, actionable advice for how go from bei
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
I like Jon and his perspective, but I did not find value in this book. I preordered the book and really wanted to love it, but I feel like it missed out on depth.

It would have been helpful to hear more from the participants in the study and how their life has been impacted by the techniques in this book. From what I remember, I believe there were less than 5 stories from participants. What was the ratio of projects started and finished before the study? What was the ratio after? Did the partici
Kati Davis
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was a little extra proud to click the "I'm finished" button for this one. ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a starter. So many projects half done, so many books half read... This book is perfect for people like me who have NO trouble getting started, but get tripped up or slowed down on the way to the finish. I want to get things done in 2018 and Jon Acuff gives the tools and motivation (and laughs) I need to get there! A lot of the exercises and questions really messed with me in a good way because they forced me to deal with fears and excuses I hadn’t fully realized were there. I’ll be referrin ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
3.5/4? In an ironic twist of fate I almost didn't finish this book because it got returned to library before I was done with it. But figured it would be a sorry state of affairs to not finish a book about finishing, haha.

It was an interesting enough read. Short and to the point. It had some good thoughts that I haven't heard before, such as "half your goal or double your timeline." It seems counterintuitive, but it's all about fighting off the perfectionism that ruins so many goals. I was a lit
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Overall a great read and very motivating. Definitely recommended for anyone who likes starting new projects but doesn't get past the first "ooh look, something shiny" moment.

I took notes for each chapter, take a browse to see if this is a book you want to spend some time with:

1. The day after perfect
* Lots of people can be motivated to start and can do ok for a while, but the day they miss doing their goal, they give the whole thing up instead of getting back on track.
* Perfectionism is the nu
Elizabeth Harrod
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a funny, inspiring, and practical read! This was a great book to start off the new year with, and I feel *much* more equipped to tackle some goals for the semester. I admire Acuff's authenticity as well as the amount of research he included. I would absolutely recommend this book, especially to those with perfectionist tendencies. ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be so helpful! It details practical steps you can take to increase your productivity. It talks of self awareness and self evaluation a lot. I loved it. I’m considering buying a copy for everyone on my team.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: change
It actually felt great to finish this book. The best thing about this book is it has helped me to understand where the "mental blocks" I kept running into were coming from and how to circumvent them. I've already incorporated many things from the book into my daily life and I've been more productive recently than I have in months. It's nice to actually have actually completed some of the things I'd started and never got around to. Definitely worth the read, and I will most likely reread this aga ...more
Karin Garcia
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really like the tone of this author. I have read his book "Stuff Christians Like", and I found it quite funny. This one was just so practical. It wasn't as over the top as so many inspirational books are. This made finishing your goals seem manageable. I also enjoy the jokes that he peppers throughout. I'm giving it 5 stars because it's one of the first non fiction reads that has prompted me to immediately put into action the things that I had read. ...more
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Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books, including his most recent Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller, "Finish: Give yourself the gift of done."

Published in more than a dozen languages, his work is both critically acclaimed and adored by readers. After reading "Do Over," marketing legend Seth Godin wrote in his endorsement, "This is the best career book ever written. I'm not

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  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
44 likes · 10 comments
“developing tolerance for imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.” 7 likes
“If taking a break from social media sounds intimidating, remember, you’ve already done this for an entire year. It was called 1997.” 5 likes
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