Ever watched two teams play against each other? You must have noticed that regardless of the results during the game, a winner isn’t declared until the end. Even if a team looks to have a clear advantage at the end of a session, the game is allowed to run its full course until the final whistle.

It is not how you start but how you finish.

Whether it is the end of a project or the end of a year, how you finish is what counts. This is not in any way a crusade to downplay the need to start strong. Well done if you did. But you will agree with me on how crucial it is to finish strong. At the end of the day, it is the finishing that counts.

It may seem like the odds are against you. The clock is whining down and your numbers are not looking good. On the other hand, you may be having a walk through the park. Whichever, you want to finish stronger than you started.

Here is how you can

Re-evaluate Your Goals

A good place to start is revisiting your goals to understand what has brought you to your current state. This re-evaluation exercise has to have a learning motive behind it. The idea is for you to learn about the challenges and successes you have had so far.

To help you effectively re-evaluate, ask the following questions

  1. What has happened as planned
  2. What didn’t go as planned
  3. What can I do differently
  4. What support was available or not
  5. What support do you need going forward

The outcome of this exercise would be a clearer picture of where you are, the challenges, the opportunities, and what is outstanding.

Magnify Milestones

As you move closer to the finishing line, the pressure mounts. In cases where you have not been able to achieve the bulk of your targets, the tasks ahead will look insurmountable.

To negotiate this tough situation, you should magnify your milestones. This means you are able to narrow your focus, strategies, and effort to a milestone or a group of milestones as against looking at the big price. Doing so, you are able to discharge some of the anxiety that comes with seeing the insurmountable mountains while breaking your goals into smaller realistic goals.

For example, if your goal is to impact 500 young graduates by developing their employability skills through mentorship and training, and have not done anything yet, you may want to define milestones and narrow your efforts towards them. Some of the milestones maybe

  • Completing the development of the strategic document for the program
  • Identifying impact groups and engaging implementing partners

Once milestones are defined, you can now channel your work in the shortest time o achieving them.

Add a Not-to-do to Your To-do

It is conventional for your to-do list to have the thing you want to do. To finish strong, you want to ensure you do not spend time doing things that would not propel you towards the finishing line.

Adding a not-to-do to your list helps you to stay focused on your core tasks and takes out all possible distractions

Celebrate Yourself

Finally, on our list, we ask that you actively celebrate yourself.

Regardless of the outcome, take some time to appreciate yourself. It may seem like a fruitless exercise knowing that you have not achieved much and your manager has provided some hard feedback. What self-appreciation does is, uplift you and create the enthusiasm to go again. Remember that you will have another chance to have a go. Maybe on another project or on the same project but on a new sheet. Whichever the case, self-appreciation can motivate the belief and can-do spirit you need to go again


Thank you for staying on course regardless. We absolutely trust that if you take these steps amidst the rough times, you would be able to scoop some successes before the finish line. At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back

Wishing you all the best

Click here to read our article on How to Survive a Layoff

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