Owning your “Strong Finish”

By Deloris Quaranta

The business world often quantifies success in dollars by applauding those whose year-end bottom-line is bursting at the seams. This can be intimidating when you are working everyday on your goals and dreams, not able to take a much-needed vacation. You may also have the added responsibility of a family and community involvement. Who and what defines your success? How do you decide that at the end of the year, you had a strong finish?

The person who wanted to lose 50 pounds in 2015 will be very disappointed to find in December she only lost 20 pounds. This person probably had several barriers that prevented her from doing the things needed to lose the remaining pounds. While you don’t want to make excuses for not reaching your goals, you certainly want to look at what has been accomplished in spite of the detours and drama you have endured through-out the year. Beating yourself over the head will not help you reach your goals.

The important thing is that when you find yourself at a standstill, you dust yourself off and start again. You will always be disappointed if you measure yourself by what others are doing or by what others think. Your strong finish is that you made it to the end and you are still standing.

So you didn’t meet your own expectations. Let that be a motivator. Sit down and write out what you want to accomplish next year. Create milestones. Make sure these are measurable. Doing this will help you visualize where you started from and where you are at each milestone. Remember that it is not about speed. It is about being steady, consistent, determined and able to push through adversity. A quality baby step is better than a flawed giant step. At the end of the day, knowing you did your best with integrity, is what allows you to sleep at night.

There are many things I wanted to accomplish while serving on active duty in the military. On retirement day, I realized those 20 years were gone and I had not completed my college education. I was just one credit short of my Associate’s degree. Determined to keep my promise to my mother, I took a math class while on terminal leave and CLEP’d the course. It allowed me to get my associates degree but that was for my mother. What was I going to do for myself?

I decided to continue on to my Bachelor’s program while raising my family. After graduating, I intended to keep going to get my Master’s degree but a family crisis put me at a crossroad.

It was not a good time in my life but I continued with the Master’s program despite the family issues. My motivator was my children; to show them that barriers may show up, but they don’t have permission to destroy their dreams. Find a way to get through it.

I may not have finished when I wanted to, but I finished; and to me it was a “Strong Finish.” You are stronger and smarter than you think. You have accomplished more than you realize. Let 2015 be a reminder of what you need to do in 2016. Let this year be your rehearsal time – your preparation time. You have done your best.

2015 will be your springboard for an even stronger finish in 2016. Own it. Embrace it. Get it done!

Deloris Quaranta
Jacksonville FL
Dee Quaranta
Owning your “Strong Finish”
Dee is the CEO of Northeast Florida Women Veterans, Inc. She is a 20-year Air Force Veteran and a Certified Workforce Professional and Career Coach.

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