What Is Stopping Our Follow-Through?

March 25, 2024

By Meghan Greenwood

5 factors contributing to lack of follow-through
5 factors contributing to lack of follow-through

Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/What-Is-Stopping-Our-Follow-Through-e2hhr10

Follow-through at work and at home are essential for building trust and establishing yourself as a reliable person. If you say you’re going to do something and then don’t, you are marked as someone who can provide lip service but no action. Overall, it’s not a good look.

But why is follow-through so hard?

A number of factors may contribute to our difficulty of following through. Here are 5 possibilities:

  1. Lack of feedback. In an environment where previous actions have gone unnoticed or unappreciated, the likelihood of us following through on the next project declines. It’s in our nature to want recognized for our actions.
  2. Negativity. If we are pessimistic about the task or overall, feeling negative, our interest in following through will be at the bottom of the list.
  3. No clear motivation. Maybe you’re not sure why you’ve been assigned a project at work? Maybe you’re not super excited about finishing that home reno? Why are you doing these things? Without taking the time to understand the motivation behind completing an action, it may be less likely that it’ll ever get done.
  4. Overwhelmed and exhausted. Having one more thing on your plate is not going to bring you joy. If anything, you’ve said ‘yes’ to something when you should’ve said ‘no’. Learn to say ‘no’, and then once your energy and excitement are restored, slowly start taking on new tasks.
  5. Lack of support. If you are constantly having a hard time staying on task, you may fall into the obliger personality category. Generally, this type of person requires external accountability to produce results. This doesn’t mean that you can’t follow-through, just that you may require external support to stay on track.

With these 5 factors in mind, think about what could be holding you back. Are you not receiving feedback from your boss after completing a project? Then directly ask for it. Are you tired or bitter about the situation? Maybe pass the task to the next person or put it on hold until you’re feeling better. Are you finding yourself at a crossroads, not really understanding why you’re doing something? Search within yourself to find that motivation. And by all means, find a genuine source of support – even talking to a friend about your progress can make you feel more in control and likely to follow-through.

Do what you said you would do, my friends.

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