Perfectionism is a Dirty Word…

Chapter 1 - FINISH by Jon Acuff...The Day After Pefect

“We tend to put too much emphasis on beginnings.  In doing so, we miss the single day that wrecks more goals than any other.” – Jon Acuff, FINISH

Hey guys…this stuff that we are going to be reviewing from the blockbuster new book from Jon Acuff called FINISH – Give Yourself The Gift of Done is going to help us reach some goals STILL YET this year!  This is also going to help us set some great New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 and then get going in 2018 like we have never started a year off before!

THAT single day that Jon is talking about is called The Day After Perfect.

If any of you are like me, you are a Chronic STARTER.  I love to start things!  I come up with TONS of great ideas for things that I want to START and just bust a move on!  The problem is, I very rarely FINISH any of them!

If you are NOT a chronic STARTER…then I can almost bet you are a Perfectionist!  (We are ALL perfectionists to some degree…and any degree of perfectionism is a destroyer of goals – and is the enemy of DONE!)

Jon tells us that the number one common excuse in quitting our goals is:

“Our streak of perfect comes to an end so we quit altogether.”

This is the day after perfect

Our string of running 3 miles each day ends on day 10 because we had a day jam packed with meetings – or we traveled to our vacation.  Or our streak of eating our diet perfectly ends because we attended a birthday party and we had two pieces of cake on day 14, so the next day we had to stop at McDonalds for two sausage egg McMuffins and 5 hash browns and that is the end of said diet.

We got off track.  Derailed.


  • The commonality in most of our excuses is that when it stopped being perfect, there is no use continuing.

Does any of this sound familiar:

  • I just got too busy at work.
  • Family stuff started getting in the way.
  • I couldn’t get to the grocery store.
  • I was so hungry that I HAD to eat something.
  • It was too cold/rainy/hot/snowy outside.
  • The Holidays got me out of my routine.

You have your own words…but it is all saying that “When it stopped being perfect, I stopped, too.” (Jon’s exact words…)



Key #1:  The FIRST LIE of PERFECTIONISM:  Quit if it isn’t perfect.

Jon has a very great point on this:  “The genius in this first lie is subtle.  It’s not “when” it isn’t perfect, because that hints at the reality that it won’t be.  No, Perfectionism tells you “if” it isn’t perfect, as if you have the chance to run the whole rack and go to the grave with a 100 percent on your tombstone.”

Imperfection is very quick and when it strikes – WE QUIT…This is why the Day After Perfect is such a crucial day.

Most of us aren’t satisfied with just meeting a goal that is AVERAGE…we want it to be GREAT!  And if we can’t do it great – or perfect – then we QUIT.  Some of us don’t even start if we think we can’t do it perfectly.

Key #2:  Developing Tolerance for Imperfection is the key factor in turning chronic starters into consistent finishers.

This is so funny:  Jon says on page 11:  “”Might as well” is one of the most dangerous phrases in the english language.  Might as well is never applied to good things.  It’s never, “Might as well help all these orphans,” or “Might as well plant something healthy in this community garden.”  It’s usually the white flag of surrender.  “I’ve had a single french fry, might as well eat a thousand.””

So, think about this right here:  Don’t embellish your goal.  When you first think of a goal that you want to accomplish, sometimes we just get going on the idea and get excited that we can do ANYTHING and the goal is built up from what started as a nice one-story brick ranch and ends up as the Taj Mahal.  In your mind – a “one-story brick ranch” is do-able.  But when you build it up into a HUGE monstrosity, it becomes another non-achievable pie-in-the-sky wish.

Now, don’t get me wrong – larger than life goals are great and they stretch us to pursue things we normally wouldn’t.  But if you make your initial goal too large, our minds start building barricades and making excuses why we can’t achieve it.

Remember this when you set a GOAL:

  • You are making a promise to yourself
  • If you break this promise to yourself – you lied!  (To yourself!)
  • If you lie enough times to yourself – you won’t believe yourself any longer!

So – what about you?

Where are you on this?

I will tell you where I am:  I am on book 34 of the 52 I wanted to read in 2017.  That is one book a week.  Have I quit because I got behind on my one book a week?


I am going to keep pressing forward.  The game is going to be how many will I actually get read this year.

THEN – I will set the goal to do 5 more books in 2018.

No biggie.

I didn’t die.

I am still alive.

But I am a whole lot better than if I would have quit on book 14 because my streak came to an end there in April!

So – when you look at your goals that you have yet to accomplish in 2017.  Are you still going?

Have you quit already?

Can you re-start and get a jump on them for 2018?


  1. We have to become comfortable with being imperfect!
  2. The harder you try to be perfect, the less likely you’ll accomplish your goals.
  3. Perfectionism magnifies your mistakes and minimizes your gains/progress.

Embrace your imperfection!!!

THERE is nothing in the world quite like the feeling of actually FINISHING something that you set out to do…you conquered many the obstacle and came out the VICTOR!

Jon leaves us with this challenge:

  • Day 1 isn’t the most important day of a goal.
  • The day after perfection is.
  • Power past your day of imperfect.
  • Keep your word to yourself.
  • Savor your victory (this is my added little tidbit…)


Lastly – I leave you with this:

  • I am enjoying FINISHING this blog post at STARBUCKS where I just FINISHED the last piece of my Starbucks Bingo and earned 325 Stars….Yesssssssss!
  • See ya on Thursday when I release the video version of this post!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Perfectionism is a Dirty Word…

    • Thanks Pat!

      What was the great point that you liked? (Or was it the overall main point of don’t quit if it isn’t perfect? I like to know these things as it helps me know what resonates with people!)