Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Starters vs Finishers

Personalities fascinate me. I enjoy learning about introverts/extroverts, learning styles, reward preferences, communication methods, Myers-Briggs, etc., etc., etc. (Speaking of Myers-Briggs, I am an ENFJ, but over the years I've started trending towards INFJ.)

It is always interesting to understand how various personality traits can apply to real life scenarios.
For what it's worth, my ENFJ type would classify me as Butter Pecan. However, out of the options listed, my favorite flavors are Mint Chocolate Chip and Rocky Road.

A few months ago, I read a book that talked about starters vs finishers. I've been thinking about the concept recently. In short, starters like to begin new projects and enjoy the novelty of new ideas, but are challenged to push through the working details. Conversely, finishers enjoy crossing tasks off their lists and working through the challenges to get to the end goal.

Here's a more simplistic example: Starters get more satisfaction in opening new containers, whereas finishers get more satisfaction in recycling the container after using the very last drop.

There is no right or wrong type, of course. It's just a function of who you are.
Personally, I am a finisher. I get a sense of accomplishment from squeezing out the final drip of shampoo from a bottle, eating the last slice of cheese in a package, or getting complete wear out of a pair of socks. From a business perspective, you could describe me as being someone who likes to maximize all available value.

Conversely, I get frustrated when I see a container (or worse yet, multiple containers) sitting on the shelf with just a tiny bit of product left. I think, Why don't you just use it up and be done with it?

In my office kitchen, one fridge has bottles of milk for folks to use in their coffee. Many times I'll see that someone left a bottle sitting there with five drops of milk left. This makes me wonder who the culprit was.

Case in point:
Contrary to what it might sound like, I'm not completely fixated on finishing. I do enjoy making the first scoop into a brand-new carton of ice cream, making the first squeeze out of a new bottle of body wash, taking a pair of running shoes out for their inaugural run, etc. However, I definitely get more satisfaction from closing out an old item than I do in starting a new one.

From a runner's perspective, I like to log 300 miles on my running shoes before I retire them. I've currently got one pair of shoes at 291 miles. I've also got a brand-new pair of shoes waiting in the wings, but I won't let myself wear them until I close out the old ones. Once I start the new, I'm not going to want to wear the old anymore! Unfortunately, since I've been doing so little running over the past few weeks (plus I rotate three pairs of shoes), it's taking me a really, REALLY long time to get the oldest pair to the finish line.

The lingering has bothered me a little bit. Not enough to motivate me to run more, though! LOL. Hopefully I'll get them to the finish within the next two weeks.
Your turn! Tell me about your running shoe transition strategy. How many miles do you log on your shoes before you retire them? What's your Myers-Briggs personality type? In life, are you a starter or a finisher?

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Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

30 comments:

  1. This is a fun post! I'm not sure about my Myers Briggs profile but I know I'm a high C and a high S in the DiSC profile. Which I think makes me a finisher, too. Although, in some respects I am a starter (if something gets really difficult I'll put it on the back burner). Jason, however, is a starter in some ways and a finisher others. He has a lot of projects started but not finished but also gets a little obsessive about finishing the toothpaste.

    As for running shoes, I wear mine WAY too long. Probably has something to do with the fact that I stopped tracking my mileage for my own personal sanity. That makes it hard to track mileage on my shoes!

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    1. Thanks Erin! Thanks for sharing about the DiSC, too, which I am not familiar with. I just took a free online version of the test. My results are that I'm much higher in the S than any of the other categories. So intriguing!

      Very interesting that Jason is both a starter and a finisher! LOL at the obsession on finishing the toothpaste because I can relate to that 100%! Adam is more of a starter than a finisher. At any given point, he'll have three or four bottles of the same facial wash in the shower, four different boxes of cereal, three bottles of mustard, etc.

      Oh wow - you are living my dream when it comes to running shoe usage! I wish I was in a position where I needed to replace my shoes more often than I do. =)

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  2. I actually don't know what my average mileage is on my shoes. I've always been rough on shoes, even as a toddler, so I have to go by feel. Once I feel how new shoes feel, I can't go back to the old ones. Those become my everyday shoes.

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    1. My problem is that new shoes ALWAYS feel so much better to me than existing shoes, even if the older shoes aren't anywhere close to retirement. By those standards I could justify buying a new pair of shoes once a month. Wishful thinking, right? LOL

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  3. I don't know which ice cream type I am, but I enjoy a chocolate chip cookie dough scoop now and again! I am already at 2,100 miles so far this year on a three shoe cycle. I am breaking in a new pair and will try and rotate one of the old pairs out. Now to figure out which one looks the worst! :)

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    1. Chocolate chip cookie dough.... yummmy. Chocolate anything... yummmy. That blows my mind that you've logged 2,100 miles on three pairs of shoes. You REALLY get your value out of your shoes! You must be an extremely light-footed runner. I'm pretty heavy-footed and my shoes show very visible signs of wear even after 150 miles!

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    2. Yes, I don't know what it is, but I can really run in my shoes well past the recommended expiration date. However, the current three may be getting close to done. I realize this because the new pair of shoes I'm breaking in feel super comfy compared to the old ones, so maybe I need to replace all three?

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    3. Oh my goodness... that would be my dream to be able to replace all three pairs of my running shoes all at once. I envy that it is even a possibility for you! And I vote yes, replace everything! At 700 miles on average per pair of current shoes, you are DEFINITELY justified in doing so!

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  4. At first I thought I might have. A hard time determining which type I was but as soon as you said Finishers like to cross accomplishments off their list, I knew that was me!

    I have yet to wear out a pair of shoes (odd I know). I always rotate between several pairs. I had an old pair I took to my PT because he wanted to analyze them to see how I ran. I thought they were shot but he informed me that they still had a lot of life left in them. He said it will take me a very long time to wear out a pair of shoes cus I'm not a heavy footed runner. I think my need for new shoes simply comes from the novelty of it! Great post! -M

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    1. Yay for finishers!!! Isn't it the best feeling to cross things off of the to-do list? Makes me feel like I made progress, and there is no better feeling than that, in my opinion.

      Wow! That's really interesting that you've never worn out a pair of shoes! Good for you for being a light-footed runner, that means your likelihood of injury for worn-down shoes is much reduced. My need for new shoes DEFINITELY comes from novelty. And every other reason out there, LOL. =) Thanks so much, Meranda!

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  5. I'm an INTJ and I am so much a finisher it isn't even funny. I must "use up" everything before moving on to something new. As a coach I see so many starters who start and start again but never follow through and finish and you can imagine it drives me bonkers. That said, I'd go for rocky road ice cream too!

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    1. So you'd be Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, according to the chart! I am all about using up things before moving on, too, so I completely understand. Oh goodness, I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to see people start but never follow through. That's got to be the most challenging part of being a coach!!!

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  6. I probably need to re-take Myers-Briggs (for like the 20th time) and actually write down my result, but I think I hover between INTJ and INFJ. Both flavors are delicious :)

    I do love starting new projects, but also really like crossing things off my list. The most satisfaction I get in my job right now is successfully finishing a project, because it's really difficult to do so sometimes! Is it possible to be both a starter AND finisher?

    For shoes, I just stop using them when my knees hurt. Not very scientific there. I mean I do track mileage, but I rely on the way shoes make me feel more than anything else (ha, that would point to INFJ and not INTJ - feeling, not thinking!)

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    1. If you are an INFJ, we would share a lot of the same personality traits!!! That would be cool to be semi-twinsies!!! And yes, both flavors are delicioso. =)

      Absolutely it is possible to be both a starter AND a finisher! That's actually the best of both worlds. I was reading that workplaces would ideally have a mix of both types of people in order to get things accomplished most efficiently. But if you bring both to the table, BAM! Productivity just skyrockets with you! =)

      I hear you on the "feel" approach to shoes and think it's very smart. I've definitely retired some shoes that still felt fine, just because they were at 300 miles, but similarly I've had other shoes that felt like they needed replacing earlier than 300. And I like what you did there with the INFJ comparison to your shoes - VERY clever!!! =)

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    2. LOL Semi-twinsies! :) I'm not surprised that I'm in between two types either, since I straddle the line on every quiz/assessment that I take like that. Astrologically, I'm on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini, and Gemini's thing is duality - two different sides of personality.

      In theory, I'd love to just start new projects and then hand them off to the finishers, but I'm too much of a control freak to let go of things before they're finished. So I think that's why I'm both.

      I forgot to say yesterday, I thought this was a very interesting post and discussion :)

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    3. WOW! That is stunning that you straddle the Taurus and Gemini, and that the Gemini is the symbol of the twins. Apparently there is more to these astrological signs than meets the eye!

      I am the same way with being uncomfortable letting go of things before they're finished. I don't trust anyone else to do my work, and I like having control, too. More semi-twinsies!!! Hehehe.

      Thanks so much, Anne! Really appreciate it!!! And I am loving hearing everyone's thoughts!!!

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  7. I don't know my Myers-Briggs personality type--I need to retake the quiz. But my favorite flavor of ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Karamel Sutra, so what does that say about me?

    And I am definitely a finisher!

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    1. I've never tried Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra but it sounds delicioso!!! I would think, based on the examples, that you are a powerhouse who works extremely hard for what she wants, keeps things real, and has a wickedly clever sense of humor. =)

      Hurray for finishers!!!

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  8. Very interesting! I don't remember my Myers Briggs personality type... I'm vaguely remembering an INTJ.

    it is very interesting that the three drops of milk in the fridge bother you! I used to have an irrational fear of finishing things...not work, things. I don't know how to explain it, but if I bought an "expensive" lotion from VS or Bath and body, I would use it to half way, then be terrified that it would be gone and I could never buy another one again. And at some point, I realized that they were not doing it's job sitting in the shelf, going bad, that they were meant to be finished. However, my fiancé leaves empty water glasses in the fridge and that drives me insane!

    So, do you have a compulsion to finish the shoes? Did you like them a lot? do they bring memories? I'm just curios why you won't switch them, they are very close to being done. What do you do with your shoes when you are done with them?

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    1. Thanks Ana! Do you like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (the flavor associated with INTJ)?

      Ahhhh, I do relate to the fear of using up your favorite product and not being able to replace it. I have some race shirts that I love, but I want to preserve them so I never wear them. So they end up sitting in the drawer all the time! Kind of defeats the purpose, right? Empty water glasses in the fridge would drive me insane, too. That's valuable real estate the fridge that could be much better used for other purposes!!!

      I do like the old pair of shoes (Saucony Rides) very much, but my new pair is a more updated version of the same shoe. It's just about my finisher mentality here! I want to get the old pair to the finish line before starting the new pair. If I start the new pair, I won't want to wear the old pair anymore - so I'm purposely trying to avoid that until it's completely time to move on. After my shoes hit retirement, I either bring them in to a running store to be recycled, or I downgrade them for walking around, biking, lifting weights, doing Zumba, etc. What about you?

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  9. Oooh, This is so fascinating! What am I, starter or finisher? I don't know! I think that I might be both. I love making plans for a new project. I love the fresh start feeling on the 1st of every month. I love new things especially running shoes and planners. But I'm also pretty conscientious and derive satisfaction from finishing a project. (I attribute that to all my years of running, It checks all the boxes! Starter - Making a new plan, Getting new gear and shoes. Finisher - The super satisfaction of finishing a race and even better if you did well!)
    Vanilla Fudge Swirl is both my MB type AND my favorite type of ice cream!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! Good for you for being both! That's actually the best of both worlds. I heard that workplaces would ideally have a mix of both types of people in order to get things accomplished most efficiently. But if you bring both to the table, you are the complete package, all in one!!! And that's great!!!

      Very cool that Vanilla Fudge Swirl is both your MB type AND your favorite flavor. If you are an INFJ, then I am trending close to being MB twins with you!!! =D

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  10. The milk thing would slightly annoy me as well! My husband used to do that with cereal when we first moved in together. I get that you don't always want the same cereal, but we certainly didn't need 5 boxes open each with just one bowl left in them. lol

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    1. Ahhhh, yes, my husband does the same thing! He's usually got about 5 boxes of cereal open, often with varying (low) amounts in each one. Sometimes I'll go through and finish off the boxes, one by one, just so I can have the satisfaction of clearing them out of the cabinet! LOL

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  11. It makes me crazy when my hubby opens a new container while the other still has some left LOL I will not do that!
    Depends on the shoes, maybe 300 maybe 400...but i do track so I know.
    I am an ISFJ maybe ISFP...I took the test years ago and I can not remember what my results were at the time.
    I could be an ISTJ lol I always have a hard time with those type of tests.

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    1. ME TOO!!! I am a little bit more understanding if it's a new flavor or something very different, but if it's the same thing - I'll never open a new one until the old one is finished!!!

      It's interesting to hear about how a lot of folks straddle two or more personality types, and how folks evolve over time! When I was in high school, I was a solid ENFJ - but the older I get, the closer I get to becoming an INFJ. If you take the test again now, I'd love to hear what your latest results are!

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  12. This is so interesting! I can never remember my Myers-Briggs type...it's an I something...but I would like to be an ISFP for the chocolate peanut butter swirl ice cream, please :D Haha. And I don't know if I'm a starter or a finisher! I get immense satisfaction out of completing a project, because I know I'm extremely goal oriented, but finishing things--your bottle of shampoo example made me think of this--often makes me extremely nervous and uncomfortable (welcome to the world of OCD). But I also don't like starting things either! I've gotten a lot better about it, but especially when I was younger, I refused to take the first scoop of ice cream out of a carton, the first knife-full of peanut butter out of the jar, etc. It always upset me to break how perfect it looked. So I don't know what I am!

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    1. Heheheheh, I thought about trying to manipulate my personality so I could represent some of my preferred flavors, too. =D Very interesting to hear about how OCD impacts your perspective on starting and finishing things! I did read some research on a third category of folks called "maintainers." These are people that prefer to just keep things going the way they are, as opposed to starting or finishing. Maybe that is you!?!?!?

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  13. I think I log more miles than I should e each pair of shoes. And u don't rate them either. Everytime I get a pair I say I am going to write it down and remember how many miles I put on them but I never do. I like finishing products. I always say good to the last drop.

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    1. I love the expression "good to the last drop"! That comes from one of the coffee makers, right? But it's so appropriate for this example. Maximize that value!!!!!!

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