It is that time of year again. You know, that time when you realize it is one or two months past January and not one of your New Year’s resolutions has taken off. Was it a promise to yourself to exercise? Maybe it was a then, deeply-felt resolution to diet. Or did you swear off sugar for a month…again?
Whatever the resolution or commitment to a new behavior you swore to yourself, chances are you did not want to do it. And, you still have not done it. The real question is, will you ever do it?
Procrastination is a big problem for many of us. Chances are that we do not do those unpleasant tasks because they are, well, admit it, unpleasant. We don’t start new, positive habits because (*drumroll*) we really don’t want to. The New Year’s resolution sounded good. It even still is a good idea. But the real question is, will we ever do it?
If you want to actually do those things you have been putting off, try these approaches:
1. Put your money where your mouth is–Invest in yourself. All of the ideas we have to improve ourselves are actually good ideas. But they cannot come to life until we actually make an investment of time and energy. What is holding you back from investing in yourself? Is it some form of fear? Maybe the idea that you are not worthy of what you are secretly desiring to change about yourself scares you stiff.
If either of these is the case, spend some time journaling to help discover the answer. Then, actually do something to prove to yourself you are worth the investment of both time and energy. The truth is, you really are worth it; that’s why you want to change.
2. If-Then Planning
Use the “if-then” planning method if you’re putting something off because it’s hard, boring or unpleasant. Making an if-then plan is more than just deciding what specific steps you need to take to complete a project–it’s also deciding where and when you will take them. By deciding in advance exactly what you’re going to do, and when and where you’re going to do it, there’s no deliberating when the time comes.
The investment will actually take place when you say, “If dinner is cooked, then I will start exercising as I planned to do.” The moment you decide to clean the garage at 3 p.m. on Saturday, stick to your word and do it. “If it does not rain on Saturday at 3 p.m., then I will clean the garage.” No second guessing yourself. That leads to procrastination.
3. Stop beating yourself up
Another reason people do not do what they desire is because they spend a lot of time focusing on why they didn’t do it sooner. Stop it!
The past is just that, the past. New habits and dreams are built, created and crafted the moment we live in the present and the future. Look forward in your approach to achieve personal success, and procrastination can become a thing of the past.
No one drives a car totally focused on the rearview mirror. Drivers get to their destination because they look ahead. They focus on the traffic patterns, signals and signs to arrive safely at their destination. No procrastination involved.
Try it. Look ahead at the benefits of doing what you actually desire to achieve.
Achieving our personal best is a good goal. It is even one that can be achieved if we are willing to make an investment in ourselves of both time and energy. Pondering why you decided to pursue the goal is one reason to start anew. But the biggest payoff is knowing you had the courage to change the only thing you can change in life—which is you.
Featured photo credit: Martina Misar-Tummeltshammer via unsplash.com
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