Many years ago, my husband and I were spending the holidays in another state. One morning we decided to make a visit to a nearby national park that I had never visited and he thought I would really enjoy. As we began our preparations, our hosts asked if they could join us. We agreed and were shortly ready to leave. They had a few things that just needed to be done before they could be ready to go and since we agreed to go as a group, we waited for them. Thing after thing “needed” to be done and before we knew it, it was mid-afternoon, we still hadn’t left and it began to snow, causing us to have to cancel our outing. It was another 10 years before I finally got the opportunity to go back again and visit that national park.
Are you tired of missing out on important opportunities and activities in your life?
Are you tired of feeling like you’re always behind the curve and on deadline?
Are you ready to change things and enjoy the life you really want to live?
You just need to stop procrastinating.
Do NOT bookmark this post to read it later. You know you are going to put it off and never get to it. Stop what you are not doing right now and read this post.
Then start implementing these steps to stop procrastinating now.
Step 1: How important is it?
Pick any goal you’ve been putting off, avoiding, claiming to be too busy for or otherwise procrastinating in some form. It doesn’t matter what it is, just pick one.
Now—ask yourself: is this REALLY something you want to do?
Very often we procrastinate goals that either weren’t really our idea to begin with or are something that just isn’t that important to us. What is the why behind the project you’re procrastinating? Whether it’s exercising regularly, going back to school, learning a new skill or cleaning the basement, if it isn’t something that you actually see the value in, you’re never going to be motivated to get it done.
You need to be really honest with yourself. Sometimes there are external factors that we use as an excuse to procrastinate, and we’re going to address some of those in the following steps, but more often we procrastinate for internal reasons. When we remove the external excuses for procrastinating, we can see more clearly the real reasons for not accomplishing what we want to do.
If it’s not important to you, let it go and let go of the accompanying guilt and frustration.
If this goal really is important to you, let’s get to it.
Step 2: Make Time for It
Please note, I didn’t say “Find time,” I said, “Make Time.” If you ever find some time lying around somewhere unused, please feel free to send it my way. Last I checked time is a finite resource of which we are all allotted the same amount and there is never “extra” time just waiting for us to stumble across it.
If you want to get something done, you are going to have to make time in your life for it. There is no such thing as too busy for your most important goals. If you are too busy to do the thing you want most to do in your life, what exactly are you doing with your time? Think about that: If you are too busy for your most important priorities, you are definitely out of whack and need to stop and re-evaluate.
Step 3: Re-Order Your Priorities
Look at your time. Write down all the activities of a typical day if you need to. ALL of it. Channel surfing and web surfing too. What are you doing that you are willing to give up to accomplish your goals?
[tweetthis]What are you doing that you are willing to give up to accomplish your goals?[/tweetthis]
In other words, what in your life is more or less important than this goal? How much do you want it? Do you want it enough to give up your favorite TV show? Do you want it enough to get up an hour earlier every day? Do you want it enough to make it a priority in your life?
Step 4: Give Yourself a Timeline
Until you put a deadline on it, it’s not a goal, it’s just a wish. Sit down and map out your goal, step-by-step. Make sure it’s realistic. I am a fan of the S.M.A.R.T. method of goal setting. Goals that are written down and mapped out are far more likely to become reality than the ones we just store in our heads.
Step 5: Find an Accountability Partner
Don’t keep your goal a secret. You don’t need to publish it on the front page of the New York Times or announce it on the evening news, but the bigger your cheering section, the less likely you are to give it up. Besides sharing your planned-out goal with the people you know will support you, choose someone to whom you feel accountable—not just someone who will keep track of your progress, but someone you feel a sense of accountability toward. You know—that person that you don’t want to let down or have disappointed in you. Not only with this person help keep you on track, but your desire not to disappoint them can also work to keep you going.
Step 6: Do it
And finally—get out there and get going. Don’t talk yourself out of it; don’t let anyone else talk you out of it.
You KNOW you can do this.
You know you WANT to do this.
You know WHY you to do this.
So go and do it already.