We are in the last week of September. There are only 35 days to Halloween, 58 days to Thanksgiving, and 91 days to Christmas.
The year 2023 only has 97 days remaining!
How are you doing on your goals for the year? Does the idea of only 97 days remaining encourage or discourage you?
I have several piles of work I “will do later”. When I look at them and then at my goal list, I can easily tell myself “it is too late” or “this should be done by now” and the ultimate negative self-talk exclaims “you will never get this done, why even try”
OR I can change my perspective and remind myself, “getting started is the only way to finish and I have 97 days to do it!”
Wow, now that 97 days feels more encouraging when I say “I get 97 days” as opposed to “I only have 97 days”. Changing the perspective of ‘have to’ to ‘get to’ can make such a big difference.
Think for a moment, what ‘have to’ in your life do you need to change to ‘get to’?
Procrastination is a sneaky beast. It promotes putting off tasks. And not just tasks you really don’t want to do. It also promotes putting off tasks that you thoroughly enjoy or even look forward to!
It can masquerade as a helpful friend, telling you that you can always do the task tomorrow. Or that you need to take a break from all the hard work. Or you’ll start on it after this show is over, only to still be glued to the screen three hours later.
If this sounds familiar to you, don’t fret. You are not alone. Many people struggle with procrastination and find that it keeps them from achieving their goals reaching full potential, thus holding you back from experiencing the success and happiness you are striving for.
Think about it. Every time you put off a task that you need to do in order to achieve your goal, you are not just halting progress, you are actually taking a step back. You lose ground and make it harder for you to get where you want to go. It can appear so slow; you don’t even realize then. Then, before you know it, the small delays and setbacks all add up, and you’re left feeling discouraged and defeated.
The question then becomes, “How do you stop sabotaging your goals with procrastination?”
The key is to recognize when you’re procrastinating, and to take action to overcome it. Here are just a few tips that can help:
Be Honest with Yourself.
Try to get to the root of what’s really going on. Be honest. Are you being lazy, or is there an underlying fear holding you back? If the answer is laziness, that’s okay! Now that you are aware, remind yourself of the goal, opportunities, and the benefits you will miss out on if you don’t move forward.
Plan how you will celebrate the successful completion of each task. Make it something you’ll look forward to.
Turn it into a game.
Make a competition with yourself to see how quickly you can complete each task. The faster you finish, the more time you’ll have for fun and relaxation. “The sooner I finish this, the sooner I can _______ “ How will you fill in the blank?
Don’t Go it Alone.
Ask a friend or family member to be your accountability partner. Allow them to keep you on track. In return, hold them accountable as well and motivate each other to keep going.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, it’s just a task. Yes, it’s important and needs to be done, but stressing and not getting the sleep and rest you need will not get it done any sooner. So don’t stress yourself out over it. Take a deep breath, put on your favorite playlist, and get to work!
It is most important to remember that the goal here is not to be perfect, but to make progress. Don’t be too hard on yourself, have a little bit of fun along the way, and celebrate the small successes. Even if you don’t reach the finish line, you are closer than you were before you stepped out.
It’s time to change your perspective and quit procrastination. Look at all the possibilities and pathways in front of you. Take that step to proceed toward your goal.