Are you procrastinating?
Do you have a dream or goal that you should be working towards, but you just don’t seem to get to it?
If your answer is yes to these questions, it may be time to revisit your “reason why.”
Our lives are so filled with information in this era that we can easily be influenced by what we hear and read. We sometimes consider the opinions of others to be fact, and can easily be caught up in the hype created by marketing campaigns. Sometimes we are influenced by well-meaning family and friends to follow a path which they feel will benefit us, but is not necessarily a path of our choosing.
For example, I often encounter people whose choice of what to study when they left school, and in the career path they chose was influenced by others. This results in many people lacking passion and being disengaged in their work environments.
Sometimes peoples’ choice of spouse or life partner has been influenced by others, resulting in dysfunctional relationships with far-reaching consequences, particularly when there are children involved.
Then there’s New Year’s resolutions – another minefield of commitments made because of peer pressure or because it seems like the right thing to do. Statistics show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February and that only 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions.
In revisiting your “reason why,” I invite you to look deep inside and ask yourself the following question: Is this really what I want for myself?
If the goal you are pursuing is not really one of your choosing, then it may be best to drop it like a hot potato and choose a different goal aligned with your personal vision. However, if your answer is “Yes” to the above question, and you are truly inspired to achieve your goal, fantastic!
Then all you need to do is stop procrastinating and get out of your own way. Here are 4 ways how to do just that:
Recommit to your goal.
Once your “reason why” is very clear in your mind, write down your goal ensuring that it is a SMART goal; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant (to your personal vision), and Timed. It is important to get this part right to create the foundation for what comes next.
Just do it! Many people procrastinate because of sub-conscious fears around their ability to do something well enough to meet with the approval of others, or their own inner-critic. The only way to get good at doing something is through practice – by doing it. Action and progress are what will support you in overcoming any sub-conscious fears you may have.
If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent Van Gogh
Adapt a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is one of knowing that we can adapt, grow and improve. If you take a step and fall over, take a moment to gather your thoughts, get up and try again. We can gain so much from observing a baby learning to walk. Instinctively babies know that they must get up and keep trying, no matter how many times they fall over.
There is nothing wrong with falling over, as long as we get up again and keep trying. Small incremental improvements make a significant difference over time, so keep learning, growing and improving
Keep your word to yourself.
When working with coaching clients, I often see a difference between peoples’ level of commitment to keeping promises they’ve made to others versus keeping promises they’ve made to themselves. People often place more emphasis on the importance of commitments made to others, and will often sacrifice commitments they’ve made to themselves, in order to serve others.
I believe that sub-conscious conditioning plays a big role here, and that this habitual behaviour has deep roots, usually from early childhood. As children, many of us were taught (even very subtly) that the needs or priorities of others were more important than our needs or priorities. Keeping your word to yourself is an integral part of self-love, and is an essential skill to master if you want to achieve the goals you set for yourself in life. This becomes easier with practice.
The more you keep your word to yourself, the more likely you are to do so as the neurological pathway that supports the new subconscious programme called “I always keep my promises to myself” strengthens. This sub-conscious programme serves you well in keeping commitments you’ve made to yourself, even when you’re ‘not in the mood’ to do so.