Procrastination, the number one cause that prevents people from reaching their goals. It doesn’t matter what activity it is, changing to a healthy lifestyle, starting a new business, learning a new skill, or even making a career change, the more time you spend humming and hawing, the more likely you will never complete your goal. Now is the time to stop living a life full of excuses and start living a result-led life.
How do you start living a result-led life? You start by making a list of the excuses you usually give by observing your own words and actions. You must become self-aware to resolve procrastination. Notice I did not say to pull out a piece of paper, write your goals and what is stopping you from reaching them. In order to change behavior, the need for changed behavior must be realized. Many times, an excuse has been given so often it becomes second nature to give it. We all know when we are about to make an excuse because we sit there in the moment and try to think of one to give.
Every time you find yourself in this moment, as soon as possible you need to record what the situation was in which you gave the excuse, what the excuse was, and why you felt the need to give an excuse. This self-accountability exercise should last over a 30-day period. At the end of 30 days, I want you to look over your excuse list and circle every repeat situation or any common occurrences. Once you have established the patterns of your excuse behavior it is time to analyze your behavior for a solution.
- Determine if your passion does not align with the specific goal. Often we make excuses and get frustrated because we are trying to do something we are “good at doing” vs something we are passionate about. Sometimes your procrastination has a simple answer, you just don’t want to!
- Do the commonalities among situations in your excuses align with the timing of where you are in life? Sometimes opportunities that are RIGHT open up with the wrong timing, this causes an uncomfortable situation. Imagine meeting your spouse 10 years too early, seeing the potential in the relationship, and trying to make it work at that time in your life. Balance is essential, take open doors that come with the wrong timing as a sign of where you are going. Don’t worry, when the time is right they will be flung wide opened!
- You are not ready. This is one of the most painful situations for many people because they really want what is behind door one, but they are completely unprepared for the responsibility. Showing up will reveal the lack of experience and readiness, however, making excuses is an easier route because it keeps your name in the hat while absolving you of any real responsibility. The great thing about this situation is if you are honest, often people are willing to wait, or they will provide assistance to help you get ready! Don’t be afraid to SPEAK UP!
- Fear of the unknown. How many people, if presented with the opportunity to go skydiving for free in Dubai, would be head over heels happy if they have never gone skydiving before? Doing something you have never done before is uncomfortable because you are not comfortable with doing it YET! However, if you never get started, you will never get comfortable. You will never know what to expect each day by making excuses for why you can’t jump into the unknown. No one is ever completely prepared, simply prepare to learn something new along the way.
- If you make a move, you have to do it alone. When you are in a circle of friends/associates that are not elevating with you things can quickly become very uncomfortable whether you decide to hold yourself back, or you begin to move to another level. Jumping out alone can be intimidating, but it is not impossible. In these times it is best to focus on your journey! Every one of us has a unique path in life. What I have found, regardless of that path we are on, there are others that will accompany us for life, while there are others that will move in other directions. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for others, is to let go when it is time. Have faith, being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely!
I hope that these tips will help you to overcome procrastination so you can start moving in a positive and productive direction in life! Do you have a specific challenge that I did not touch on? Tell me about it below in the comments section!