The pain of procrastination is one of those things that affect us all at one time or another. Gosh knows, we’re presented with a ton of choices each day. And let’s be honest, some choices are simply more inviting than others.
It’s human nature to want to put that annoying task aside for one more day but we need to get honest about how much this habitual tendency stops us from creating new results in our life and is hindering our happiness and fulfillment.
Sometimes, procrastination is a good thing and serves an intuitive response guiding us toward a better time for taking action. But most of the time, procrastination is a fear response, holding us back from getting the things we really want. If left unchecked, procrastination turns into self-sabotage and we never make progress.
Change Starts with Self-Awareness
Everybody wants to achieve their goals but few are willing to push past the discomfort to get there. But here's the good news: personal growth doesn’t have to be boring!
It's critical to understand if you're motivated toward things or a move away from things. Simply put: are you motivated to get the goal or motivated to avoid the pain of not getting it? When you know this, it’s easier to focus on the things that will motivate you to take action and overcome procrastination and self-sabotage.
Self-awareness is at the heart of real change. It takes emotional intelligence and self-honesty to admit limiting behaviours and create a new future. No, it's not always fun at first-— reality checks often aren't! But it's the source of authentic change.
If you're failing to make progress in areas of your life, chances are, you haven't done one of these three things:
Burn Your Bridges
The Latin root of the word "decision" means to "cut off." When you make an absolute decision, you commit to a course of action and cut off all other options. That sounds daunting but really, it’s clarifying. Cutting off all other options powerfully reorders your thinking, your choices and your behaviour toward achieving that goal.
That's not to say accomplishing goals is easy. You may need to endure long periods of feeling uncomfortable to reach the next level. But the only way to get there is to make a firm decision and dare to burn the bridges and decide that there’s no way back. Because if you aren’t absolutely clear on your vision, if you haven't emotionally connected to it, it’s going to be tough to stay on track over the long haul.
Think of someone you love. You'd do just about anything for this person, right? Move heaven and earth for them. But you might not do anything for an acquaintance. That’s why your goal needs to be your love, not merely an acquaintance!
It's this kind of passion that helps you keep the pressure on when the going gets tough (because it may). Without authentically and deeply connecting to your goal, you’re more prone to procrastination, self-sabotage and then failure.
So let's draw a line in the sand. Ready?
1. What decision will you make today? What bridges will you burn?
2. What is the goal you would most love to achieve?
3. What is your purpose for wanting your goal?
Don't be afraid to start small. Maybe the decision for today is to hit the gym and work out for an hour. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll decide to finally quit your job and explode your business full time. No matter what you decide, make decisions more often and choose to "burn your bridges”.
Procrastination is something we all live with to varying degrees. But by making bold and firm decisions, you can learn to push past it and get you closer to your ideal life. Don't forget to celebrate your wins along the way. And remember: Big changes happen when you take small actions consistently over time.
An easy way to overcome procrastination and self-sabotage is with a Dailygreatness Journal or Planner. It’s an engaging way to start and end your day giving you a pause to check in with yourself and build self-awareness. And with a small time investment of 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night, this simple self-awareness practice is a powerful way to create massive changes so you can finally master your life. Check out our collection here.
Lyndelle Palmer Clarke is the founder of Dailygreatness, the author of the Dailygreatness Journals inspiring you to be your own guru and Rocking Fit a 12-week holistic training program designed especially for women.