You know what terrifies me? The thought of getting to the end of my life and not accomplishing the major goals I set out to accomplish. Does that thought scare you too?
Ironically we’re all guilty of procrastinating and putting off starting our goals. If we’re scared not to accomplish them, why do we delay in starting? Why do we talk ourselves out of what we really want?
There are several reasons for this, but I believe the biggest two are fear and not being serious.
Time To Get SeriousI like to write about fear because it’s so debilitating. The feeling is real even though the reason we feel fear of success or failure is not. It’s simply the mind’s attempt to keep you safe, but at the same time it holds you back. Your mind isn’t structured to help you excel or thrive, it’s wired to help you survive. So anything above survival will be uncomfortable to do because it’s outside of your mind’s purpose.
You just have to talk yourself through your fears. Your goals won’t accomplish themselves, and saying “one day I’ll do it” won’t get it done either. Everyone feels fear, whether they make it look easy or not. And the famous people we look up to like Oprah, Bill Gates or Michelle and Barak Obama feel a stronger level of fear because they take bigger steps than the average person. They’ve just figured out how to feel their fear and do it anyway.
So if you have goals you wanted to accomplish in 2011 but didn’t, it’s time to get serious. Create a plan of how you’ll reach those goals in 2012, and think about the ways in which your mind convinces you to delay action. Come up with ways to get around this and take action TODAY.
We can keep dreaming about our dreams or we can finally move forward with what we want. Which choice will you make today? What accomplishments have you chosen for 2012, and how will you get started right now?
Time Waits For No Man
People have been conditioned by society to believe that the older they get, the less likely they are to achieve a big dream. Most people talk themselves out of going back to school if they are older than 22; moving overseas once you’ve started your career is definitely out for most; and you can forget dropping everything and pursuing a huge dream once you’re married with kids. Or so people say…
Click Here To Continue Annabel Candy, via a comment she left on the Motivated Sista Page on Facebook. “What is the difference between procrastination and laziness?!” she asked. I had to think about that for a moment… because honestly, its really easy to say you’re ‘just procrastinating’ when really, you’re being lazy!
We’ve all been guilty of it too. As motivated as I am to reach for the stars, honestly, sometimes I just can’t. Or I just don’t feel like it. Or I’m tired. But fatigue is much different than caving into our feelings, and allowing how we feel to dictate our actions. We live in a society that has accepted procrastination as a normal part of the work flow, yet we don’t really acknowledge that our minds and bodies need periodic breaks from working hard.
Its not really sufficient to take 14 days out of a year to rest yourself. And I know alot of people who take ‘staycations’ during that time, and get work done around the house and other errands. That’s not really a break, vacation or rest from anything.
Constantly wearing your mind and body down leads to the place where you don’t want to get much of anything done. Before you know it, you keep putting things off, then working frantically to meet deadlines. Its an unhealthy cycle that can be avoided with a little mental toughness and planning.
Are You Being Lazy?
Before you start beating up on yourself, make sure what you’re feeling is not actually fatigue. Our society is structured in a way that doesn’t really promote periodic rest periods. But if you’re grinding steadily on your goals, its important to give yourself down time to refresh your mind and rejuvenate your spirit.
After that question is out of the way, the easiest way to tell if you’re being lazy is to figure out what your intentions are. If you’re trying to avoid the task altogether then you’re probably being lazy. Lazy people question why they need to act and bemoan the fact that they have to do what they have to do. In other words, they make excuses and allow their emotions to dictate their actions (i.e. “I don’t want to do it”).
On the other hand, procrastination is a temporary avoidance tactic. I find that I procrastinate out of a twisted sense of perfectionism: if I can’t do something perfectly, then I don’t want to do it. I recognize that I must still complete the task but I’m reluctant to put my name on anything that’s not ‘perfect’. What that really means is, I can’t do it within the vision of how it should go. I’m working on that habit because I fully recognize that things can’t always go how I envision them to.
How To Beat Procrastination
One of the breakthroughs I’ve had lately is that it’s ok to be lazy sometimes. What I think is laziness is usually fatigue or mental burnout. But in those times where I have energy, I’m inspired, focused and motivated, I make myself handle as much as I can. Getting things done ahead of time is one of the best cures for procrastination. That way, I’m not scrambling around trying to finish something at the last minute – when things are done ahead of time I can allow myself to be lazy, because my work is done.
Another way to beat procrastination is to get into the habit of performing tasks every day. Steady work toward a goal is one way to stop yourself from putting it off. If you assign yourself something small and constantly overdeliver, you’re sure to train yourself to stay ahead of your deadlines.
How do you beat procrastination and laziness? I’d love to read your comments on this topic.