Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
Procrastination: we are all challenged by it in one way or another. It interferes with our desires to lead healthy and fit lifestyles. Procrastination also rears its ugly head in every other aspect of our lives.
So, without further ado, and because of a request from one of my readers, here’s how to BREAK the cycle of procrastination.
First of all, GET STARTED. Forget about the finish line and just get started!
Here are 5 things you can do to break the cycle of procrastination. I guarantee you aren’t doing all 5 of them!
1. Break everything down into next actions. Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, it has a sequence of steps that must be taken to get you further down the road to completion. That’s what the next action is. Don’t fuss too much over identifying the next action. Just decide and get into action. Usually 15-20 minute chunks of time work well for next action steps.
2. Feeling overwhelmed? We all do at times. This often leads to procrastination because when we are confused and overwhelmed we tend to do nothing. There is something called Just In Time Learning (JITL). It means that you only spend time learning the things that apply IMMEDIATELY to what you’re going to do next.
JITL is a huge concept to understand because once you put it into practice it makes focusing on what to do so much easier. In the past year or so I’ve begun to implement JITL in my own life and businesses and it has made a huge difference. Yes, there is always more to learn and always will be. That’s just a fact of life. JITL however, keeps me focused and helps me accomplish my goals. When I look back I can see that I am getting better and better at discerning what to focus on and feeling less overwhelmed by my goals.
3. Don’t live your life in a vacuum. By this I mean set up some form of accountability. At the beginning of every semester I ask my students why they are taking my class. And while there are all kinds of possible answers, the one that I hear most often is because taking a class holds them accountable to their motives (health, fitness, stress relief). So whether it’s finding one partner, a community of like-minded people, a mastermind group or club, just don’t always be a solo act. Building accountability into your life will decrease procrastination!
4. Focus on PROGRESS, not perfection. I know, I know, for you fellow Virgo’s out there, this is a biggie! Allow yourself imperfection. It’ll be a blessing. Allow yourself to take imperfect steps towards your goals. An imperfect task completed NOW is always going to be better than the perfect task that never happens. You can always refine things later. And I also think it’s true that even when we think we’ve taken our task to perfection and it does get accomplished, it never really is perfect anyway. Perfectionism is a losing game that we get caught up in, and is probably the main culprit in procrastination.
5. Be aware of and learn to rephrase the voice that’s in your head. You know the one I’m referring to. It’s the self talk, the internal beliefs and the programming about what we think is TRUE. It’s all those I SHOULD statements. They can be poisonous. For starters, replace the I SHOULD with I CHOOSE statements and remember that what you think is “true” isn’t necessarily the case. And that’s a good thing!!
Why did I write about breaking the cycle of procrastination? Because I feel that procrastination stands in the way of us leading fulfilling, successful and happy lives. So remember to forget the finish line and focus on starting. Then use these steps to keep going.
So, without writing further drafts of this newsletter and making it as perfect as I possibly can, I’m just going to send it off to you as it is!
Make it a great month,