A simple, no cost way to ‘bite the bullet’
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to err on the side of caution? Major life redesigns often come weighed down with endless research, heavy decisions and bucket loads of fear. Before long, you’re over-thinking your idea, losing sleep and worrying about everything that could go wrong.
While caution is admirable and keeps us from making rash decisions, it’s often fuelled by procrastination and excuses. We quickly come up with a thousand reasons not to make the change rather than focusing on the one really good reason to do it!
Here’s what I often hear from those contemplating changing jobs, finishing a long relationship, beginning a new one, moving to a new location, traveling the world or simply starting a project that will realize a dream:
- I can’t afford it…
- We have to wait until…
- What if something terrible happens…
- What if it fails…
- I don’t have time…
- I don’t know how…
- I’m too old/not old enough…
- I’d feel guilty if I …
If any of these strike a chord, don’t despair! You can get moving right now and feel the freedom and fulfillment of achieving your goal. Here’s the quick fix:
7 Simple Steps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Moving
Take the first step
Overwhelm is often the very thing that stops change dead in its tracks. Acknowledge that ‘eating the whole elephant in a single bite’ is a sure-fire way to fail and simply take one step. What’s the one thing you can do right now that will bring you closer to your goal?
Pick up the phone
Lack of knowledge, information and resources will halt progress on the smallest of goals. It’s so easy to crawl around the internet for hours and still be none the wiser. Decide what you need to know and pick up the phone to someone who can help you. If they can’t, they’ll probably know someone who can.
Choose what not to do
Whilst ‘fluffing’ (filling your days with lots of insignificant tasks) creates an air of importance and busyness, it also provides a smokescreen of avoidance. Major life changes require time to think, as well as create and do. What could you stop doing right now to free up your time and headspace?
Set a procrastination time limit
This tip came from a friend who noticed my occasional writer’s block frustration whilst writing The Great Life Redesign. In spite of the publisher’s looming manuscript completion deadline, whenever I got ‘stuck’ on a particular chapter, I distracted myself by doing other seemingly important things.
“Oh,” she said, “that’s easy! Set yourself a procrastination time limit.” Sure enough, I set the microwave timer, revelled in the delicious, guilt free bliss of doing nothing and as soon as the buzzer went off, got straight back to work.
Engage a buddy
It’s too easy to back away from a big dream or important goal when you haven’t told anyone about it. Amongst your friends and family, who’s the one person who will support you best – encouraging you through the challenges and celebrating your achievements?
Tell them what you’re doing and ask them to help you hold yourself accountable by checking in regularly. Offer to help them achieve an important goal and double the success as you both get the important things done more quickly and easily.
Dump the guilt and regret
Guilt and regret are the most wasted and futile of emotions that serve little purpose beyond making you feel bad. Both are often driven by something you did or didn’t do in the past. Given that the past is gone and you can’t change it, let them go. Honor the reasons they existed by learning from them and do things differently moving forward.
Call on your secret weapons – Courage, Commitment and Faith
Free of regret and guilt, you now have space to fill with the powerful inner resources that make good things happen. Think of a time they’ve come to your aid in the past and call on them again.
Access Courage to face your fears; draw on unshakeable Commitment to do whatever it takes and have Faith that it will all work out exactly as it’s meant to. (The Great Life Redesign explains ‘inner resources’and other essential tools to pack in your Thrival Kit).
Tthere are plenty of other great ways to get moving and it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest difference. What are your best tips for beating procrastination?