The following post is from Jeff of My Super-Charged Life:
Isn’t it easy to put things off?
It is often the most important things in life, those that count the most, that get pushed to the back burner. We tell ourselves we should get going on it, but we don’t. We fail to act. We set it aside for a better time and that time never seems to come around.
One of the biggest advantages in life you can give yourself is learning to get going on the things that really count. Getting started is often the hardest part. If you can overcome your hesitancy to start, then you will stand out as a star and shine for all to see.
How to Stop Putting Off the Important Things in Life
What is it that you want to accomplish? Do you need to start exercising, lose weight or go on a diet? Do you have important projects at work that you are putting off? Do you need to declutter and clean up your home?
Why do you keep putting these things off? Do you feel overwhelmed by the challenge? Does it seem too difficult? Are you having a hard time figuring out where to start?
Whatever it is for you, the tips below will help you to overcome your blocks and get going toward a better life. They will help you to break through the anxiety, worry and fear of failure to achieve even the most difficult goals.
1. Take the Smallest Step in the Right Direction
One of the things that usually holds us back is feeling overwhelmed by the size of our challenge. It is imperative that you break down big undertakings into much smaller subprojects. You need to overcome your resistance to starting by making it so ridiculously easy on yourself that you have no excuse.
For example, if you want to start exercising, but find yourself continually putting it off, then set the tiniest of goals to just get going. You can commit to running in-place every night this week for just two minutes during commercials. This will help you to break through your mental resistance. Once you get going, then increase the time slowly each week until you are up to 20-30 minutes per night.
2. Don’t Wait for the Perfect Starting Point
Sometimes we are paralyzed like a deer in the headlights because we can’t figure out what our first move should be. Don’t wait for the perfect place or time to start, just get going. Taking action, even if it isn’t ideal, will produce better results than continuing to do nothing. Also, the right thing usually reveals itself once you get started.
Do you have a dream that you’ve put off pursuing for years? Maybe you want to start your own business, write a book or perform on the stage. Stop waiting until the time is right and just do it. You should start small and start now. You’ll probably be amazed what these two strategies alone will do for you and for your life.
3. Change Your Internal Self-Talk
One of the reasons we put off the important things that really count is because we have that small voice in our heads that keeps asking things like:
- “Yeah, but what if you fail?”
- “How are you going to make enough money to survive doing that?”
- “Won’t people laugh at such a ridiculous idea?”
- “Are you sure you have what it takes?”
The best way to overcome the Doubting Thomas that lives in all of us is by changing our internal self-talk. We have to affirm ourselves with loads of positive, encouraging mantras in our heads. A mantra is a commonly repeated word or phrase. Find words that motivate and keep you going, then rinse and repeat often.
4. Plan Ample Breaks and Recreation
If you are procrastinating, one effective strategy to help you get going is to plan ample breaks. Tell yourself that you just have to work five minutes on your project and then you can take a five minute break. Once you get started, you’ll probably establish some momentum and see that it isn’t really as bad as you thought it was going to be. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to stretch that five minutes of working into much longer periods of productivity. This will lower your resistance and help you to get going.
Also, be sure to reward yourself, as you reach milestones, with some gratifying recreation. If you are cleaning up and decluttering your home, then stop after you complete each room to do something that you find enjoyable. This will keep you from burning out and encourage you to keep pushing toward the finish line.
5. Stop Worrying About Finishing and Just Get Started
Another reason that we fail to start projects is because we feel overwhelmed with what it will take to finish. You shouldn’t worry about finishing the whole enchilada right now. That’s too much for you to wrap your mind around. Again, break it down into much smaller and more manageable tasks so you can diffuse your resistance and see some light at the end of the tunnel.
For example, if you want to write a book, set a goal to write one chapter. You don’t even have to start at the beginning. You can start where you feel the least resistance. Write about where your inspiration is the strongest. You can then build around this. Before you know it, you’ll have your book half written!
Beat Resistance to Get Going On What Really Counts
The key is to use whatever strategies you can to get going on the things that matter the most to you. To do this, you have to lower the amount of resistance. Figure out why you are putting things off and then lower the bar to the point that you can’t say no any longer. The strategies above are sure to help!
What holds you back from getting started? What do you do to overcome your resistance?
|Jeff Nickles writes My Super-Charged Life to help people find success and meaning in their life. He has spent many hours researching these topics and loves making it easy for others to use the wisdom he discovers. Jeff is a corporate IT Director, but also has experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, training instructor, and military officer.|