It might seem obvious, but one of the most valuable things I have learned for myself over the past year is that procrastination is a killer. It kills motivation, it kills progress, it kills achievement, and most of all it kills futures. I know that’s so dramatic. But it is true, and here’s what I mean.
How? In a business, it kills the ability to get things done. If I procrastinate any aspect of my own small business, then it doesn’t happen. Since each small aspect of my business is somehow linked to the outcome of my services to clients, if I procrastinate them, then ultimately I am delivering poor service. For your health, it means holding off on doing the things you know will improve your health. It also means continuing to do the things that are detrimental to your health. An example of this would be wanting to lose 30 lbs, and then justifying to yourself that you can eat junk or fast food because it feels good in the moment and you’ve “been good”. It doesn’t work that way. That would be the equivalent of me working hard to get some more business, and then not respond to their inquiries when leads come my way, or knowingly delivering poor service to them, thus driving them away.
Living in a future (that is not yet created) is like cooking a meal before you’ve bought the ingredients
People often “live” their lives in the future. Meaning they are hoping, wishing, and imagining a life where they are happy. They are setting goals for themselves for a future in which “I’ll be happy when…”. This phenomenon is interesting and while I do promote having goals and setting them, living in the future is killing you. Living in a future (that is not yet created) is like cooking a meal before you’ve bought the ingredients. Impossible right? Well people are doing it all the time. Telling themselves that they will start being healthy in the future. “Tomorrow will be better. I will start working out on Monday. I will start that diet tomorrow. When I’ve lost that 30 lbs, I’ll be so happy.”
continuing to do the same things you’ve always done are never going to get you change
News Flash: It’s a death wish, and here’s why:
- There will always be reasons and excuses not to start when you say you will start. Habits, excuses and challenges in life are always there, and they are what got you to where you are in the first place, so continuing to do the same things you’ve always done are never going to get you improvement or change.
- While you are living in this imagined future, your life is happening around you, and you are doing nothing to improve it. While you are imagining how happy you’ll be when you lose 10 lbs, you are not currently in the moment taking action to lose the 10 lbs, so it’s a pipe dream.
- Always striving to improve is one thing, but creating goals and not having systems and habits in place to achieve them will cause you to feel like a failure when things don’t pan out like you imagined (which is almost always the case).
So what can you do? You have to decide what you want, and start to work on enjoying your journey. Here are three tips to kill your procrastination to better health:
1. Let go of the past. Forget about what happened in the past, why something didn’t work, why you got to where you are. It doesn’t matter anymore – your life is here and now. Where you are now is okay. Where you are headed is better 😉
2. Take action. This means not procrastinating anything that will get you a little bit closer to your improved self. If you want to learn to run, then take action and start walking. The most successful people are those that take action constantly. They literally do not hesitate for a second to get things done. They might ponder what their current priorities are to move forward, but they decide based on the outcome they want, and then they “just do it”.
3. Create some systems that will turn into habits. Surround yourself with supportive people that will not sabotage your journey – and enrol them in your system. For example, you could talk to your spouse or roommate about why eating healthy is important to you and not to bring home junk food because it’s too hard for you to avoid.
My last piece of advice: practice enjoying each moment of your journey. Everytime you do something to become healthier – celebrate it! I mean it – each little hurdle is a challenge conquered, and you deserve to feel good about every moment and struggle. It will make the result so worth it.
Stop procrastinating, take action, and enjoy the journey of your life. Cause it only happens once 😉