Are you tired of not having the life you’ve always dreamed of? What if you could change everything by eliminating one word from the way you live today?
That word is procrastination. Too many people are master procrastinators, putting off their dreams for another day. Some have given up completely and will spend most of their lives complaining about how unlucky they are. They will remain blind to the opportunities they are presented with, rather than act upon them.
Procrastination is a dream stealer, and its effects can be costly. For example, many people pay for a gym membership, yet procrastinate and hardly ever use it. Instead of wasting their money, they would be better off giving it to a worthy cause.
So what is procrastination? Simply put, procrastination is the act of giving in to negative habits. These become new habits and slowly form a lifestyle. Procrastination can be overcome by weakening the negative habits and consciously cultivating positive habits to replace this pattern. This is why top professional athletes tell you their secret is “Practice, practice, practice.” By training your mind, you’re making the greatest investment in your future.
Since you already put in many hours into activities to live your current lifestyle, why not invest several minutes each day into creating your ultimate existence? Here are some steps to master in order to avoid procrastination and jumpstart your life.
1. First, define what success means to you. Visualize, in detail, where you want to be.
2. Identify the activities that must be done to get to where you want to be. In other words, make your goals seem simpler and more doable by breaking them down into smaller tasks. Consider each step to be a goal in itself. For a example, let’s say you want to get fit. Maybe you could set a goal to run one mile every other day. Begin by walking once around the block for a week, then the following week jog around the block, and build from there.
3. Write down each goal. Sadly, only three people out of a hundred bother to do this. Once your goals are on paper, read them out loud. Hearing yourself articulate your goals in your own voice makes them more real.
4. Set a timeframe to accomplish each goal. Purchase a day planner or use a smart phone app to keep yourself on track.
5. Quit making excuses. You may have heard someone--maybe even yourself--say, “If only I were younger...” Well, Thomas Edison still worked on inventions even after he was 90 years old, and Michelangelo did some of his best work after the age of 80. You are never too old, or too young, to set worthwhile goals. Other excuses include “I don’t have time” and “I have no money.” Find a way to make the time, and remember, billionaire Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn, New York. No excuses!
6. Identify the people who give you energy. Share your goals with them. By letting them know of your intentions, you also become accountable for your actions.
7. Avoid people who instill doubt. Anyone who is less than supportive will only drag you down.
8. Think of the consequences of delaying action. What would your life look like if you don’t begin to work on your goals now?
9. Surround yourself with things that inspire victory. Not just photos or mementos of your past accomplishments; include some that inspire your future, of where you are going and want to be.
10. Create two separate bucket lists, one for the short term and the other for decades to come. Make sure to integrate these items into your daily planning.
11. Organize your environment. This will help organize your thoughts. De-clutter and live by the adage, “A place for everything, and everything in its place!” It’s that simple.
12. At the end of the day, take 15 minutes to organize your thoughts and prepare for tomorrow. It will be much easier to get things done when you know exactly what they are.
The bottom line is, don’t let the negative habit of procrastination hold you back any longer. Procrastination is like skydiving with a parachute half open; you might still make it to the ground, but with a lot more anxiety and most likely you will not land on your intended target.
Be sure to check out my new best seller, Discovering Your Personal Power: 27 Articles of Inspiration, based on the columns I write here for Mesquite Local News. Available in both softcover and download through Amazon at: http://amzn.to/KApKsm or Barnes & Noble at http://bit.ly/Izv6Zd
Nikk Zorbas is a performance coach, author, recording artist, and creator of "The Reveal, Dream Big, Never Quit" program. He splits his time between Las Vegas and Mesquite. His monthly column appears the first Monday of every month on www.MesquiteLocalNews.com. For more information, visit his website at www.DiscoveringThePowerOfYou.com.