You know that feeling?
The feeling of having a task hanging over you all day? That one to-do that you keep bumping into in your brain—until you do it?
Maybe it’s that tricky email that you need to write…that phone call you’re nervous about making…that pesky errand you don’t want to run.
Now—approximately how many times throughout the day do you imagine doing that task, think, “Ugh!” and move on to something else…only to have it pop up again in your mind?
What’s not wrong?
If you read my last post, you know that my success with my 30-day blogging challenge left me raring to go on the next one!
As I poured my morning coffee the day after completing my first challenge, an idea for my next challenge popped into my head: to drink my coffee and tea without sugar for the next 30 days.
The idea wasn’t to cut sugar out of my diet entirely.
It was just that for months, I’d been thinking about wanting to cut back on this easy-to-overlook addition to my sugar intake. (This girl likes a LOT of sugar in her coffee.) When I’d tried to have less sugar before, I always wanted more—my regular amount—so I decided that a cold-turkey 30 days would be another approach that would, by removing all of the gray area, force-adjust me.
Plus, I wanted to see just how powerful a 30-day challenge could be. On the heels of my first 30-day success, I decided to go for it.
Break it down, baby.
Did you make big, audacious New Year’s Resolutions this year?
First, congratulations on taking the time to self-reflect and commit to a change!
Now—are you overwhelmed, disillusioned, or discouraged yet? If so, you’re in good company.
Mid-January is a time when that fresh resolve that This is the year! starts to flag for many people, as we jump back into all of the responsibilities and to-dos and habits that are still waiting right where we left them at then end of December.
“You can quit your job and do something else…one is not as locked in as one thinks.”
Matt tells the story of the morning carpool ride that set him on the path to a total career change. “I got to work, and went up into my office, and sat down at my desk, and said, ‘So what am I doing?’”
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Since this month is all about getting into action on your big goals, I want to share one of my favorite resources to help you break through action’s archenemy (dun dun dunnnnn!): procrastination.
If you identify as a procrastinator, you are not alone. Like those who can’t get out of bed in the morning, most people who are intense procrastinators feel deep shame about their habit—and have no idea how large this club’s membership truly is.
I’ve found The Now Habit by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. to be a phenomenal resource for many clients who struggle with procrastination. Fiore helps you figure out why you are procrastinating and offers concrete exercises and strategies to overcome the most common blocks to getting started.
“It’s only January 7th, and I’m already behind!”
Do you already feel “behind” in the new year? Often, we begin the new year resolving to tackle tasks we’ve historically resisted and put off.
The bigger, scarier, more time-consuming, or more overwhelming the task feels, the more likely we are to make up and believe compelling stories (read: excuses) for why this is not the right time to get started—we’ll do it later!
We are very, very good at making up these stories!
What’s more, we do this not only with tasks that we don’t enjoy, but also with activities we genuinely like to do–things that we know would bring us pleasure.
Here’s a strategy you can use the next time you think “I should,” “I need to,” or “I want to” about a task and feel the urge to procrastinate.
Meet your new best friend.
All you goal-makers and procrastinators out there, have you met my friend the timer?
This unassuming little tool unlocks massive productivity potential.
It may look like an inanimate object, but I give this little guy part of the credit for completing my schooling, working out, my home’s relatively organized state, staying on top of my email, and for this blog you’re reading, among many other things. I seriously don’t know where I’d be without it!
I recommend this tool to all of my clients as they tackle their own projects, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you today.
Are you waiting for an angel to fly into town?
One of the nastiest beasts that keeps people stuck is what I refer to as the “If-Mores.”
We tell ourselves that if only we had more (fill-in-the-blank), we would be able to do something that we long to do.
This can become an excuse not to take action.
Oh well, we say. I guess I just can’t have that.
This is usually accompanied by some major Poor me energy, along with a grumble or two of comparison to others who have the thing we wish we had more of.
Today, I challenge you to begin a journey to banish the If-Mores by doing the following exercise.