When I decided I wanted to stop procrastinating, I quit calling myself a procrastinator.
Here’s why: stop procrastinating so you can get on with your health.
- When we label ourselves procrastinators, it gives us permission to keep procrastinating.
- When we believe we’re a procrastinator, we’ll do things that procrastinators do.
- Procrastinators avoid the discomfort of doing the thing, to later pay a bigger price.
- Labeling ourselves with any title that implies a negative connotation is working against us.
Some reasons we think we can’t stop procrastinating (all are fear-related in some way):
- Perfectionism; we wait till everything is just right to start or we’re afraid to start because we don’t think the outcome will be good enough.
- We have a story (belief) that creating better health (especially if weight loss is on the list) is hard, unpleasant, will take too long, or will be a hassle.
- If we believe it will take a long time, we think we don’t have that kind of time to start and complete something. (All or nothing thinking makes it hard to stop procrastinating).
- There are decisions to be made that we don’t want to make, think we can’t make, or feel too overwhelmed to commit to a final decision.
How the act of procrastinating can affect our health and our lives:
- We have an ongoing, nagging feeling something isn’t right. (When we’re good at paying attention to our bodies, our emotions will tell us every time we are out of alignment and working against ourselves).
- Procrastinating when it comes to our health is like strapping on a heavy backpack, carrying it around with us every waking minute (if serious enough, it goes to bed with us too), and just hoping it disappears.
- It keeps part of us unhappy with ourselves.
- If it’s relationship-based, like avoiding an overdue conversation for connection, precious time can be wasted and prolong hurts.
- If it’s business-related, procrastination can affect our livelihood and growth (and trickle into money issues at home).
- If it’s health-related, putting things off that need tending to can lead to illness, disease, or death.
How to stop procrastinating:
- STOP labeling yourself a procrastinator. Decide that you will be a person who is learning to get things done with more ease and is committed to taking action even if in smaller increments.
- Develop empathy for your future self; protect her from circumstances that will inevitably be there waiting for her.
- Chunk projects down in list form and don’t leave your list until you have the first step, a time, and a date plugged into your calendar.
- Ask for accountability from someone who will support you.
- Reward yourself for every small win.
- This will take time, awareness, and continual belief in yourself, so just keep showing up!
Here’s the most productive (and drama-free) action step I invite you to take if you want to stop procrastinating: so you can get on better health
Ask yourself, “Do I want to be a woman who procrastinates?”
If your answer is no, make a copy of the last 6 steps above and commit to focusing on them daily (for however long it takes). Be patient with yourself. Remember that you’ve been thinking the thoughts that steer your behaviors for a very long time and change takes time. Like training muscles to get stronger, it’s an ongoing practice, so just stay in the commitment, stay aware of your thoughts, and don’t give yourself a hard time when you slip up.
Here’s the next most productive and immediate step you can take right now.
Make a decision about something that you’ve been undecided about and follow steps 3 & 4.
I believe in you! Please leave me a comment below if this is helpful in any way. Let me know what you’ve decided and your first action step, I would love to cheer you on!
Just keep showing up!