About the Author: Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Coach, Integrative Master Hypnotherapist, EFT & NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer and Reiki Master located in Seattle, Northern Lights Life Coaching www.northernlightscoaching.net & Embrace Change Hypnosis & NLP www.embracechangehypnosis.com. Kate offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding Path, Purpose and Peace. Kate focuses on integration of mind, body, spirit wellness. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and embracing change. She is passionate about creativity, travel, personal growth and enjoying life. She has another wellness-related business offering Salt Therapy, Salt Works Saltariums. Salt Therapy offers an all natural treatment solution for respiratory and skin problems. All three businesses operate as Dba's under Total Well Resources, LLC. Kate is a speaker, writer and event facilitator. She is also a radio show host on Contact Talk Radio, www.ctrnetwork.com/embracechange hosting "Embrace Change with Kate ".
We start out with an intention and a goal, but why do we not achieve or reach that intention? What happens to get in the way and keep us stuck or stalled. Why is it so hard to just do it! If you have heard the saying, “it’s all in your head”, that pretty much sums it up. Maybe that is a slight over-simplification, but really not that far from the truth! We fill the space in between doing and not doing with a lot of clutter. As you all know clutter gets in the way! So, how do we get rid of the clutter and clear the path for action! It is a process that takes some discipline and the knowledge that you are in control. It is actually a matter of mindset. You also have to be clear on your priorities and motivation to achieve what you set out to do. Obviously, we have a limited amount of time, so only so much can be achieved in a given period of time. However, if you limit the clutter and are motivated, you will be amazed at how productive you can be and how much can be achieved. Left unchecked procrastination becomes a habit and so to change that habit we must develop a new and better habit. I am going to give you some tips on how to go about the process of changing this old and defeating habit and with your new mindset becoming a productive action taker.
First, ask yourself what you “put off” and why? While procrastination is a universal behavior, it seems we are very individual on what we procrastinate on and why we do it. Figuring out what the thinking behind your inaction is, will help you in identifying what thought patterns and behaviors need to be changed. If you can identify those thought patterns and the often-limiting beliefs behind them, you are well on your way to change.
Where do you start? Listed below are some suggested steps that will become your action-plan and if you will follow them, you can end your procrastination very quickly!
It seems simple enough, right? Perhaps you think it is too simple and therefore, will not work. If it were just this simple, why is procrastination such a hard problem to overcome? The reason is that you believe it has to be difficult and you are in the habit of dwelling in that mindset. Try the steps above with a “can do” attitude and you will find changing this habit is, in fact, surprisingly easy. So, you want to go to the gym and get in better shape. Write down that goal and be very specific. It should be measurable and have a specific timeframe or end date.
“I will go to the gym and work out for an hour three times a week for the next six months!”
Write down the date six months in the future when you will have achieved your initial goal of getting in better shape. Post this date on your calendar and your mirror, refrigerator, desk or somewhere very visible where you see it regularly.
Now break down your workout routine into small steps that increase in intensity gradually. You can even start with a shorter workout period and work up, just make sure to keep your schedule and if you have to deviate or slip up, get right back to it.
Examine your feelings when they come up and get a hold of “the why” behind your procrastination. Is it a fear? Pain? Prior bad experience? Knowing why will help you move past it.
You will feel resistance and this is where you need some discipline and resolve. You will need to push past it and each time you do, it will make the next time easier. Accept no excuses –so, you are tired, you don’t feel well, you don’t have enough time. Unless you are truly ill with valid symptoms, these are really just self-defeating excuses and you must push past them. This is will power and discipline, but it is also courage. It is that 3-second decision to push past whatever obstacles or fears might present themselves and just do it! Most of the time, it turns out not to have been as scary, painful or difficult or time consumming, as we were imagining it would be.
It is also helpful to change how you look at, talk about and see yourself. Stop saying, ”I am this way” or “I always do that!” or even making those sarcastic jokes that seem so funny, but can be subconsciously programming you as to who you believe you really are and what you think you can do! Be kind to your self and support yourself with the same confidence-building support you would give to a good friend.
Along the way, give yourself small rewards as you make progress toward your goal or when you achieve it. We are more motivated when we get a reward or reward ourselves, even if it is only a small acknowledgement. Everyone responds positively to encouragement.
Having a friend who supports and encourages you, a coach or an accountability partner can make a huge impact on helping you toward your goals. Hanging out with other people who are motivated action-takers can also be inspiring and helpful.
Lastly, once you have broken the procrastination habit and achieved a goal, repeat and make “not procrastinating” or being a motivated action-taker a positive and desirable habit! Make it who you are!
This process can work long or short-term. It can work on something small or that big and overwhelming thing you thought was impossible. You just have to implement and in the process, change your mindset. It really is that simple and can be that easy, if you will believe it is! Be your own “Action Hero" and just do it now!
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