I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years. And without exception, the single biggest obstacle that has held them back from achieving their goals has always been – themselves! We haven’t learned how to overcome procrastination and laziness.
WE are our own biggest roadblock.
We let our fears immobilize us and tell ourselves stories that justify our reluctance to take action. We convince ourselves that we’re not good enough, and that our efforts will probably end in failure.
But those stories are pure fiction and have no real basis in reality.
And today I’m going to show you how to rewrite those stories once and for all, so you can free yourself from “procrastination paralysis” and finally become a “do-er” instead of a dreamer.
Stop telling yourself that you’re a born procrastinator or a naturally lazy person.
It’s not true – you weren’t born that way.
It’s just a story you tell yourself — which means it’s a story you can CHANGE.
So from now on, every time you chide yourself for procrastinating or being lazy, I want you to tell yourself that you already have everything you need to accomplish any goal you can imagine.
Because THAT is the real truth of the matter.
I’d like you to consider this question – is it REALLY your tendency to procrastinate that’s stopping you from taking action? Or are you simply overwhelmed?
All too often, the reason why you don’t take action is because you’re not sure what action you should take. Your goals seem so big, and there’s so much to learn and do, that it seems like an unimaginable task.
So it’s not a character flaw that’s holding you back, it’s a lack of clarity and planning. The other reason is you have so many things to do, and no criteria for deciding which one to do first.
Refer back to your passions, your purpose and your top values to help you decide.
Once you do decide, clarify your goals and chunk them down into small but achievable action steps — then systematically completing those small steps, one after another.
And here are some tips to help make that easier for you:
1. Start with Small Goals
Start your day by setting 3 to 5 small goals for yourself, then commit yourself to completing them before you go to bed that night…
…No matter what!
Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable – because the act of achieving them and crossing them off your list will give you the confidence and momentum you need to keep going.
2. Eliminate Distractions
My next tip is to eliminate the distractions that prevent you from fully focusing on your goals.
One great way to do this is to use an online “website blocker” app that prevents you from wasting time mindlessly surfing on your favorite websites or social media networks, so you can spend that time more productively working toward your goals.
Some of the best ones are Freedom, Stay Focusd, Limit, Waste No Time, and Pause.
Just type in website blockers in your browser and find the one that best fits your needs.
I particularly like Pause, which gives you a green screen for 5 seconds every time you access a new website, which gives you 5 seconds to pause and reflect on if you really want to watch another cute cat video on YouTube or get back to work.
3. Set Hard Deadlines
Another important thing is to you to give yourself hard deadlines and then commit to achieving them. Then when you do achieve your goal, reward yourself for it!
This will boost your confidence and motivation and help you maintain your focus and momentum.
Another great way to avoid the procrastination trap is to focus your time and energy on the things that matter most to you.
A lot of us will procrastinate when we’re forced to work toward outcomes we just don’t care about. It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’re spending your time and energy on something that’s aligned with your purpose and your passions and is deeply important to you.
So when it comes to taking action, focus your time and energy on the things that matter most and delegate everything else as much as you can.
4. Get an Accountability Partner
I also encourage you to get an accountability partner!
A powerful way to avoid slipping back into inaction is to share your goals with another person and make daily or weekly reports on your progress. When you have to be accountable for your efforts, you’re more likely to make those efforts count.
The simplest method is to have a 5-minute call every morning at the same time (if possible) and commit to the 3 to 5 things you are going to do that day, and then reconnect the next day and report on what you accomplished and what you didn’t.
They do the same thing with you. This is especially important if you are a solo-entrepreneur or are the one at the top of your organization or team.
5. Create an Action-Focused Mindset
Because when you tell yourself you are a goal-achieving powerhouse, you will become one.
What one or two actions can you take today to bring yourself closer to your dreams?