What are You Weighting for?
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am a procrastinator. It’s what I do, yep, a regular last-minute Lucy. Most times it works for me, I work better under pressure, at least that’s what I tell myself. But the truth is, I don’t. Procrastination adds weight – and in this case I mean that figuratively and literally!
In my previous blog post Enough, I identified some habits that were obstacles in previous weight-loss efforts and procrastination was among them. In fact procrastination, coupled with a lack of follow-through (which is an entirely different issue I’ll be sure to cover in its own blog), have proven to have detrimental effects to both my physical and mental well-being.
If procrastination causes such ill effects, why, oh why do we do it? I’ve been told that it’s all a matter of self-discipline, lack of motivation or that it’s just plain laziness. But I don’t buy that because I would spend the day scrubbing toilets to avoid an hour on the treadmill. In order to gain some insight, I made list of all the things I would typically procrastinate doing or starting – and believe me the list was long, but also there was a lot of really dumb little stuff on it, like shaving my legs (hey! it was a comprehensive list and to be fair…that one might just be laziness).
As I reviewed my list, it hit me, procrastination is tied to comfort and emotion. I do not lack self-discipline and I am not lazy or unmotivated either. I procrastinate because I associate certain tasks or undertakings with negative feelings or discomfort. Now, having a deeper understanding of why, I am on my way to procrastinating less, at least when it comes to my health and fitness goals. I came up with the BEST method for slowing down procrastination.
Be kind (to yourself). Don’t expect perfection, we are all guilty of putting off or avoiding things sometimes. Don’t obsess or beat yourself up; forgive yourself and move forward.
Examine the why. Make a list of things you often procrastinate doing or starting. Then identify what it is about those things that make you put them off or avoid them. Understanding the why will help you take steps to make them less overwhelming in the future.
Start small. Tony Robbins said it best, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” So, whatever it is that you are putting off or haven’t started, take one step forward and do it today.
Treat yourself. For forward progress, even if it isn’t perfect or timely. Schedule that manicure or go get that pair of shoes. (this is my favorite part of the BEST method!)
Wherever you are on your journey and whatever obstacles you are facing remember that it is about progress, not perfection. Stop weighting, what have you got to lose?