How To Take Charge Of Your Procrastination

How To Become Wealthy

In 2007 I set out to improve my health. One of my objectives back then was to run at least one Comrades Marathon. I wanted to do that before 2010. I managed to run my first Comardes Marathon in 2011.

Fast forward to 2014, I have run 3 Comrades Marathons. I’m currently training for my 4th, which I will run in May 2015.

In 2010, I set myself the goal of launching a blog on health and fitness. I had absolutely no idea of the niche I would target. I had no idea of how I would go about launching. The nitty gritties were vague.

In April 2013, I set the launch date for September 2013. September came around and nothing happened. It’s September 2014, almost a year after the intended launch of my blog and finally I’ve launched.

In January 2015, I’m pretty sure I’ll come across that all to familiar cliche: ‘New Years Resolution’. For many who set these resolutions, it’s nothing more than a piece of paper.

How often have you failed to act on some of your life goals or new years resolutions?

As human beings, we have been created to achieve! We have a constant desire to improve and ultimately live a fulfilled life. Sadly though, most of society never get started! Those that get started, don’t follow through enough to see the results of what they start.

It is incredibly frustrating to dream and never act. It is even more frustrating to act on your dreams and then struggle to see the results you expect.

I truly believe that all of the above happens because of this one destructive demon called procrastination!

Statistic Brain, published an interesting list titled: Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012:

Are any of the above familiar?

Statistically, only 8% of people achieve their new years resolution. That’s a scary statistic.

I want to use some of the results I’ve achieved in my running, especially my ultra-marathon running, to give you a few tips that will help you to become a part of that 8% in any area of your life.

1. There has to be a BIG Picture

Anything done in isolation feels like a misfit! Cliches are cliches because they are often very true.

One such cliche goes as follows: If there isn’t a big enough “why”, then to get the “what” done becomes a drag.

I have a BIG picture for my life. Yep, I have a list of life goals and bucket list that guides all my activities.

Before setting out to create this blog, I checked it against my overall life plans to ensure that there was compatibility. Ever felt frustrated by a goal that you pursued? Ever felt uncomfortable pursuing a goal? Often, you will find that there is a mis-match between your goal and your overall life plan.

In addition, I made sure that I created a BIG picture for my blog that urges me to action on days (and even weeks) I feel like being a couch potato! We all have those moments because we are human but you need a counter plan against that laziness.

What the heck does this ‘BIG picture’ include, you might ask?

Whilst my big picture is not a scientific formula that will cure AIDS, it does give me a heck of a lot of direction by highlighting the following:

  • Why I started this blog
  • Past success in my life (important. especially if you fear starting something new)
  • 5 year plan (a mid to long term plan)

Simply rattling off a few words on the 1st of January (often after a heavy night of drinking and fun) is not enough to overcome this beast called procrastination.

2. Just Do It!

If a massive international brand like Nike and a genius entrepreneur like Richard Branson believe in the idea of “just doing it”, surely there is power in that!

Sounds crazy to just do things, right? But, the reality is if you’ve put some thought into something or an idea, then you have every right to go ahead and try it out.

Will it always work? Absolutely not!

But, that’s not the point. The point is this: if you procrastinate, you will actually NEVER know if your ideas will succeed or not. And that is worse than someone who tries and fails.

Run For Wealth is the 5th blog I’ve launched in the past 6 years.  Three of them failed dismally. The other two launched and took off well. But, I couldn’t maintain the growth for various reasons. But, I’ve learnt and I keep pressing forward.

You will fail in life. But, that’s part of the challenge. The issue is not the failing. The issue is accepting the failing as your lot in life. Temporary failure actually ISN’T failure. It’s just a few hurdles you’ve got to overcome to get to your destiny.

Accept the challenge, tackle fear head-on and ‘just do it’ and you”ll be amazed at how you will begin to take charge of your procrastination.

3. Organize Your Life

‘Just do it’ is not a license to live an erratic life.

I don’t know if you noticed, but number 2 on that list of ‘Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2012′, was ‘Getting Organized’.

That, to me, didn’t come as a surprise. I doubt there’s anyone who wakes up every morning and says, I want to:

  • ‘wake up late’
  • ‘rush my kids as they prepare for school’
  • ‘do my make-up in the car’ (hey ladies!!!)
  • ‘get stuck in traffic like a moron’
  • ‘get a second warning at work for being a late’ (and risk getting fired!)

And yet, this is the story of many a life.

I also doubt that there’s anyone who prides themselves in being unhealthy and unfit and yet, once again, it’s the story of many a life.

All the above comes down to a lack of organization. If you don’t organize your life, it becomes very difficult to prioritize and when you fail to prioritize, procrastination slowly becomes your friend.

I’ve learned over time that ‘less is more’. Whilst I have a crazy long bucket list and life goals, there’s absolutely no way I will achieve all of those things at the same time. So, I always try to simplify my life by having a workable schedule.

The reality is this: ‘if you can’t fit it into a day-to-day schedule, it WON’T get done’. No matter how great your dreams and resolutions, if you don’t organize your life, you increase the chances of frustration and that quickly turns into procrastination.

Organize your life! It takes time to plan and think things through, but it’s worth every minute.

4. You Have to ‘Give Up’ To ‘Go Up’

One central theme around ‘New Years Resolutions’ is progress and improvement of life.

I am yet to come across a resolution that says ‘get drunk more’, ‘smoke more cigarettes’, ‘spend less time with family’, ‘live a crappy, frustrating lifestyle’, etc. Yet, come the end of each year, if most people would honestly review their life – all these weird things would crop up.

What really happens (or doesn’t happen) to cause such undesirable, procrastination-fuelling results?

Well, it boils sown to a lack of sacrifice. Most people aren’t willing to ‘Give Up’ their habits and comfort zones so that they can ‘Go Up’ in life.

Being a long distance athlete and Comrades Marathon runner requires me to spend hours on the road, running at least 4 times a week. As a result, I have had to sacrifice and give up the following few things (that I really loved and enjoyed but were counter-productive):

  • drinking: boy did I love my whiskey
  • parties: I loved my parties. lovely ladies, good music and alcohol was the order of the day. I had to cut it out
  • television: this was my pass time during the week. I used it to relax after hectic work days. I had to minimize it drastically

Just these 3 alone took up hours of productive time every week. In fact, every time I thought about doing anything constructive, the ‘pleasures’ and ‘joy’ of drinking, partying and watching tv would just urge me to procrastinate even further.

You know your comfort zone right? It probably bugs you to no end every time you reflect back on a wasted year.

I encourage you to go ahead and ‘give up’ a few things in order to ‘go up’.

5. Live A Balanced Life

I am big on balance.

That’s exactly why 20 – 25% of the content on this blog will about issues un-related to running specifically.

Life is an incredible journey and we really need to enjoy the ride (tough and challenging as it may be sometimes).

It’s the challenges, the fear and the series of tests that fuels a lot of procrastination.

When things aren’t going according to plan, it’s so easy to retreat into your ‘normal’ life.

I’ve since learned that being a multi-dimensional person who keeps fit, spends time with family and friends, believes in a higher being goes a long way in battling procrastination.

When things don’t go according to plan in my business, I know that God has a much better plan because he is wiser. When frustration creeps in, I de-stress in the gym or by being out on the road doing my runs and listening to my favourite music.

Likewise, when things don’t go according to plan with my gym or running, I can read my bible and get all the great promises about my life. Alternatively, I can spend time with family or friends and we can share our frustrations and encourage one another.

Ultimately, I know that I should never focus on what isn’t working or going according to plan. As soon as I do that, I expose myself to procrastination.

That’s my encouragement to you – never focus on what’s not working. Rather, focus on what IS working and ride those waves of disappointment, frustration, temporary failure and you’ll soon find yourself taking charge of that horrible beast called ‘procrastination’.

I really hope you have enjoyed this article and found value in it.

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