It’s natural to procrastinate our goals, especially because we are forcing ourselves outside our comfort zone when we make new ones. We are trying to change habits that we have built up and gotten used to. That’s scary.
There’s a reason we made them in the first place, though. We found a part of ourselves that we wanted to change for the better or we found something worth pursuing. So, why haven’t we taken action on our goals?
You wait for the perfect time to start
Sorry, but there’s never going to be the “perfect” time to start. There will always be something else we can do, the weather won’t be quite right, or the stars won’t align. The time to start is now, no matter what other things are happening. The first step is always the hardest, but you have to take action if you want change.
You treat your goal as optional
If you want to accomplish your goal, you can’t treat it as optional. It’s easy to make excuses and to put it off, but you’re only hurting yourself. To take action, you have to build this new goal into your schedule. Plan the time, block it off, and make it a priority. Your goal is not optional, it’s a requirement.
You don’t understand your time
Take a good look at how you spend your time during the day. All of your “wasted” time on activities that don’t mean anything is cutting in to the time you spend working toward your goal. Understand your patterns and look to make changes there. See where there is idle or wasted time on activities and look to automate them or do them at different times.
You don’t pair compatible tasks
Think of the other things you can accomplish while working on your goal. Think about the tasks that work well with what you are doing. If you’re trying to run more, pair that with an audiobook or music discovery. If you want to drink more water, make little challenges like drinking 16oz of water on your drive to work or every hour. If you want to move more, take your break outside and walk around the parking lot.
You research too much
Researching your new goal is crucial. In fact, if you don’t go in with a plan, you’re likely to fail or lose interest. However, there’s also the issue of doing too much research. We all want the most information we can get before we start something new, and we want to make sure we are prepared for the upcoming goal, but too much research can keep us from taking action. Gather information, take action, and learn along the way. You can always continue to research, just make sure you’re also working on your goal.
You don’t take breaks
When starting a new goal or habit, it’s easy to dive in and overwhelm yourself. You want to work on it, make progress, and see results immediately, but any new goal is going to take time and dedication before you start to reap rewards from your action. When working on your goal, understand where you reach the point of diminishing returns (basically when your input is no longer benefiting your goal). That can be 25 minutes or 4 hours, but make sure you recognize when you hit a wall. Instead of trying to push through that wall, take a break. Walk away, relax, or change your focus for a while. You’ll be able to return to your goal with a fresh mind.
So, instead of procrastinating your goals until 2020, start today. Take action, make your goal a priority, and find ways to continually make progress. Starting something new, whatever it might be, is daunting, but the more we put our heads down and take little steps, the better our results will be. Step outside your comfort zone and actually complete your 2020 goals.