How do we slow it down and enjoy it more thoroughly? What does that even mean, anyway? It seems like we will continue to do what we enjoy on a regular basis. If there’s something you have been “hoping” to get around to “someday”; it probably isn’t as important to you as you think.
For instance, the top ten list of things people procrastinate about lists ‘exercise’ as #1. Why would this be, you may ask? First of all, it’s hard to know where to start. You may not want to experience the discomfort that comes from exercising and sweating. You may not know how to get the best results. You may just not care as much as you think about making changes to your routine.
The second item of procrastination is cleaning clutter out of garages, cupboards and drawers. You know that area that you cringe at each time you are confronted with? You may make a mental note to clean out the “junk drawer” in the kitchen everytime you are scurrying through to find an invisible object. Do you ever schedule it into your calendar? Probably not. Again, maybe it seems important enough at the time you cannot locate an important item but once some time passes; it becomes less important and you really don’t care as much as you thought. So, it sits cluttered.
What about # 3? Can you guess it’s losing weight? Duh!! Why else is that the top resolution each New Year’s day? Just try to step into a gym the first few weeks of each year and you’ll be met with this fact.
But then you could also re-visit that same gym; at the very same time in mid-February and find it a much less populated area. Why? Because it seemed like such a great idea at the time but once these folks fight against their already-busy-schedules and find out how much they actually have to do; it loses it’s appeal. How about the weight loss centers? Think they do their busiest work in the first few months of each year? You bet. But you can also bet they see it dip by the third month of the year again. Only the highly motivated and already-proactive folks are keeping up with their healthier and lighter habits.
Face it; if it feels too difficult and draining, it won’t stick. You can’t just wake up one day and want to make a huge change to your daily life. It has to mean something to you on a deeper level.
So let’s focus on this fact for a moment. Think of your top priority of procrastination that has been haunting you lately. I’ll give you a moment…
Okay, now that you have that in mind; why haven’t you gotten around to it yet? Before you start listing off excuses I’d also like you to ask yourself if it’s really that important to you at all? Many times you may just be able to “scrap” the idea completely and go along your merry way without much more of a thought.
If it’s still something you are serious about; start by simply writing it down. You may have to post this task so you can see it every day for a few days before you get started. Let it “simmer” or sink in for a bit. This alone can help your mind start working through the task and coming up with ideas and ways to begin. If not, you then must schedule it into your day. Again, write it down and be specific about breaking it down into simple steps.
For instance, if your task is to start an exercise routine; you may write down for Monday to “buy a pair of shoes”. On Tuesday you may write down, search out a gym or exercise routine you can follow easily. On Wednesday, you would start with a simple walk or exercise class to get your foot in the door (no pun intended!). It could continue on through your week and into the remaining weeks of that month.
Is it difficult in the beginning? You bet! But you will also begin to feel it settle into your schedule in time and it will feel like your regular routine again. Do you have to complete everything you have been hoping to get to? Of course not! I can’t tell you how many projects I have wanted to pursue and only when the stress of “not” getting to it was overwhelming, did I realize I had to put it to rest and move on. What is important to me is not necessarily important to the next person. And that’s okay!
So, the next time you find yourself wishing you had tried something different within the past year and making promises to achieve them in the new year; make sure it’s something that you really want and not just something that seems right.
My goals for the upcoming year are clear to me. I will compete in my very first figure competition. I can visualize it and I work on my program each day to achieve the goals that are needed to get there. I also want to be true to myself and only work on projects and jobs that make me feel inspired. No more empty “yeses” when I wanted to say “no”… who’s with me here? Taking some family time this year and going on a nice vacation that we all want to enjoy; not just what we feel we should experience as a family. Hawaii, anyone? =)
My motto for 2012; be true to yourself and be happy each day! Simple and yet, deep!!