Are you ready to begin fresh and break those chains of procrastination?

Let’s do a quick review from the earlier posts this week.

1) Procrastination touches most of our lives. However, putting something off on occasion is not the same as a chronic procrastinator.

2) There are many Whys to our procrastination, and even more Hows. We can be really creative with those Hows!

3) The driving factors of pain and pleasure greatly influence our actions or lack thereof, and there are rewards from both sides behind whether we act or defer.

On this final segment of our series, let’s see if we can discover methods that will help us break through our procrastination paralysis and take baby steps towards what will become a practice of living intentionally in a more proactive position.  Once again let’s revisit the list we’ve been working on this week (if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about please revisit our last two posts). First, just take a deep breath and relax.

What we are about to create is a simple, easily do-able plan of action.

Take number one on your list – in retrospect, to have completed that task/goal in a timeframe that would have brought you peace and comfort (as opposed to you having dealt with it hanging over your head with a sick, cold feeling in the pit of your stomach every time you thought of it and the fact that it wasn’t done yet), what could you have done differently? Could you have done several small steps in advance over the preceding weeks to break the task down in more easily approachable projects? Did you give yourself enough time to get it done, or were you overambitious in what you thought you could do in your given timeframe? Could you have recruited others to assist you in the process? What lessons are you taking away that will help you next time? Please don’t beat yourself up – you have just successfully discovered what didn’t work, and now you are gleaning the lessons that will teach you how to do it better in the future.

For example, let’s take something like a goal to get out of debt and create a small emergency fund. Lofty and practical goal, but not always easy to stay on course. Here are a few ways to begin:

1) Have courage to assess all your financial information – checking/savings balances, what you owe (credit card debit, mortgage, car payment, student loans, etc.). So many of us are scared to death to now our bottom line (with money and weight especially) – but it’s just a beginning number, that’s it.

2) Next, think about the Why – what is driving you to save money? To be on top of your financial game? What will you gain and achieve by personal financial fitness?

3) Now, the next step would be to create a budget so you know what money is coming in each month, and what is going out. This is very empowering! If you need help ask a friend who is good with their money, or a financial planning professional. This starts your How.

4) Finally, (and this is the hardest part) – STICK WITH YOUR BUDGET. Think of all the pleasure you will derive from having a savings account, the amazing feeling of paying off your bills and living debt-free. Also, associate all the negative, depressing and awful feelings you get when you are late on a bill, or just have so much more month at the end of your money.

5) You may have some money taken automatically from your paycheck into a savings plan. You may empty your change into a jar each night. You may dig deep and make some change to your existing spending habits to create more money in your life – packing lunch several times a week, making coffee at home instead of laying out $6 a day on designer lattes (only going for a designer latte once a week instead of daily could save you about $150/month!).

Does this give you an idea of how to begin?

The bottom line of procrastination is that you must begin with baby steps, things that won’t overwhelm or paralyze you. And if you need professional counseling, go for it, or recruit a friend. It’s a process, one that you can work on over time, successfully. As a life coach, I help many clients work through these and other obstacles — if you would like to have me come alongside you as your coach, contact me!  Don’t be afraid to begin. I hope this series has given you hope and a positive outlook. If you have discovered any tips or tricks that help you, please do share them in the comments below.

The weekend is almost here – a perfect time to take that first baby step, that first proactive, positive forward motion towards walking away from a debilitating issue into your own carefully crafted bright future.

You can do this!