Whether it is facing that work deadline or buying a long overdue gift for a friend’s birthday, there is really “no time like the present” to get going on something. Some of us struggle with procrastination more than others and we can find ourselves immersed in anxiety the longer we wait to get something done. The rules for avoiding procrastination ring true whether you are a college student writing an essay or a retiree attempting to tackle health and weight loss goals. Regardless of your situation, here are a few tips for getting down to business and fighting off the procrastination in your life…
Decide on a deadline. The real challenge in tackling a project is in actually starting it. From that point on, it’s actually far less daunting than you would imagine. It’s easy for us to say, “someday I’ll lose that extra weight,” or “someday I’ll cut back on sugar.” If you never actually get the wheels spinning, that someday will never come, unless of course you set a deadline and get moving. It’s a good idea to set a deadline a couple of days ahead of the actual due date of the project. If you have a friend’s birthday coming up, make sure to have a gift and a card ready to go two days before the big celebration. When it comes to health and fitness goals, never wait until Monday, and instead, consider each day a deadline. Eat and exercise mindfully and you will never have to panic when it’s time to slip into that outfit that you’ve been wanting to wear.
Be realistic. If you set up goals that are way out of your reach, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Instead of putting major pressure on yourself from the moment you step out of the gate, it’s best to give yourself little accomplishments that you can focus on in small increments. Not only will you be more likely to reach your final destination, you will be able to celebrate your successes regularly, giving you the confidence to keep going.
Reward yourself. Everyone loves a little pat on the back and there is no better motivation than knowing that you have a reward just around the corner. When you hit little goals along the way, reward yourself accordingly. If this is a weight loss goal, avoid going out for an ice cream sundae. Instead, buy that new top that you’ve been eyeing or book a massage or an afternoon of “me time.”
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