Wisdom//

I Broke My Procrastination Habit By Remembering This One Thing

One sentence changed everything.

By Marie Maerz/ Shutterstock
By Marie Maerz/ Shutterstock

I have a bad habit of procrastinating, but this one little sentence has helped me break it.

“I’m the most important mover of my chances in life.”

I found it in an article, and I loved it the minute I read it. I don’t remember the author or publication, but it called to me, it resonated with me, and it had my number. I printed it out, cut it into a strip, and placed it on my desk, next to my computer. This one little sentence has changed my life. It’s like having a mentor/therapist/life coach sitting on my desk at all times, cracking the whip, and keeping me on task.

Every time I get lazy, slack off, take my eye off the ball, get a bad case of performance anxiety, or put off to tomorrow what I should be doing today, I look at it, and it looks at me, reminding me that whatever my goal, plans, or intentions are, it all starts with me. If I want anything in life, it’s up to me to make it happen. It’s become my personal mantra for staying strong and moving forward.

I’m a late bloomer by nature, so you could say my whole life was procrastination, with all the consequential start and stops, hit and misses, trials and errors. No one told me I needed to change, I just knew something had to give. Something had to change. I had so many goals and dreams, so many things I wanted to accomplish, and it wasn’t happening fast enough. My pace felt slow — glacial at times — and my obsession with perfectionism didn’t exactly help move things along. Too many times, I had “paralysis by analysis.” I would overthink everything, which delayed everything. Whether it was putting the first word down on a new blog post, finishing a difficult chapter of my book, or dealing with an uncomfortable personal situation, procrastination had me in its grips.

When I finally realized I was the most important mover of my chances in life — myself and no one else — I decided to stop procrastinating, and to become my own task master. At the same time that I broke the procrastination habit, I created a new habit: reminding myself on a daily basis that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to start. And if I keep moving forward, my chances in life will move along with me.

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