What dreams have you forfeited pursuing today because you keep waiting for tomorrow? What dreams have you put on hold because of your current situation? I will be the first to admit, I have discarded or delayed many of my dreams because of what I perceived to be insurmountable circumstances.
Struggling with procrastination
Procrastination is the biggest hurdle that I had to overcome in pursuing my dreams. I prayed about it, talked about it, listened to encouraging messages for inspiration and received wise counsel from mentors, but I continued to struggle with procrastination.
I had great ideas of things I wanted to do. I wrote them down. I shared them with my wife and everyone who would listen.
I had a dream for over three years to start a blog website and write an inspirational book helping people realize and write their personal vision. I would make every excuse imaginable for why I couldn’t start the blog or write the book. I would say, “I am not good at writing. Who will read my material?” or “I need to wait for a certain person’s approval.”
I remember telling my wife about the website and book project I desired to do. When I finished telling her my detailed vision, she looked at me and said in her southern vernacular, “You are always “fittin” to do something.” I shrugged it off at first, but as I thought about what she said, it hit me like a ton of bricks: she was right.
I sat down and began to write everything I said I was going to do or projects that I had started, but never finished. After I finished, I had eight things on my list.
I was embarrassed and ashamed. I had squandered precious time procrastinating on what I needed to do. The saying, “What you focus on the longest becomes the strongest” was true in my life concerning procrastination. It was a major stronghold.
Get in the game
I found myself sitting on the sidelines of life instead of getting in the game and doing what I needed to do to make my dreams possible. I wondered how I would ever know if my dreams would succeed if I never participated in the game?
Life is too short and unpredictable to waste time waiting for the ideal situations, the right person’s support or the economy to get back on track. I have decided to get in the game and see what happens. If you and I never get in the game to live our dreams, we may forfeit the chance to achieve what is possible in our life.
When you procrastinate, you put your vision, desires and dreams on hold. You put things off under the illusion that you will get to them another day, or when you have more time. You make layers of excuses. You constantly postpone taking action. You end up always waiting for tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
So what if you fail at some things? Get up, recalibrate and try again. So what if you make mistakes that hinder your progress? Acknowledge them and move forward. Every day that you are alive is a brand new day you have to pursue your dreams. It is a brand new opportunity to shine the way you were destined to shine.
10 steps to overcome procrastination
Please be encouraged: you can overcome the stronghold of procrastination. It will take a concentrated effort and an uncompromising commitment to transform from a procrastinator to a person of action.
Here are ten steps you can take to overcome procrastination.
1. Document your reasons for procrastinating. Write a list of things you want to do but never did because you procrastinated. List the reasons why you procrastinated. This exercise will make your procrastination more real.
2. Change what you say. Instead of saying, “I can do this tomorrow,” say, “I am going to do this today,” or “I am not a procrastinator because I do everything in a timely manner.” Create a list of positive affirmations that speak against procrastination. Read your list daily.
3. Create a goals list. Start off with no more than two or three goals. When you define your goals, write out each one in explicit details. To help make your goals achievable breakdown your larger goal into smaller manageable action steps.
4. Do one task at a time. Stay focused on one task until it is complete. Do not try to multi-task.
5. Knock out the hardest goals first. This gives you the greatest sense of progress and helps strengthen your confidence to succeed.
6. Know what you can handle. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Two to three goals spread over several areas of life is a good start. If that is too many, one major goal will work.
7. Enlist help from others. Find a couple of people you can trust to share your good, bad and ugly moments with. You need honest, encouraging and supportive individuals in your corner to help you conquer the stronghold of procrastination.
8. Eliminate distractions. Get rid of anything or anyone that will hinder you from breaking free from the bonds of procrastination. Do not hold on to them because they make you feel secure and comfortable. Release them and move on.
9. Reward yourself. No matter how small a victory maybe, reward yourself and then get back to work.
10. Don’t give up. No matter how difficult it gets, stay committed to overcoming the stronghold of procrastination. It may get tougher, but don’t give in or give up. Stay the course and keep fighting because, in the end, you will be glad you did.
If you want to live your vision to the fullest, you must refuse to allow procrastination to have any power in your life.
“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.” Author Unknown
Question: What do you need to stop procrastinating about and take immediate action?
Originally published at medium.com