‘People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The end of procrastination is the art of letting go.
I’ve been a lifelong procrastinator, at least until recent years. I would put things off until deadline, because I knew I could come through. I came through on tests after cramming last minute, I turned articles in at the deadline after waiting until the last hour, I got things done.Advertising
Until I didn’t. It turns out procrastinating caused me to miss deadlines, over and over. It stressed me out. My work was less-than-desirable when I did it last minute. Slowly, I started to realize that procrastination wasn’t doing me any favors. In fact, it was causing me a lot of grief.
But I couldn’t quit. I tried a lot of things. I tried time boxing and goal setting and accountability and the Pomodoro Technique and Getting Things Done. All are great methods, but they only last so long. Nothing really worked over the long term.
That’s because I wasn’t getting to the root problem.Advertising
I hadn’t figured out the skill that would save me from the procrastination.
Until I learned about letting go.
Letting go first came to me when I was quitting smoking. I had to let go of the “need” to smoke, the use of my crutch of cigarettes to deal with stress and problems.
Then I learned I needed to let go of other false needs that were causing me problems: sugar, junk food, meat, shopping, beer, possessions. I’m not saying I can never do these things again once I let go of these needs, but I let go of the idea that they’re really necessary. I let go of an unhealthy attachment to them.Advertising
Then I learned that distractions and the false need to check my email and news and other things online … were causing me problems. They were causing my procrastination.
So I learned to let go of those too.
Here’s the process I used to let go of the distractions and false needs that cause procrastination:Advertising
- I paid attention to the pain they cause me, later, instead of only the temporary comfort/pleasure they gave me right away.
- I thought about the person I want to be, the life I want to live. I set my intentions to do the good work I think I should do.
- I watched my urges to check things, to go to the comfort of distractions. I saw that I wanted to escape discomfort of something hard, and go to the comfort of something familiar and easy.
- I realized I didn’t need that comfort. I could be in discomfort and nothing bad would happen. In fact, the best things happen when I’m in discomfort.
And then I smile, and breathe, and let go.
And one step at a time, become the person I want to be.
‘You can only lose what you cling to.’ ~Buddha
Last Updated on July 3, 2020
6 Things To Do Every Day To Ensure You Stick To Your Goals
Sticking to your goals can sometimes be challenging. We all want better health, better careers, and better jobs, and we want to cast an impression on everyone that we are living fulfilled lives.
Yet to reach our goals and make every minute of our time count requires commitment, consistency, and hard work. Setting goals is one thing, but sticking to them is another. We have to observe certain daily practices if we want to get the best out of ourselves.
Here are 6 things that you have to ensure daily to reach your goals.
1. Involve Others
You have to be accountable for the actions you are committing yourself to. Involve everyone around you, get them engaged, and talk to them on how they can help you accomplish your goals.
When you involve others you feel, you have a responsibility towards them as well as yourself. Every day, make sure you are accountable for sticking to your goals. By joining groups or engaging others, you have more motivation to reach your goals.
For example, if you want to read more, try joining a book club. If you want to be a better entrepreneur, join an entrepreneurial organization.
2. Visualize the Rewards
Reaching a goal can be challenging and sometimes, it can be overwhelming. When the journey becomes tough and difficult, try to stick to visualizing your successes every day.
Wake up to visualize what rewards you will get from sticking to meeting your goals. If you want to lose some pounds, visualize yourself already underweight and benefiting from being underweight. The mind has a way of channeling your body and intentions to sticking to your goals and reaching them.
3. Break Down Your Goals
Try to break down your goals into tiny chunks. The smaller the size of the goals, the more willing and prepared you are to meet them.
For example, if you find it difficult to get out of the house and take a workout at the gym, why not try to break the goal into making sure you are always dressed for the gym daily? By doing this, you demonstrate that you are moving in the right direction, and you can keep this momentum so you can meet the larger goal.
4. Reward Yourself
For every progress you make daily towards reaching your goals, try to vindicate and reward yourself. By doing this you appreciate yourself and the hard work you have put in for the day.
When you reward yourself, you program yourself to benefit from a larger reward in the future. You also propel yourself to gain daily rewards, which can be enticing and motivating. Rewarding yourself serves as a form of positive reinforcement that reinforces your mind and behavior to stick to your goals and stay motivated.
5. Measure Your Progress
It is easy to become frustrated when you are not getting instant results. Change can be slow and rewards are not always immediate. Still, progress can be measured even in tiny bits, so take time to look back at where you are coming from.
You don’t have to feel depressed about not making that major progress in an instant. But when you journal or snap pictures to document your progress, no matter how small, you will feel grateful and elated to see what difference you have made from where you are coming from up until now.
6. Believe in the Possibilities
If you don’t even believe in the possibility of reaching your goals, how can you expect yourself to stick to your goals in the first place?
By believing in the possibilities of accomplishing a goal or task, you increase your chance of reaching it and eradicating whatever roadblocks or challenges you may face. Believe in what you can achieve.
What self-belief has over self-control is that while self-control can be depleted but self-belief cannot. We all have an enormous reservoir of how much we can believe in ourselves.
With believing in ourselves comes perseverance, determination, and desire to reaching our goals. Every day, understand that what you need to keep going is your belief toward achieving your goals. Your goals are reachable if you think you can reach them!
Due to circumstances in life, people tend to abandon some of their goals in life. You may also feel this way sometimes. In that case, just come back to this article and remember the 6 ways you can help yourself stick to your goals.
People don’t always reach their goals, but you will never know if you can reach them if you don’t stick to them in the first place. As long as you stick to your goals, there will always be the possibility of you achieving them!
More Tips on How to Stick to Your Goals
- How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life
- How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully
- Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It
Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com