I am an expert procrastinator. It was a skill I picked up when I was young and then honed it to perfection at college. After all, if I can continue to make good grades by procrastinating then why should I do anything differently? I have learned that procrastination does not truly serve you in the real world.
Taking action and making progress is what brings us closer to our goals. Whether our desires are for a decluttered home or finishing a book.
The Planning Paradox
In most cases, it is not a lack of knowledge that keeps us from taking action. You don’t really need someone telling you how to declutter your life. You already know that your junk drawers are full of junk and you closet has clothes in it that are never worn. Maybe you’re like me and you are a planner. I can plan the mess out of some goals. I create thorough To-Do lists and color coded spreadsheets in Excel like nobody’s business. I take planning to a whole new level. My stumbling block comes in when there are so many things planned that I become overwhelmed even before I start.
Ready, Fire, Aim
Maybe your challenge isn’t in over planning. Maybe your challenge is jumping in without a plan and then struggling to find which direction to go. This type of person decides to declutter the whole house all at once or sets a goal of completing a project with no clue of how to get it done. Not having a plan at all can feel like you’re making progress at first, but without direction frustration will quickly set in.
Today is the Day
Claim today as your day to make some progress. If you are a planner, you already know what you need to do. Pick one thing off your list and go do it. If you are a jumper, choose three individual things you want to accomplish today and then start with one of them. In my experience, when a deadline starts getting closer that is when I am motivated to action.
Find an Accountability Partner
Everyone needs encouragement and someone to hold us accountable. Make a point to find someone that can help you with your goals. Share them with a friend or share them here. Support can often come from unexpected places.
My next big goal is finishing my book on Family Sized Minimalism. I did my survey and I have my plan in place, but most of the actual writing is still happening in my head. I am once again at the point of feeling paralyzed by planning. I loved writing The Minimalist Within. It felt great once it was done, but I had the same issues getting the ball rolling with that project as well. This time I’m considering a different route.
So I’m putting myself on a deadline. I plan to launch my Family Minimalism book on March 14th. I’ll need to have the advanced copies ready for affiliates and reviewers by March 1st. So that’s my plan and now you’re all my accountability partners. No more excuses from me–only progress.
So what about you? What’s keeping you from making progress on the goals you have?
photo by bluntedUK
Article originally published on 02/09/2011