Resolve to Beat Procrastination - What is the Cure for Procrastination?
It's Me... Thinking
Procrastinators Unite - Tomorrow
It's our theme. But I don't want to be a member of that club. I am there by default. I have studied some of the most successful goal setting methods on the planet over the past 20+ years, and guess what - I'm still in the club.
Here's a little story to 'splain what I'm talking about.
Zig Ziglar was one of the most inspirational motivational speakers of the past 25 years. I say was, but he is still alive, just getting on up there in age. His work lives on.
Anyway, I attended one of his seminars via satellite in the 80's. I was totally inspired, bought every tape and workbook that was being sold. As that day came to a conclusion, I had written down all my goals, including personal, financial, spiritual, and a few others. I went home with a new lease on life. I intended to take the world by storm with my new mindset and attitude. I continued to listen to the tapes on a daily basis.
Even though I had set down all my goals, I started on a small one so I could experience some success before diving into the biggies. It was to lose a few pounds. I cut out a picture of a guy modeling Jockey briefs and put it above my mirror. (You know they wouldn't pick a fat dude for a Jockey ad, right?) So I worked toward that goal and actually reached it within the time frame I had set. In the meantime, I continued to listen and be inspired by the tapes and books I was ingesting. I can probably still tell the Zig stories with the same southern accent and intonations he used. I had them memorized. I was also listening to some other great motivational speakers on a totally self-help radio station... Still only working on my weight goal.
All this background is just to let you know that I knew. I knew how to set goals, I knew why I should have goals, I knew the danger of procrastinating, I knew the power of the mind that can work for your benefit or your demise.
What happened? ..... Nothing.
Sadly, I reverted back to my old habits after accomplishing the first weight loss victory. When I reached that goal, I took my wife out to dinner to celebrate. When I woke up the next day, I took the day off from my goals. It felt good to sit and watch a football game or sit-com on TV. It was comfortable. You know, I was in my comfort zone again. I didn't have to make myself do something that was just too hard. It was so easy to sit there and vegetate.
So that's what I have been doing for the past umpteen years... vegetating.
What is your Procrastination Quotient (PQ)
Are you now, or have you ever been a procrastinator?
I'm still convinced that one can beat procrastination. I still know that there are proven methods that work. I am also convinced that it takes much more effort for some of us than others. I happen to be one of those who needs much more "encouragement" than some others.
There is a behaviorist psychological method that I tried. Actually paid a pile of money for it. Tony Robbins used to have these infomercials selling his motivational tapes (yes, they were tapes back then). I was sitting in front of the TV, as usual, and I watched the whole hour long commercial. Ended up buying.
The concept is pretty simple. You imagine yourself in the future.
Did you know that we are motivated by different emotions? There is Motivation by Fear and there is Motivation by Reward. Motivation by Fear is by far more powerful for most of us than the hope of reward. We do things or don't do things because of the fear associated with the outcome. A really simple example is asking your boss for a raise. There are two emotions working in this situation. First, you need a raise and you know what you can do with that extra income and how it will help you and your family to improve your lifestyle. On the other hand, the fear of rejection is there and it is very powerful. That fear keeps most of us from asking for the raise, in spite of the knowledge of positive reward.
Ok, so Tony Robbins used both of these concepts in his tape series. First of all, imagine how totally sad your life will be 20 years from now if you don't make the change (achieve the goal) you are considering. See yourself in a nursing home, unattended by qualified staff because you can't afford proper care. That kind of thing.
Did Tony Robbins help me? Nope, I didn't even get past the first imagination. However, on the positive side, HE was better off because he had my cash.
As I was listening to that afore mentioned radio station, I heard Jim Rohn for the first time. His delivery just made him very easy to listen to and trust. Not only did he instill a belief that I could reach my goals, but he did it in a way that kind of made him feel like a friend.
Anyway, he mentioned his "mentor" in every presentation. Funny thing, I don't think he ever gave away the name of that mentor. It wasn't until recently that the light bulb went off in my brain. He had help!
I tend to be a total loner. I typically don't ask directions (I know - it's a common male thing), even when I know there is help out there. I will do my private searches on the Internet, usually with the wrong search criteria, looking for help I may get by asking an acquaintance that I am certain has the answer. Why do we do that? It's really dumb. Yet, again, we continue to do the things that are most comfortable for us.
In my self-admitted state of being a loner, how do I employ a mentor?
First of all, we are talking money here, and I have been burned a few times with purchasing the next best self-help solution (a la Tony Robbins). Do I lay out more money for a program that promises to help me cure procrastination?
I'm guessing that the answer is, yes. And here's why.
My favorite motivational guru was/is Zig Ziglar. In spite of not doing my part, he continues to inspire me with his wit and encouragement (remember, I have it memorized). My problem is not with his methods, it is with my own lack of inspiration. So, one of Zig's most profound statements is, "If you keep on doin' what you've been doin', you will keep on gettin' what you got."
So, do I keep going after the carrot? Do I take the plunge (again) and lay out a bit more money in hopes of attaining the gold ring? Answer, of course. Even though I said I have been burned by a few programs in the past, I passed up more than I tried because of the money. I know these guys are in for the money, but there is something to be said for the number of folks who have been helped. And, of course, I realize that the problem is in me, not in them.
Just writing this article is a huge step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned. It is doing two things. First, I am doing it rather than thinking about doing it... a real plus for someone who needs to beat procrastination. And, second, it's kind of like AA where you get up in front of a group of your peers and admit that you have a problem.
"Hi, my name is Wayne, and I'm a procrastinator."
There, I said it. Now I can move on. I'm going to take the 100 Day Challenge - my final step to beat procrastination for good!
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- 100 Day Challenge
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- Goals Challenge
Beat Procrastination! Get motivated to actually carry through with your plans.
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