Making It Real

I Should Be…The Art of Procrastination

How many times have we said, “I should be or I ought to be doing blank?”

I should be working on the project at work.

I should be exercising.

I should be organizing my dresser.

I should be cooking dinner instead of eating out.

I should be saving money.

Motivation is what could be lacking in all those statements. Lack of time could be another reason. But does anything with the word should or ought sound motivating? Sound enticing? No!

As humans, hearing or saying the words should and ought don’t inspire. Perhaps it goes back to our childhood when we were told what to do. I think it has more to do with our free and sometimes stubborn wills’ that build walls or resistance toward anything we believe we have to do.

If you look deeper though there is usually a reason why we procrasinate or why we refuse to take an action that is usually is in our ultimate best interest. Finishing the project at work is most likely  contributing to  keeping your job! Exercising is something that is going to add to your quality and longevity of life. Plus, it feels great when you are finished with a hard workout!

The reasons are varied- fear of failure looms big. Uncomfortable with the learning curve (I felt like an awkard duck at The Ballet Bar class for the first month!), or just a lack of real education around the why something is helpful for you.

Funny thing about most of the should’s and ought to’s in our life- they are ultimately good for us! Why would we shun something that in the short and long run is helpful?

Because we are short-sighted! Because we want the gratification of easy, not hard.  We don’t believe in the long-term benefits of those things that are not quick, easy, and show results.

Imagine you have a large project you are in charge of at work. Your first step is understanding what your end goal is and breaking it down into smaller steps. Sometimes you don’t know what those steps are so you get stuck there. Or you may get stuck in a portion of the project where you lack the knowledge or skills.  Being a self-starter, I plunge right into projects that I may have limited knowledge around, but I believe that I can learn them, or ask for help, or seek outside sources to accomplish the project I have chosen to take on. Still, I can become a bit overwhelmed or concerned that I have left something out or left some detail undone in my enthusiasm to complete a project.

The point of this is understanding what is holding you back from those action items that you know you need accomplishing.

Another way to turn the dreaded should’s around is to eliminate the word should and ought! Use postive and inspiring words around the list of items you want to accomplish.

Working on this project today is going to get me three steps closer to finishing it. Finishing this project will give me a sense of accomplishment. I will be learning something new and making an impact on others.

I know the Ballet Bar class is a challenge for me. It feels funny pointing my feet in this direction while twisting my body in another, but in a few more weeks, I will be controlling my movements in a very graceful way. And, my body will be toned more than ever!

You get the drift of these statements. Build a positive reason for the why and write the statements out to read often. It really works! Pretty soon the satisfaction of the work will be enough motivation. Best of all in those actions where you have the most resistance and you defeat them and accomplish your goal prepares you for other actions that seem too hard to climb surmountable! You build motivation muscles when you turn the should’s and ought’s toward something positive for yourself.

I’d be interested to hear how you overcome your obstacles of resistance in accomplishing some of your should’s and ought’s.

And while you’re at it- You really should mop the floor or take out the trash!

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