Everyone has a dream, goal, or vision for themselves. Despite our forward thinking and good intentions however, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, which can often lead to procrastination. If a goal feels daunting and you don’t have a clear roadmap, you’re bound to put off ever starting.
So what’s the cause of procrastination anyway? The main culprit is prioritizing what feels good now, vs. what will feel good later. Behavioral economists call this concept “time inconsistency”, which is the idea that we place more value on the here and now than on the future. We have a preference for immediate gratification rather than future gratification.
In order to change your mindset and follow through with your goals, it’s important to learn how to push past the temptation of immediate rewards. Investing your time and energy into your long-term goals will help you stop procrastinating and stay on track. Here are some tips to help you start following through:
Surround yourself with Positive People By surrounding yourself with people who bring positivity into your life, you will have an ideal support system. We take on the traits of those we spend the most time with so just being in their company can help you think, act, and feel better. A good support system can also be beneficial in holding you accountable and encouraging you to accomplish your goals.
Take it Slow and Celebrate Small Wins Overwhelm is the primary reason people don’t follow through when it comes to reaching their goals. Big goals like “lose 30 pounds” aren’t helpful without a roadmap and smaller goals in between. When you create smaller goals like “lose 3 pounds” and have an action plan, you’re more likely to reach them. Celebrating these small wins along the way to reaching your big goal will increase your motivation to keep pushing forward.
Do It Now There is never a perfect time to get started. You will undoubtedly always have family, work, or social obstacles in the way, and you’ll always be able to find an excuse. Commit to taking the first small step today.
SMART Goals People often have trouble following through because their goals aren’t realistic or easily achievable. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. An example of a problematic goal is, “I will get stronger.” An example of a SMART goal is “I will lift weights for 20 minutes, 3 times a week, for the next month.”
Just Start You don’t need to get it perfect, you just need to get it going. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is actually just getting started. Whatever your goal is, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to start today.