“Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will—tomorrow.” Does this quote by recipe guru Gloria Pitzer ring true for you? Especially when it comes to things you know you ought to do for yourself? We’re guessing that you have more than a few items on your “someday when I get to it” list. For example, how long have you been putting off that doctor’s check-up appointment? How many times have you stopped and restarted a healthy eating plan? How often do you really take all of those vitamins and supplements in your cupboard? The truth is, we tend to spend most of our energy either taking care of practical things (like chores and work) or taking care of others, all while conveniently putting off what we should be doing for ourselves.
Next week comes a date-meets-invitation that allows you to stop procrastinating and move forward with what you need to do. March 4th asks you to simply MARCH FORTH. Take giant steps toward your goal. Here’s how:
- Make the appointment. This first one is a bit of a cheater tip, because it involves a lot more action on the part of someone else than it does you. In other words, it’s perfect. By simply putting several dates with your Fitness Together trainer on your calendar, you’ve done the hardest part. Then, when it comes time for your appointment, you simply show up and let your trainer guide you through what to do.
- Go small or go home. Small, quick, and short are procrastinators’ favorite words. Outside of your trainer appointments, shoot for quick exercise sessions of 15-20 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right? These short bursts can help you set a habit of exercising more often, and for longer periods of time.
- Hit it first. Tackle the items that you’re most likely to procrastinate first. It makes sense that you want to procrastinate the things that are hard for you. Knock out your exercise first thing while your energy and willpower are at their strongest. Then, instead of thinking about your upcoming workout all day, you’ll have the peace and satisfaction of knowing that you already DID IT, and can focus on other things for the rest of the day.
- Do it or else. Set up a consequence for yourself that will discourage you from flaking on your commitment. For example, you can’t go to the movie you’ve been wanting to see until you’ve gone to 2 sessions with your trainer, and exercised 5 times on your own. Or, if you don’t stick to your healthy eating plan this week then you can’t go out this weekend.
- Make it public. Let your friends and family in on your exercise or eating-well intentions. AND ask them to not-so-politely check up on you with your progress on a regular basis. Having a slew of buddies to report to makes flaking out a lot less attractive.
After a few false starts and waylaid intentions, isn’t it time to MARCH FORTH? Procrastination doesn’t have to get the best of you. You can start moving toward your goals, and you can do it today.