Our new President, Barack Obama, said it in his inaugural speech yesterday. I, too, was inspired by his speech, so I’m dedicating the next few blog posts to the themes and values that our new President is asking us to pay attention to. In this post I’m asking you to think about what you want to change in your life or what it is that you’ve been putting off.
We all have it within ourselves to incite change and make things happen. However, the thought of change is very overwhelming for most of us. I am sure many of us will put it off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes, and we discover, we don’t have to until tomorrow. Thus, the cycle continues.
People, that cycle is called procrastination! We all suffer from this syndrome every now and again, so there is no need to feel any guilt over it. In fact, a study reported in Psychological Science reports that despite extrinsic motivators (money), one group still put off completing their tasks. This was the group that was given given their task without any “how-tos” or instructions to follow. The group that had the details broken down and instructions to follow actually completed their task early, without a second thought.
Here is your how-to:
1. Identify your goal/what you want to change. (Example 1-Lose 50 pounds; Example 2-Volunteer 5 hours per month to charity)
2. Set a date for accomplishing that change. (Ex. 1-December 31; Ex. 2-May 1)
3. Break it down into manageable chunks. (Ex. 1-Lose 15 pounds by March 31, 10 pounds by June 30, and so on; Ex. 2-Commit to 1 hour every other week in your first 1-2 months, 1 hour per week by month 2-3)
4. Assign yourself tasks for each week or month. (Ex. 1-Week 1-find activities you enjoy, Week 2-find workout buddies, Week 3-Exercise at least, two times per week, etc; Ex. 2-Week 1-Write down all social issues you feel passionate about, Week 2-Identify local charities that are in line with your passion (try asking neighbors, friends, or check the internet), Week 3-Call the local offices to see when and where you might be able to volunteer your time.)
5. Schedule it. Write those tasks into your calendar, as if they were that doctor’s appointment you couldn’t miss.
Try it out and procrastinate, no more. If you need a little extra guidance feel free to contact me by posting below or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find help with your health and fitness goals at http://www.balancedstrength.com/v4fitness/register/. Sign up by February 1, 2009 for a free one-month membership.