How to End Your Procrastination Habit

I have a good friend – Amy – who always files her taxes in January. She keeps meticulous records (all digital), pays her quarterlies, and she gets that return filed so she can collect her refund.

I’m so jealous!

On the other hand, another very close friend spends the day of April 15th in a frenzied frazzle, pulling together all his documents, feeling stressed, and often needing to file for an extension.

Even worse, he feels the heaviness of knowing he has to get it done weighing on him for the three months leading up to the dreaded Tax Day!

I fall somewhere in the middle… although still definitely closer to the second camp.

How about you? Is procrastination part of your identity? And, if so is that something you’re happy with?

As I write this we’re just a week past the tax return due date in the U.S., so all this is really in the front of my mind. Maybe it’s in yours too?

If you live and file in the U.S., you either spent the day or two before April 15th in a nightmare of rummaging through bookkeeping records… or you serenely enjoyed a lovely April weekend, knowing you’d already dealt with it all.

But even if you’re not anywhere near your tax deadline, procrastination is probably rearing its ugly head in some part of your life.

Personally, I’ve always been someone who thrives on deadlines. I always rise to the occasion and get it done, whether it’s taxes, a work project, or something else.

But—it’s usually at the expense of my self care and health commitments.

(Years ago when I was editor of an environmental newspaper, I remember being up till 3 and 4 am drinking coffee and getting that final paper finished… Then it would take me a couple of days to recover. Luckily it only came out once a month!)

I’ve decided that I don’t really like having procrastination be part of who I am.

The Hidden Costs of Procrastinating

I realized that being a procrastinator comes at an even greater cost than the exhaustion and stress of getting a project done at the last minute.

There’s the low-grade stress of knowing you have to do it and you aren’t doing it.

And—more importantly—when this way of life is part of who you are, then you tend to procrastinate changing habits and doing good things for yourself. Basically self-love or self-improvement projects constantly get put off.

Tomorrow always sounds like an easier time to get started on that diet, or a meditation habit, or that new exercise regime. And of course, we all know that in these cases ‘tomorrow’ often never comes.

And then we can start to feel crappy about ourselves.

What if NOW is the time to let the identity of procrastination go?

This is the perfect season to end that habit, and uplevel your life and your self-perception.

Okay, maybe it can’t happen all at once – but how about choosing ONE THING in your life that you decide to attend to right NOW…. and free yourself of the burden of ruminating about how you haven’t done it yet.

As they say here in Mexico, poco a poco—little by little. Those tiny decisions, and little baby steps really do add up.

What’s your ONE THING? Let’s share in the comments.

Oh… and if your One Thing happens to be dropping some weight and/or getting on that exercise program, you should definitely schedule a Weight Release Assessment. It’s totally gratis, and I’d love to support you in getting started. It’s seriously fun for me to do these.

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