This is the time of the year to be setting goals and creating our action plans. Those who are successful at reaching their goals do so because they make a plan and share their plan with others, creating an accountability factor. In our last post we talked about how procrastination is the number one reason we do not reach our goals. There are other attitudes and ways of thinking that help push us right into procrastination. One of them is Projection.
Projection is when we blame others for our setbacks and or failures. We see this in young kids when they are quick to blame mom or dad. They have not learned to take responsibility for their failure and so put the blame on others. Someone may forget to bring their uniform or belt to our school and they might say, “Mom forgot it.” In the classroom a child asked not to push another child might say, “But they pushed me first.”
As a parent we want to be able to teach responsibility to our children. But in an age when many parents do not want to see their child have any kind of setback they will do anything to be sure they do not fail. Years ago a mom of a 5 year old was running back to a preschool to get “homework” the child had forgotten. I suggested that this was not the way to make your child responsible for their own work.
If you do not believe that children do not get that message, just this week a student who is about 11 years old told me they did not have an issue with procrastination. “If they forgot to do something, their mom would do it for them.” Unless as a parent you are planning on spending the rest of your life “fixing” the things your son or daughter is responsible for –
What gets in the way of goal setting and more important reaching your goals? There can be attitudes or fears that make reaching your goal more difficult. Number one on that list has to be “Procrastination”. Even when we talk to 10 year olds about this subject they recognize that procrastination gets in their way and is the cause of stress in not reaching their goals.
It could be that you procrastinate because you do not know what to do. There are so many things to look at and to try. Many individuals have not looked at what their purpose is, asked themselves what is important to them and what they would like to commit to. When it comes to children, the idea of committing to anything for more than 6 weeks is difficult to imagine. But until we commit to an activity or cause, it is very difficult to become good enough, that it has the opportunity to become a passion, therefore leading to more procrastination. Create a vision or mission and stick with it long enough for it to become a passion.
You may have a vision or an idea but you do not know how to accomplish it. In fact you may not know even where to start. If this is your position the most important thing is to do something. Get the ball rolling. Almost 10 years ago Tom Callos, a mentor, challenged all of his students to teach peace. I flailed about on that assignment for years. I could not define peace, let alone teach it. Finally this was a calling that I could not resist any longer. I read and studied. I went to retreats and read some more. I became more and more curious until I started to develop a way of understanding and speaking on this subject. One of my biggest takeaways was ‘being peace’. This of course is another subject – but if you do not know how to start or go about what you want to do, find mentors, read, study and talk to others – you will find a way.
What if you have a vision, and know how to do it but cannot get it done. There seems to always be other things that take up your time. There are sports to watch, Facebook to update, coffee to prepare, sometimes we even go to others to get help – so many things to do – except getting on with your work. Steven Pressfield called it “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Resistance is the act of self sabotage, self deception and self corruption. We can find all kinds of things to do except what we need to do to get things done.
In the next few days we will talk about many others ways that we set up roadblocks to reaching our goals – but many of them lead to procrastination. Now is the time to DO SOMETHING!
In the world that we live, our day to day lives are busy beyond belief. The question that we want to ask ourselves is, “Are we achieving, are we being productive and reaching our goals and vision?” Recently in teaching the class, Excellence in Leadership, we talked about habits that we have that we would like to change. One that came up for everyone of the students was – procrastination. How do we achieve a productive life without becoming overwhelmed to a point of paralysis?
First we must recognize that activity is not accomplishment. For many of us we have to do list that is a mile long, and for some of us we get to the end of the day and feel like we did not get anything done on our list. Here is the suggestion that came out of our discussion that I felt is worth sharing with our community. Continue reading “Excellence in Leadership: Vision without procrastination”
Have you ever noticed that those who reach their goals, that is achieve the things that they want, always seem to be the ones that do what is necessary, even when they don’t feel like it.
There are many individuals who would have loved to have been in the Olympics, but there are very small percentage that the discipline to do what is necessary to get to that level of success and even less that place in the top 3 in the world. If we look at what the most successful do though we see that every part of their life they practice discipline – so they can reach their goal.
How do they do this? There is much involved but we could say that they work hard, plan ahead, practice, and schedule the time. They know what they want to acheive and then they practice what we will call WBP. WBP stands for Work Before Play. When we use our discipline we set our goals, make a plan, maybe get a coach to help us, then schedule how we can accomplish the goal, then we WBP.
No excuses, no goofing around, no doing it halfway. We don’t play at it, or allow other activities to get in the way of it we just “Do it!” There will be no procrastination… or if there is we recognize it immediately and complete the task at hand.
I have been working on this for so long and recently I read a book about getting things done that are important for the progress of my personal growth as well as reaching my goals. The author, Brian Tracy, said “eat the big frog first”. He went on to describe how everyday we should make a list of the three things that would have the biggest impact on our lives or business. Then the hardest, most difficult of the three should be done first and stuck with until it was complete. Eat the biggest, ugliest, stickiest frog first. Then be sure to complete all three tasks no matter what in that day.
Why? Because when you get rid of that one you have a sense of accomplishment and the rest of the frogs don’t look that bad. I have been trying this and it has been working very well for me. You may want to try this too. Having said that some of the hardest things to be disciplined about though is our diet and exercise. More on that next time.
Elanor Roosevelt, one of my favorite people of all time, once said; “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
There are 3 things according to Jack Canfield, author of Success Principles, that stop us from doing what we know we should do or even want to do. They are; considerations, fears and roadblocks. I am not going to talk about the considerations or roadblocks right now, but I do know that fear is something that all of us feel probably everyday even if we do not identify it as fear. While fear is a good thing in many circumstances, when we allow it to get in the way of achieving our goals, it no longer is serving us in a positive manner.
Much of what we fear is made up in our imagination and we hold onto to that belief, image we have in our mind, or the experience we have had far beyond that it may have been true. Then when we try to achieve a goal that we really want, guess what happens? The picture comes back in our mind and we retreat to our comfort zone – no matter how much we want to step out and reach our goal.
This happens to kids and adults. Funny thing though as adults we have ways of hiding behind our fears. Many times that is called, procrastination. That is another subject all together. What kind of attitude do we need if we are going to get beyond our fears? We need to have a positive attitude with energy and enthusiasm. We need to break out of the prison that we are held in, one that has been largely created by ourselves of what we can’t do and all the reasons that is true, and focus on the the way we want to be. As we create the image of our success in our mind and feel it in our body, this can become our new reality.
Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” This month we will continue to examine courage and how we can develop this characteristic as we face our fears and challenges with determination.