Take a Break to Break Your Cycle: 5 Unique Tips to Beat Goal Procrastination
by Emanuel Thomas
Why are so many working professionals struggling to find the time to work on their own personal goals? Sure, we have obligations to meet the mandatory deliverables of our employers. But I’m guessing you currently have your own goals that are sitting on the shelf—and despite the many outside-of-work hours available to you, you just can’t seem to make the time for your own vision. Why do you think that is?
Whether you’re readily aware of it or not—truthfully, we all know the answer. It varies from: “I don’t have the time, because I’m burnt out after work” or “Once I’m off, I have plans and then so much to do afterwards”. Realistically, there’s never truly one answer to pinpoint. Reason being, the answer can—and typically does, change from day-to-day; being that every new day brings its unique challenges.
But wait! Here’s how the coin reads on the other side: One may say that they’re burnt out after work—but then they somehow find time to binge watch three 1- hour episodes of a great new series that they just started watching on Netflix before going to sleep. Another may say that they have plans to take care of so many personal tasks after work. Yet they get home, take a few moments to decompress from the draining day in the office, and end up doing absolutely nothing for the remainder of the night—putting their ‘plans’ on tomorrows to-do list.
The next person may say that they have to make dinner and feed the kids, but the kids wanted fast-food, which left the parent time to work on their own goals once they got home, but instead they chose to finish the report that they were working on before they left the office to get the kids—as if their own action-items aren’t worthy of entertaining.“The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo
All of these, in fact, are excuses. Excuses that we all use to justify why we can’t seem to work toward completing the goals that we often fantasize about, while we remain on the job working toward someone else’s vision. The old saying, “If you don’t have your own goals, you’ll always work for those that do” is very true. So, do yourself a favor and TAKE A BREAK.
TAKE A BREAK from all of the excuses you come up with that keep you from starting your goals. TAKE A BREAK from all of the so-called “distractions” that you blame your inabilities on, because in reality, you give the breath of life to what you entertain—good or bad. Truthfully speaking, you should TAKE A BREAK from your current job, and allocate a little time to yourself, whether it be during lunch, on your 15-minute break, when you get up to grab a cup of coffee, or whenever is convenient for you.
It doesn’t have to necessarily be at work; it can be in or out of the office. Be deliberate in taking time out for yourself and take baby steps toward building the meaningful thing, company, or vision that will ultimately make you happy. You have to remember, goals that aren’t being worked towards will forever and only be dreams, and nothing more.
Here are 5 simple tips that can help you BREAK from all that’s happening around you, so that you can BUILD on your dreams and invest in the greatest asset that you have—YOURSELF:
1. Write on a piece of paper one daily goal
Write down one goal each day however small, that feeds into your ultimate goal and look to accomplish that one goal for the day. Take the note, put it in your purse, pants pocket, wallet or even inside your cell phone case. Place it anywhere that you’ll be forced to see it again, and it will bring attention to your consciousness. This will empower you and give you the urge to execute that one goal, because to your immediate consciousness—it will seem ‘so easy to do’ because it’s not time consuming.
2. Use a descriptive reminder for that daily goal
Put an hourly or bi-hourly reminder with a descriptive message relative to your daily goal in your cell phone. When it goes off, you’ll know to execute what you’re passively telling yourself what to do. Repeated awareness of a thing, trains the conscious mind and over time becomes a part of your subconscious belief system. You’ll begin to believe more and more that it’s worth taking out the time to execute your goals.
3. Use a picture of your loved one your goal will directly affect
Take a picture of a loved one that you care for, who will benefit from you following your dreams and chipping away at your daily/or ultimate goal. This accountability will empower you to be more conscious of what interim goals you have in place to reach…because now you’re not only doing this for yourself.
4. Take a break and repeat this affirmation
Stop what you’re doing, take 10 seconds to yourself and repeat this affirmation as often as you can: “BREAK (… inhale… exhale) BREATHE (…inhale… exhale) BUILD (… inhale… exhale)”.
5. Keep a meaningful object within reach at all times
Keep a meaningful object (big or small) within arm’s reach, so that it’s visible to your consciousness, so that when you see it—it reminds you that you have work to do, and not work relative to your current job, but work relative to your individual goals and the process of attaining what your see in your minds eye.
These 5 simple tips, through repetition and discipline, can create an entire wave of new habits that subconsciously get you closer to completing your goals. All that you have to do is believe that your goals are worth reaching and completing. You deserve to experience the life that you dream about, and having and working toward your goals on a daily basis will get you there.