Procrastination And Fitness: How To Ditch It And Reach Your Goals
Procrastination refers to replacing high priority actions with low priority actions, or simply doing something you enjoy in order to put off more important tasks and actions. Additionally some people think they work best under pressure, and this ‘deadline’ approach can provide even more reasons to delay.
There is also an element of self-sabotage in procrastination, as we are delaying an action that we know is important or good for us, for less important or counterproductive action, even though we know we will be worse off as a result.
Procrastination is often associated with perfectionism where we fear taking the first step because we want to be perfect and not make mistakes.
How procrastination makes us feel
When we procrastinate we may feel stress, guilt, loss of control or productivity. We may feel shame because we know deep down we are letting someone down, even if that person is us. We may get defensive, if others see us as being lazy, or having no willpower or low ambition. We may also get depressed, and put off more and more tasks or actions.
Why procrastination stops you taking the first step to losing weight
Research shows that there is a connection between anxiety, self-worth and self-defeating attitudes. There is a strong link between procrastination and a lack of self-confidence. These are all things we experience when our self- esteem is low, which is exactly how we feel if we are not as thin as we want to be.
Add to this the fact that impulsiveness drives procrastination and you have a self-fulfilling cycle of not wanting to take action and wanting to indulge in impulsive eating habits, to give us pleasure and comfort and some level of control.
How we cope with procrastination
The way we deal with procrastination is often in an emotional way, or by avoidance. This is a defence mechanism designed to reduce stress associated with putting off important actions or putting off our personal goals.
We also rationalize (make excuses), we think “I can’t/won’t do X” ….because “Actually I didn’t really want it anyway”…
– Change our goal to make it less appealing or possible by thinking: “I’ll never be thin anyway….so what’s the point in trying”
– Make ourselves feel easier about the situation by saying: “The timing is not right just yet, I’ll do it when the time is right…”
– Add new factors so that the situation makes more sense:
“I’ve had enough of yo yo dieting anyway, I’ll wait for something that actually works”
If you’ve ever felt this way, or can relate to any of the points then you are in the majority. Procrastination affects all of us to some degree at some time. We reassure ourselves that everything is under control, and therefore there is no need to take the first step.
Procrastination is only related to time management in a small way. When we procrastinate, we know exactly what we should be doing, and so scheduling will not help us.
Low self confidence
We may struggle with feelings of low self-esteem, and think there is no need to start a diet plan because we don’t feel we can reach our goal.
Being too busy
We can feel overwhelm at starting a new diet thinking there will be too many changes to make, too much shopping or planning or organizing. Or we don’t think it will fit in with our home life or routine.
Coping with pressure
We can use procrastination as a way of coping with day to day pressures and experiences. We think that having an excuse gives us more control over new pressures.
We fear starting a diet plan because we feel that if we start and don’t follow through everyone will know we failed and talk about us.
How to be unstoppable in the face of procrastination
Here are some simple steps to ditch procrastination and lose all the weight you want.
1. Recognize that you are delaying living your best life
2. List the real reasons for your delay
3. Challenge your reasons
4. Start – take the first step, even if you only spend 5, 10 or 15 minutes per day
Taking small focused steps consistently is what leads to success. Success is a process and not an event. You won’t wake up with a new waistline one day, it’s a process and you will achieve your goals by following the process – as sequence of steps.
This is your road to freedom, the time is going to pass anyway – so why not lose all the weight you want so you can become the person you want now – don’t wait for another year to roll by.