I’ve always been fascinated when it comes to understanding “Why we do what we do”. Why do certain people seem to have their shit together while others seem to be struggling with their goals. Right now, can you list 3 things that you should be doing to reach closer to your goals? If yes, my only question to you is – Why aren’t you doing it? 😛
Okay, so it’s not as easy as just writing down a bunch of goals. I know. It’s frustrating. But in my opinion the only solution here is to take a deep dive & really understand why we feel stuck. It comes down to learning more about yourself & understanding your feelings/thoughts better.
There have been times when I’ve been extremely motivated to do something & I just run through it. I don’t care about what time it is, I don’t care about eating, watching youtube etc etc. I’m just pumped to do that task! And then there are times when I know I should be doing something else, yet I am stuck with watching youtube videos endlessly.
Many of you might label yourself as just being lazy. But I disagree. For a brief period even I considered myself to be a lazy bum. But again, I had witnessed certain moments where I would just work like a machine & forget everything but the task at hand.
So what is it? Why do we procrastinate?
Everything we do starts with a goal. EVERYTHING! From getting up and brushing your teeth to endlessly scrolling your Instagram feed, it all started with a goal. When you texted the girl/guy you liked, did you first write it down in your goals list & then shoot the text? No, I am guessing you sent it immediately. Why? Because this particular “Goal” tapped into your emotions. Without you even knowing, your subconscious mind picked it up & fixed it as your goal. And boom!!! You did it right away.
So, we need to start programming our subconscious mind & help it understand what’s really important for us. We need to learn how to communicate with it. How can we do that?
1. Think about the ‘Good’
When you catch yourself procrastinating the next time, do this:
- Think about what you should be doing, what you really want to do.
- Think about what will happen to you when you achieve it.
- What good will come to you? What can be all the positive outcomes?
- Really visualize about all the good things that could happen.
Tap into your emotions. Really feel it. Visualize it. When you do this, you start connecting with your subconscious mind.
2. Stimulate the Amygdala
Amygdala is the part of our brain that is interested in keeping us safe. Not only does it keep us safe from predators, but it also protects us from uncomfortable situations & stuff that would be emotionally draining for us. So our job is to stimulate the Amygdala & really let it know that “Hey, this stuff is really bad for me”. Let your Amygdala get a heads up by doing the following :
- Think about what will happen if you don’t achieve your goal.
- What harm will come to you if you don’t pursue your goal.
- Remind yourself of the negative effects if you don’t do what’s required.
Again, all this let’s your Amygdala & inturn your mind understand what is at stake.
3. Take a tiny action
A lot of times the main reason I’ve procrastinated is that the task seemed too complex or time consuming. It seemed like a huge mountain I needed to climb. But again, it all starts with a tiny step.
This ‘mountain’ can be anything in your life. It can be your college assignment, a task at work or something going on in your personal life. The idea here is to start a chain reaction of small tiny steps. No matter what it is, just take the first step. So if losing weight has always been on your list but it seems like a ‘mountain’. Take the first step. A lot of times I want to write a blog post but I’m feeling “lazy”. You know what works? Firing up a Google Doc & typing a couple of words. Just taking that tiny step. Those couple of words start a chain reaction & it gives you the energy to do more.
Tiny Action -> Leads to more motivation – > Leads to more Action
4. Get Educated/Gain Knowledge
The tasks OR goals we put off the most are the ones where we are not sure on how to start. We lack the skills/technical know how regarding the same. It might be something new you’re trying to do, a task you’ve never done before. Like the time when I first tried editing video. I had shot a bunch of clips while travelling & I wanted to make a short video. But again, it was a goal but I had zero knowledge about it. I did not know the first thing about how videos are made. So I put it off for a long time. Everytime I thought about it, I ended up doing nothing. Because I did not have the right knowledge & skills to get started. How on earth would I make a video without learning how to edit. Then I started googling & watching a few tutorials here & there. I ended up making that video in just 1 day. So a task that I had procrastinated for weeks, ended up getting finished in 1 day.
Think about the goal you’ve been putting off. Is it something that is outside of your current skill set or comfort zone? If yes, then there is no harm in learning about it & educating yourself. Specially when we’ve so much information & knowledge shared online. It may take time, but it’s the only way! Remember, you’re not competing with anyone else but yourself. The goal is to improve ourselves. Find out other people who’ve struggled with the same issue & follow their footsteps to get out of the rut.
Lastly, relax. Sometimes all you need is to take a break. Just disconnect yourself from everything & re-align your thoughts. Think about what your priorities are. And take it one step at a time. Remember, each tiny step will lead you closer to your goals.