Procrastination is a real thing. I remember when I wanted to train for a marathon. I kept looking for the perfect set of circumstances to start training. If it was too cold, I said, ‘I will wait until the weather warms’. If I woke up late, I pushed my training back a whole week (my training regimen started on Monday, so starting on Tuesday just didn’t feel right ?).
As time went on, days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Before I knew it, the entire year was gone and I was no closer to achieving my resolution than the day I set it.
Has that ever happened to you? You know what you want to do and for one reason or another, nothing happens.
I guess we could say it is because you are unmotivated, but what does it mean to lack motivation?
Sometimes you lack motivation because you set unrealistic goals. You believe you should be able to accomplish a resolution in two-weeks, even though it takes an average two-months for everyone else.
Other times you are unmotivated because you just set a goal to do something you don’t really need or want to do in the first place. We sometimes find ourselves trying to do something because we believe anything is better than nothing.
I remember several years ago when I was looking at starting my first business. Finances were tight, so I had to be selective. My wife and I looked at buying a frozen yogurt franchise, but we soon found the ones we could afford were losing money. After multiple meetings with multiple owners in a variety of industries, we stumbled upon a mail service franchise. I was at the point that I was desperate to make something happen, and I internally decided I was going to buy this franchise no matter what. When we got to the point of investigating the financials, we discovered the business was a money pit that would take a lot of work to fix. My wife (the accountant that she is) immediately said we need to run as fast as we can the other way, but I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. After much back and forth, she got me to agree to get a second and third opinion from two people we trusted. They both immediately saw what my wife saw (a money pit and an overpriced business) and advised us against moving forward.
I say all this to say, sometimes what you think you need to do is not what you should be doing (and deep down you know you shouldn’t). Sometimes procrastination or a lack of motivation is the result of you not really being committed in the first place. You find yourself with a bunch of sub-par choices, but you feel if you do nothing, nothing will change.
The feeling of wanting to progress, regardless of direction is an internal struggle for all of us.
The best way to overcome procrastination, setting unrealistic goals, or doing something for the sake of doing it is by taking the time to understand what outcome you are trying to produce.
It is almost like writing a great story. Some authors start with the climax and then create the story in reverse. When you outline the steps from your desired change to your present reality, you will find it much easier to stay motivated. Even if you have a momentary set-back or find yourself wasting time now and again, you know what you need to do to reach the climax.
If you want to lose weight, start a business, retire at 30, get married, mend a broken relationship… or whatever your goal or resolution is… you are going to need to accomplish certain things to make that happen.
Understanding what others did to get where they are at (and where you want to be) is a great way to gain perspective. It will provide you the clarity needed to properly determine if you really are unmotivated or if it is something else altogether. I have a feeling it is not a lack of motivation as much as it is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the lack of a plan.
Knowing where you want to be, but not knowing how to get there will lead to procrastination and a feeling of inadequacy.
Devote some time to understanding
- what it is you want to change in your life
- why you want to change it
- and how you are going to change it
You will be surprised by how much “motivation” you will find when you know exactly where, how long, and what it will take to get there.
Dre Griggs | Forecast Hope | Be More
Want to know if you are focused on the right thing, take the 5-Day Resolution & Goal-Setting Challenge. www.ForecastHope.com/5DayChallenge.