Avoid procrastination and achieve your goals
We all have goals we would like to achieve. Even when we are happy with our life, there are always improvements which we would like to make. So, if everybody has goals; why do so few people every achieve them. The answer is that they struggle to avoid procrastination and take consistent action towards the achievement of their goals. You see, it’s all well and good having goals, but if you are not prepared to invest your time, money (where necessary) and energy into pursuing your goals, then those goals are nothing more than fanciful wishes. You might as well hope to find a genies lamp.
Goal achievers are doers. They don’t talk about what they hope to achieve. They talk about their goals in the present tense. They tell you all about the action they are taking to achieve their goals and the progress they are making. Not only do they avoid procrastination; they barely even know what it is.
Talkers don’t avoid procrastination; they live a life ruled by it. They could tell you some fantastic tales about what their life will be like when they achieve their goals but they couldn’t tell you one action they have taken to achieve those goals.
8 Beliefs to avoid procrastination and achieve your goals [infographic]
The following infographic provides you with 8 beliefs which you need to understand and embrace to ensure that you avoid procrastination and take action on your goals.
Key points from the 'avoid procrastion and achieve your goals' infographic
The following are the key points from the 'avoid procrastination and achieve your goals' infographic.
1. Talk is cheap
There are a small number of jobs which require you to talk for a living. Unless you are doing one of those jobs, you need to understand that talk is cheap. As a coach, I regularly meet clients who have been talking about doing stuff for a long time. The reason they hire a coach is because that talk has never turned into action.
Being able to talk clearly about your goals does help you to set out what you need to do to achieve those goals. However, unless you learn to avoid procrastination and take action, talking about those goals is the closest you will ever come to achieving them.
2. Nothing is achieved without action
When you want to design your life, there are a number of important things you need to do which require talking, thinking and clarifying. They include:
- Defining your purpose
- Clarifying your values, and
- Creating your vision of your ideal life
These are important steps but they alone will not create the life you want. If you look back through history, you will realise that great plans only became great plans when those plans were put into action. Nobody goes to Paris to see a plan of the Eifel Tower; they go to see the tower itself. And, that tower exists because the right people knew how to avoid procrastination, take action and get results.
3. You will never achieve perfection
Many people procrastinate because they are perfectionists. They fear that they won’t be able to do a perfect job so they fail to make a start. Of course, if they never make a start; they can never get the job done and experience the benefits that completing the job will bring.
When it comes to perfectionism, you need to remember the following:
Perfection isn’t possible. It will always be possible to improve on any job in the future. Remember, they used to have to make all telephone calls via an operator. Now we have mobile technology.
Perfection isn’t necessary. All that you can is the best job you can do, at that time, with the time, knowledge and resources available to you.
You can always strive to improve. You can always revisit a job and try to improve it e.g. I have a number of sales pages on my websites. Each page will have its own conversion rate i.e. ‘X’ out of every 100 people will buy. There is no doubt that each page can be improved but if I waited for perfection, I wouldn’t have any sales pages up and, therefore, I wouldn’t make any sales. Better to have a poorly performing sales page than no sales page at all.
Perfection is subjective. Everybody has their own opinion of what is and isn’t perfect. It is impossible to please everyone so, just do the best you can do.
Perfection is neither possible nor necessary. Just take action.
4. Nobody else will inspire you
The great thing about goal setting is that you can focus on what you want from life; the things which bring you joy and happiness and allow you to be the person you want to be. The downside to this is that nobody else cares about your goals. Unless they are going to benefit from you achieving your goal, why should they care?
Sure, you will have some friends who will give you a helping hand, if you ask, but nobody else is going to motivate, inspire or drive you on to achieve your goals.
You are the one who is going to benefit so your goals should inspire you. If they don’t, you need better goals.
5. There are no guarantees
No matter what aspect of your life you are trying to improve, there are risks and costs associated. People tend to think that self-improvement will only ever bring improvements but that is not always the case. Things may not work out and, you need to understand that taking on something new in your life will mean that you give up something else; knowingly or unknowingly.
I remember going travelling (New Zealand and Australia) in 2005. Before I went, my travel agent warned me that things are never quite the same when you get back. As he put it ‘You need to remember that your friends and family will just get on with their life and you won’t be a part of it’. He wasn’t trying to be negative; he was just making sure that I was aware of all of the impacts of spending a couple of years travelling at the other end of the world. Here are some of the costs that travelling brought:
- I never saw some people I cared about again as they passed away while I was travelling.
- I missed major events in the lives of friends and family e.g. weddings, christenings etc.
- I grew apart from some of my friends as our lives went in different directions.
I don’t regret travelling; I am delighted with my experience but it is important to remember that every step in the direction of your dreams does come with a cost. When you are aware of the costs, you are actually better able to determine that they are costs you are willing to accept.
There will also be risks involved with any goal you pursue and the best you can do is just to acknowledge the risk and take action, if possible, to lessen the potential impact.
6. If you want change; it is you who must change
Remember it is you who will benefit from achieving your goals so; if somebody else is standing between you and your goal; it is unlikely that they will volunteer to change. If they won’t change, it is you who must change.
Any relationship is a combination of the two people involved. So, if one person changes how they communicate, behave, act; this changes the entire dynamic of the relationship. When you change the dynamic of the relationship, the other person will be required to change how they behave.
If you want change, it is you who must change
7. Confidence follows action
Many people defer pursuing their goals until they feel confident enough to see it through. They forget to ask themselves the all-important question:
How can you be confident at something you have never done?
Confidence doesn’t come before you take action. If you are waiting for confidence to arrive; you might as well be waiting for the Hogwarts Express.
Instead, take action on your goal and with each positive step you take and; each action you complete; your confidence will begin to grow. Avoid procrastination, take action and watch your confidence climb to new heights.
8. There is no blueprint for life
You are unique. Nobody else has your purpose, values, vision, dreams and aspirations. There may be people who will share part of your journey but nobody will share your entire journey. This means that nobody else can give you a blueprint for living your life; you must carve your own path. Others can offer help and advice for parts of the journey but it is you who must decide what will help you and what will not.
You can avoid procrastination by realising that you can set the course of your life and, change that course, anytime you please. Therefore, there is no right and wrong; just learning experiences.
IF you want to avoid procrastination and achieve your goals, check out Stop Procrastinating.
When you want to make major changes in your life; it all starts in your head. You define your purpose, clarify your values, create your vision, set your goals and make plans. However, at some point, your life plan needs to step out of your head and into the real world. You need to take action. If you don’t take action, you will never achieve your goals. You can’t make improvements if you haven’t done anything to improve on. So, avoid procrastination, take action and achieve your goals.