By Karin Leonard
the previous article we discussed managing everyday procrastination. How
are you doing with that? Be sure to pat yourself on the back for
This month we'll be exploring another category of procrastination,
namely putting on the brakes when it comes to our goals and dreams.
THE ACTION STOPPERS
has always wanted to change from his corporate job to being a
self-employed consultant. Yet, for ten years he has procrastinated taking
Mind you, he has perfectly sound reasons: "The economy isn't
stable enough...I'm too busy right now...I'll do it some other
there are always reasons for our behavior -- and usually positive
intentions -- it is important to understand what benefit Jeremy is
deriving from not taking action. Maybe there are limiting beliefs around
what is possible for him -- or a fear of the unknown. Making those hidden
reasons visible increases our choices, and we can address them more
assume, for example, that fear of financial disaster has kept Jeremy from
taking action on his dream. Since this is a very real concern, Jeremy
needs to take time out to come up with a sound and workable plan. This may
provide him with a sense of safety and will make forward movement more
goals like Jeremy's tend to be quite different from our current reality
and it may seem out of
reach. We need to build bridges between what is and what we want.
Dreams need to be broken down into "bite size" pieces,
until we end up with items that can be scheduled into our calendar.
Jeremy's case, let's say he wants to launch his consultant career by June
1998. By then his professional life would be quite different from what it
is now. In order to make his goal more believable and achievable he can
trace his actions with the end in mind -- where does he need to be in 12
months, six months -- one month to meet his target date?
THE WAY TO SUCCESS
heard it said that "The way we spend our days is the way we spend our
lives". And really each day is another opportunity to create the life
of our choice. Realizing our dreams is greatly supported by building
structures that make our success more likely. They can lend power to our
intentions the way a riverbed guides the flow of water to the ocean. An
example of a structure would be a daily (and/or weekly) to-do list that
always includes a couple of items that bring you closer to realizing your
long-term goals, along with 'putting out fires" and busy work.
to find closure on something each day. This positive reinforcement will
build momentum. And remember that those who achieved great results did so
over time, thinking of so-called failure as time-released success.