Procrastination is one of the most common ways we self-sabotage our goals.
I find I procrastinate the most when I’m overwhelmed by how big my goals seem, or when I don’t trust my ability to achieve them.
I know the way to accomplish big goals is to break them down into smaller, more manageable goals until the individual actions feel doable.
I learned from Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School Podcast and Natalie Bacon of the Design Your Dream Life Podcast that the next step is to schedule all those little actions into your calendar so you know exactly when each step will get done.
The idea is if you follow what’s on your calendar every day, you almost can’t NOT achieve your goals.
But if you’re anything like me, breaking down goals into smaller action steps and scheduling them is the easy part. The true challenge is actually doing the action items on my calendar each day.
I did some thought work on this recently and realized what it boils down to is I don’t trust myself to keep my own commitments, to others and especially myself.
Is this you, too? Are you always making to do lists or buying new planners only to stop following through after a couple days?
What I’m learning is that all the productivity hacks and fancy planners in the world won’t help us until we can learn to keep our commitments to ourselves.
So how can we rewire our brains to trust ourselves to keep our word?
I think it starts with putting just one or two small goals on our calendar, goals that are very simple and almost impossible not to accomplish. When we complete each item, we let ourselves feel the sense of accomplishment and then we say:
“I’m the type of person who keeps her word.”
We keep setting quick win goals, and then slowly add goals that don’t provide such instant gratification.
Over time, our brains will trust that we will do the things we set out to do, even when the list grows bigger and the scheduled actions become more challenging.
If you’re interested in personal development, I highly recommend both Natalie Bacon’s Design Your Dream Life Podcast and Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School Podcast. Both Natalie Bacon and Brooke Castillo are life coaches. Fun fact: Natalie became a certified life coach through The Life Coach School and considers Brooke Castillo a business mentor and role model. You can find links to both podcasts and some of my other favorites here.
Do you struggle with procrastination? What prevents you most from moving forward? Do you have a different system that works for you? Please don’t hesitate to share below.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Have a wonderful week.
Need more inspiration and motivation? Here’s a curated list of my favorite podcast episodes on procrastination, productivity and tools & tips to accomplishing big goals:
“Most people never see their dreams come to life because of procrastination. They put off taking action toward what they want because they feel lazy, overwhelmed, fearful, or indulge in any other emotion that’s preventing them from creating something. On this episode, I share some actionable tools and strategies that you can start using today to defeat procrastination, and save you time and precious energy worrying, stressing and mismanaging your time.” – Brooke Castillo
“Pro-active-ation. The opposite of procrastination. On this episode, we take a deep dive into the power of being proactive and the immense benefits that you can expect from planning ahead and taking charge of your life. We explore how you can take the things that you deem “good” about procrastination and apply them in a way that leaves you more time and mental space than you have ever dreamed of.” – Brooke Castillo
“We make time for the things we care about. So if you are sitting there saying, “I don’t have time to plan,” or “I don’t have time to learn how to become a freelance writer,” then you never will. You need to carve out that time.” – Heather Deveaux
“So I want to ask you to take stock of how you are using your time. Are you just filling your day with distractions? Are you doing things to avoid doing other things? Is there something that you’ve been wanting to do but just can’t seem to get up the motivation to get it done? I totally get it. I lived like that for a long time.” – Heather Deveaux