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AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Goal Setting: How to overcome the procrastination habit STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Goal setting CATEGORY: Habits of Procrastination CATEGORY: Procrastination Habit CATEGORY: Breaking the procrastination habit DATE: 07/10/2006 08:02:00 AM ----- BODY:

When you are setting your goals do you start with the end in mind?

What happens when you decide that you want to paint a wall? Before you start, do you have an idea of what the wall will look like when it’s finished? Of course you do, you’ve chosen the colour and you know it’s going to look fantastic. All you have to do is start painting and keep going until it’s finished.

Actually if you have ever painted a wall you will know there is quite a bit of preparation work to be done before you put any paint on your brush. There are things to move out of the way. Walls to be stripped of paintings and wallpaper then scrubbed and patched. And every time you stop for a rest, the wall is still there, waiting for you to begin again where you left off.

As a friend remarked the other day, painting a wall is like having “a giant post it note” stuck inside your house. Every day you trip over the fact that you’ve begun something but haven’t finished it yet, and sooner, rather than later, you will pick up where you’ve left off and keep chipping away at the problem until it has been completed.

Unfortunately most goals that we set for ourselves are hidden. There is nothing to trip us up if we don’t do the work. We might go to the wardrobe and discover that the clothes that we wanted to wear aren’t as comfortable as perhaps they once were, or we get an embarrassing reminder telling us that our bills are overdue, the credit card bill has arrived and you’ve spent more than you have earned, so you only have enough money left to pay the minimum amount – again. But we scrape enough money together and then stuff the reminder at the back of the drawer. Or we wear something with an elastic waistband so we don’t have to remind ourselves that we’ve failed to go to the gym at all this week.

Because our goals are hidden, we don’t have to be accountable for not achieving them. No-one need know of our desires to climb Mt Everest or write a book, unless we tell them. And why would we want to tell anyone, when we know that we are never going to achieve whatever it was we said we were going to, and who needs another failure to add to all the others we’ve had in our lives so far.

We set ‘goals” but we don’t take the steps to achieve them. Or if we do start, we lack the motivation to keep going when it starts to get tough. We’re lack lustre in our performance and it shows. We allow ‘life’ to get us down, because we’re not brave enough to say “hey that’s not what I want to do”. We give up our rights to our own lives because we don’t have the courage or the determination to find out what it is we want, and then persevere until we get it.

If you feel like that, it’s no wonder that you never achieve anything. But you are not alone. Setting goals can be scary, but actually achieving them can be worse. Because then the question would be – “now what, I’ve done everything I set out to achieve, so I might as well give up. So if I don’t start, then I can tell myself I have all these things that I still want to achieve out of life.” If you’ve ever had that conversation with yourself, then you will know what I mean.

In order to get more out of life, you have to want to. And I mean, every day, for the rest of your life. This is not about a “diet” that you start, stay on for a little while, whilst you lose a few pounds, this is a radical thought, you are going to have to think and do, something different every day of your life. And that’s why most people give up. It’s scary out there.

----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Breaking the Procrastination Habit: Getting out of the Zone of Comfort STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Habits of Procrastination CATEGORY: Procrastination Habit CATEGORY: Breaking the procrastination habit CATEGORY: Comfort Zone DATE: 07/10/2006 08:05:47 AM ----- BODY:

The comfort zone - It’s not really comfortable where you are is it? If it were, you wouldn’t be reading this. The comfort zone, is the quick sand of your current thinking. It keeps you stuck in the same place, and every time you struggle, you sink deeper and deeper into the mud.

So how do you get out of the mud?

Unless someone you know can throw you a life line, and lets face it, not all of us are destined to win the lottery, then you are going to have to do it all by yourself, inch by inch, until you are standing on firm ground.

That’s all very well I can hear you say, but you’re not where I am, you don’t have my kind of problems, how would you know.

I may not know you personally, but I know the kinds of problems you are probably facing, because I’ve been there. I have been overweight and in debt. And the way you solve one is the same way that you solve the other.


In theory, yes it is. In practice it is not quite so easy, having tried and failed in both instances many, many times. If you have ever tried to stick to a new diet and exercise plan or a tight budget you will understand what I mean when I say, it can be hard to resist that piece of birthday cake, or the invitation to the movies.

It’s the decisions we made every day that have made us the people we are today. And so it must follow that if the decisions that we made yesterday are impacting on the way we live our lives today, then surely it stands to reason that the decisions that we make today will impact on tomorrow.

But how do you begin to think and act differently? After all, we’ve had a lifetime of practice doing what we’re doing, and look where it has gotten us.

The answer to this question is to go back in time, to a time when you did manage to reach a goal. It might have been your decision to learn to drive, or pass your exams. At some point in your dim and distant past are moments where you were successful.

What you need to do is take a minute or two and write down a list of things that you successfully completed.

Breaking the Procrastination Habit: Goal Setting That Works

Can you remember what if felt like when you had successfully completed whatever is on your list?

Part of the answer to the elusive question on how to set goals, and more importantly achieve them has to relate directly to those kinds of feelings.

So the next question is - When was the last time you really wanted something? I mean deep in the belly kind of wanted something? OK I’m not really talking about fuelling your craving for chocolate at this point, but maybe if that’s the only thing you can remember being determined about, then that’s what we’ll have to use.  What we are trying to do is recapture that “feeling.” Can you remember how you felt? You were determined, you knew what you wanted and you knew what steps you had to take in order to reach it. In the case of chocolate, your mouth watered at the thought, your body tensed in anticipation, you made sure you had enough money in your pocket before you left your house. You dressed in the appropriate clothing, got in the car and drove to the place where you knew it was likely to be. You raced into the store and you searched and searched until you found what it was.

And as you bit into the first piece of chocolate, your body had a deep, deep sense of achievement. You had done it, you had beaten adversity and nothing was going to get in your way, not even that snotty nosed kid from next door was going to get in your way of achieving your goal.

So the question is, why can’t we re-create that same kind of determination for everything that we do? Why do we run away when the going gets tough? Why don’t we give it all we’ve got every single day?

Unfortunately, most of the goals we set aren’t quite as simple as fetching a bar of chocolate. So we set goals that don’t mean much too us. If we did, we’d do anything to get it – we’d make sure that snotty little kid didn’t beat us to that last bar of chocolate, it was ours.

Or are you the kind of person who gives the job to someone else.

“Can you go and get me some chocolate?”
“What sort do you want?”
I don’t mind, surprise me.”

And guess what, they get the sort of chocolate they want, because guess what, they fetched it, so they are going to share it with you. And whilst they may know what sort of chocolate you’d really prefer, they’re going to get their favourite, after all they did all the hard work.

We wait for someone else to come to our rescue rather than figuring out the solution the problems ourselves. It’s like buying a lottery ticket. We hope that this one will solve all our money worries, rather than figuring out just what it is we need to do to reduce our debts.

As a matter of interest:

Or do you live your life with your fingers crossed waiting for the lucky break?

As you can imagine, taking a good hard look at your life so far will not be easy. We tend to be critical of our achievements, or modest in what we think is an achievement. So to give you a couple of suggestions:

An achievement is something that you have had to work hard for over a period of time.
For example:

None of these can be achieved over night. Each one brought with it some measure of adversity, setbacks and detours. But you knew what the outcome was going to be. You knew that with a few course corrections, you were going to achieve “it”. Please bear in mind, that you list will be different from that of your spouse, your siblings, your friends and your work mates.

What you should never, ever do is to compare your list of achievements with anyone else. First of all, if their list seems better than yours, you will feel discouraged. Similarly if your list is better than their’s they will feel discouraged. By all means discuss strategies – after all they may have done something differently that saved them a lot of time. Knowledge like this can make a big difference to any future endeavours.

So how come that the rest of our goals, dreams and ambitions don’t ever make it into the realms of consciousness?

The reason our goals don’t succeed is because they are invisible to ourselves, let alone anyone else.

----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Andrew Clarke EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 08/28/2007 08:17:43 PM You make some good points. Another major reason I think people sometimes fail to achieve their goals is that they put a lot of thought into the process, but not so much in to what it will provide.

What will it give you? and how passionate are you about it anyway?

If the answers to those questions are "very little" and "not very", then give it up as a bad job.

It's better to drop a goal than repeat the behaviour of not achieving it, potential creating (or reinforcing) a self limiting belief around not achieving success.

Like you said, if it's got to be chocolate then make it chocolate, the very best - lollipops simply won't do!


Andrew. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Elle DATE: 08/29/2007 12:05:36 AM Thanks Andrew, perfect conclusion.

Unfortunately most people settle for the lollipops, they decide they're not worthy of the chocolate after all.

I hope you have the best day, lets go find the good stuff :-)

Elle ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Goal setting - What questions do you need to ask yourself? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Goal setting CATEGORY: Habits of Procrastination CATEGORY: Procrastination Habit CATEGORY: Breaking the procrastination habit DATE: 01/29/2007 04:36:24 AM ----- BODY:
How are your new years revolutions coming along? Did you set any new goals this year, or did you pull out the same bit of paper as last year and recycled them? The reasons why people fail in goal setting is because they may know what they want, but they've missed out one or two important steps. But don't panic these steps are easy enough - when you know what they are...and believe me when I say you would pay good money to be told this...
So let's get going:

Setting goals
- that's easy - decide what you want and write it down

How are you going to achieve those goal items?
This is usually where most people get stuck, they know what they think they want, but they don't know all the answers...which stops a lot of people from beginning the process.
Remember - You don't need to know all the answers personally to get started on a particular goal item, just a desire to reach the goal can be enough to set you on the right path. Someone, somewhere will have done what you are trying to do - find the online message boards and ask, go to a shop and ask, go to the library find a book - read it, then do.

When are you going to achieve it by?
Most people have a vague, oh i'll get it done by so and so....
A goal is just a dream without a proper time limit on it. But how do you set a time limit. Well it depends on the goal.
But don't put yourself under pressure to achieve something because your timing is off. Either modify the goal, or the timeline.

What are the benefits of achieving the goal items?

What are your reasons for doing it?

Who will help you achieve your goal?
Remember no-one can go it alone, all of the time

What is stopping you?
Goal setting isn't hard - that is the first question in the above list....goal achievement is easier once you have the answers to the remaining questions worked out.
This entry was taken from The Daily Dose of Motivational Medicine -
to receive your copy of the Daily Dose, click on the subscribe e-zine on the home page.  
----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: rotimi EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 04/22/2010 11:24:51 AM thanks alot. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Elle DATE: 04/24/2010 04:34:06 AM You are most welcome
Elle ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: ed EMAIL: [email protected] IP: URL: DATE: 04/11/2012 12:23:08 PM I am finally taking control of my life, thank you so much for having this up on the web. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Elle DATE: 04/19/2012 01:19:12 AM Hi ed

You are very welcome, I am glad you found the information useful.


Elle ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Get S.M.A.R.T. with Goal Setting STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Goal setting DATE: 03/10/2010 07:47:04 AM ----- BODY:

MotivateMe! recently released an e-report - Get S.M.A.R.T. with goal setting. It is a 16 page report and covers:

The report compliments the 100 day challenge: the workbook. However, we know most of you have the workbook, what you don't have is this report. This will take you through the process of how to set goals that inspire you to achieve them. By the way you don't have to have a copy of the workbook to benefit from this goal setting report either.....

So if you would like a copy, you can get yours here.

Download copy

----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Keith Leitzen EMAIL: [email protected] IP: URL: DATE: 03/10/2010 12:14:38 PM Thank you for your insightful blogs and for the free download of SMART it is truly appreciated.

I have been following you for the last couple of years and I am amazed almost weekly with a new way of thinking about, interacting with, or changing perceptions to adapt to this new world we are all a part of.

Keith ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Christian EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 03/10/2010 01:10:04 PM Thanks for the reminder. Too often we set unrealistic goals, and give up when they don't come to fruition. I've already made a list of small incremental goals to achieve, and hopefully one day I can get to the "pie in the sky" goal of mine. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Shirley EMAIL: IP: URL: DATE: 03/10/2010 06:58:26 PM Thanks! Your messages make a difference! ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Are you a dreamer or a goal achiever? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Goal setting CATEGORY: Breaking the procrastination habit CATEGORY: Dreams not goals DATE: 06/02/2006 02:20:50 AM ----- BODY:

You could of course tell me that you want a million dollars by next week, because you want to buy a nice house by the ocean.

And I would say, "that's great, so what are you doing to make sure that you get your million?"

You see, most people stop there. They have no idea how they are going to get their million dollars. They're waiting for "the universe" to provide it for them.

Unless you have a plan and are willing to do something about it, you could be waiting for quite some time before you can buy your house by the sea, especially if you are waiting for great aunt dorothy to drop off the perch so you can collect your inheritance.

Goal setting isn't rocket science.

However, goal achieving is an entirely different thing.

You can visualise your nice new house on the ocean front all you like, but unless you are extremely lucky and can guarantee winning the lottery, then you had better factor some other things into your plan of action. And reasons make the difference.

Without enough reasons you won't do what you need to do in order to achieve what you say you want.

You are a dreamer, not a goal achiever.

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