Greetings fellow fortune cookie lovers! I can't believe we are already solidly into December and also that we're already at another Fortune Cookie Friday! This week's fortune fell out at me from a shelf, and its appearance in my life was timely:
Each day, compel yourself to do something you would rather not do.
We all know what it's like to not want to do something, whether we're putting off paying the bills, or mowing the lawn, or whatever.
But where does that get you in life?
It gets you a late fee on your electric bill and a lawn that goes to seed, is what it does. Where's the fun in that?
In contrast, by doing things we don't really want to do, we are making sure we take care of ourselves, our surroundings, and the people around us, and living a higher quality of life, because we're not making things more difficult on ourselves.
I mean, take an example from my own life:
I'd rather not go out for a walk in the freezing cold, and I suppose I could get on a treadmill, instead, but really, it's better for me to to go outside to the park, take my hiking sticks, and get a full-body workout in.
So this week, I've done a few things I would rather not do, including hiking in the freezing cold, because taking action was the best thing for me at the time. I've been putting some other things off, too (*ahem* laundry), but in the end, the fortune cookie is right: compelling myself to do something every day will help me out, in the long run.
But...WHY do we procrastinate? I wanted to get to the bottom of it, so I did some reading. Forbes has ideas on why we procrastinate and how to stop. Psychology Today has an article on how to avoid procrastination. And Lifehacker has an article on why procrastination is bad for your brain. I'm also going to throw you some book resources below that you can explore. (I've downloaded the free samples for this one and this other one, and this one is free at the time of this writing!!)
For myself, I know that when I procrastinate, my anxiety ramps up, and I can make myself ill. I start feeling all kinds of bad things and talk negatively to myself. And I don't deserve that!
The can be quickly reversed, though, with just one or two simple actions taken. When I just do the thing I've been avoiding, those negative feelings—such as shame, uselessness, and guilt—start falling away, and I feel good for having accomplished something. Inertia is the hardest thing to get over, but if I just start, the rest falls into place.
Also, in exploring why I put things off, I've discovered that it's often because I feel overwhelmed. I tackle that by making a list and then quickly taking care of some of the low-hanging fruit on that list. By accomplishing one or two small items, the good feelings start to rewire my brain to think more positively, which then helps me get on with the rest of the tasks on the list. I've also gotten okay with asking for help or paying someone to provide a service rather than doing it myself. For instance, I know that I hate doing taxes—HATE IT—so I'd put it off every single year. But when I met my husband, the first year we were together, he said, "Why don't you just let my tax guy do your taxes for you so you can stop stressing about it?" And I've had a tax guy ever since. Problem solved!
At any rate, it has been worth it to me to examine my levels of resistance to things. When we procrastinate, we are resisting something, so it's best to figure out what that is and then do something about it.
Okay, so now that you've read all that—what are you putting off? Why are you putting it off? And how are you going to stop doing that to yourself?
What are you going to compel yourself to do?
Let's talk: what works for you?
|Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash|
Have a great weekend, and go get 'em! 🐝