5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Begin Walking in Purpose

By Sarah J. Cepeda (Coach Sarah J.)

Procrastination can be a problem that prevents us from moving forward and impedes our progress to reaching our full potential.  This can also hinder us from complete contentment and satisfaction in life.  Recent studies suggest that in the last 30 years, procrastination has more than quadrupled, affecting more than 20 percent of the population. 

There are many reasons for procrastination.  Some of those reasons include:

  • An absence of structure – An absence of structure is often marked by disorganization and lack of direction.

  • Having to perform unpleasant tasks – When we have to carry out tasks that seem mundane, boring or even daunting, it is often much easier to put those tasks to the side until we absolutely have to perform them, rather than get them done immediately.

  • Self-confidence (or lack thereof) – A lack of self-confidence is frequently the cause of procrastination. Feelings of inadequacy often cripple us to the point where we are pushed into a state of inactivity, rather than to move forward and risk the possibility of failure.

While procrastination can be daunting to overcome, it is not impossible.  Additionally, the advantages of conquering procrastination far exceed whatever challenges you may encounter while overcoming it.  Beyond just the feeling of accomplishment at having bested something that was so challenging, overcoming procrastination also has important benefits.  According to Brandongaille.com, 1 out of 5 people procrastinates so badly that it may affect major areas in their lives, such as career, relationships, and even health and finances. 

This 5-step checklist will help you to move beyond procrastination to start living a life that is more in line with who and what you desire to be.

Step 1 - Think About Your Strengths

What do you do better than anyone else?  What are people always asking for your help with? Whatever your answer is, it's probably tied to your purpose. Really think about it. It could be something that you do so much and it comes so naturally to you, that you don't even really realize it's a gift. If you're having problems with this, you can...

      A)  Make a list of all of the things you enjoy

      B)  Make a list of all of the things you are exceptionally good at

     C)    Ask the people who know you best what they think you are exceptionally

     good at

Step 2 – Think About What You Love Doing So Much That You Would Do It For Free

A)   What do you wake up thinking about doing and go to sleep still thinking about?

B)   What do you do that brings you so much pleasure that you could do it all day and never tire of it?

Step 3 – Write Out Your Vision

Studies show that you are 42% more likely to achieve aspirations if you write them down.  Writing your aspirations on paper makes them more concrete and therefore, makes them more of a priority.

A)   Once you have narrowed down your gifts, talents, and strengths, begin to envision of how you could best utilize them for yourself, and others

B)   Finally, START WRITING!!!  Take out a pen and paper and begin to write down everything you came up with

Step 4 – Be S.M.A.R.T

A)   Now that you have written out your aspirations, it’s time to make a list of goals that will help you reach those aspirations

B)   Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T

·      S – Specific

·      M – Measurable

·      A – Achievable

·      R – Results-focused

·      T – Time-bound

·       For example, instead of, “I want to lose weight”, the S.M.A.R.T goal would be, “I want to lose 30lbs., within the next 6 months”.

·      The above goal is Specific because it states how much you want to lose

·      It is Measurable since you have bee specific about how much you want to lose.  You can measure your success by whether or not you hit that number

·      The goal is Achievable because you have been reasonable with the amount of time in which you have given yourself to reach it

·      It is also Results-focused in that you are taking steps to ensure that you reach your desired outcome

·      This goal is Time-bound because you have set a target timeframe in which to meet your goal

Step 5 – Implementation

This is the most important step of all.  It doesn’t matter how much time you spend thinking about, planning or writing out your goals if you never take the steps to implement the plan you’ve set forth.  So now, it is time to begin implementation.  Once you have written out your goals, make sure you place the list in a place where you can clearly see it every day. 

You can place it on your fridge, bedroom wall, even on the bathroom mirror so you can see it as you brush your teeth each day.  Clearly seeing your vision, in writing, on a daily basis will help to keep you on track to making those visions a reality.  Start working on those S.M.A.R.T goals, so that you can begin your walk with passion and purpose!