The coming of the New Year is a fantastic opportunity for you to energize yourself toward achieving your goals. If you are a big procrastinator, you may be skeptical of resolutions; for you, resolutions might be just one more way to feel bad for getting stuck and unable to move forward — even toward goals that you really, truly want to achieve. So, this one year, all of you experts in procrastination get your own special No. 1 New Year’s resolution: Free yourself from the bonds of procrastination.
There are a variety of procrastination styles. Some of you may struggle with starting a project (task initiation). Some of you may have a hard time sticking with a project (focused attention). Some of you just can’t seem to finish a project (task completion). Some of you have trouble every step of the way.
Everyone does some procrastinating. People naturally put off and avoid doing things that cause them discomfort, distress, or trigger challenging emotions. Even if you are very much in favor of reaching a particular goal, there are often parts of the process of getting there that you just do not want to do.
Procrastinating becomes a problem when your internal battle between the part of you that knows you should do something (your inner ‘do it’), and the part of you that just DOES NOT WANT TO (your inner ‘I don’t want to’), drains your energy and causes problems in your home life, your relationships, your work, or your self-care.
This battle can be a war of aggression, with your inner ‘do it’ attempting to bully and threaten your inner ‘I don’t want to’ into submission, saying things like ‘what is WRONG with you, why aren’t you doing what YOU SAID you wanted to do? You are so lame, just do it, what is your PROBLEM? Other people finish home projects, what is wrong with YOU? WHY are you eating that brownie when you KNOW you want to lose weight?’
The battle can be a war of avoidance, as your inner ‘I don’t want to’ shuts out your inner ‘do it’ through busyness and distraction with other activities or by zoning out with food, alcohol, TV, or the Internet. The inner war can get so depleting that you end up curled on the couch, unable to do anything at all, or frantically expending adrenaline-charged energy to meet deadlines, and then crashing again with exhaustion.
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So, if you find yourself stuck, rushed and tired, getting in trouble with your spouse or boss, or feeling like a failure for not honoring your self-care goals, then you may be interested in a trying a new way to motivate yourself. As you cower under the dark cloud of something you ‘should’ be doing, tune in and listen to that part of you that is saying ‘no, I don’t want to.’ What it is afraid of? What is it angry about?