We all struggle from time to time to fulfill our dreams, but when we have a procrastination problem, everything gets much more difficult.
Procrastination gets in our way and prevents us from working towards our goals. It also creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, as when we don’t get things done, we get discouraged from other work. Focusing on SMART goals can make any task easier.
Are you having trouble making your dreams a reality? Do you have a problem with procrastination? Let’s talk about how we can improve our lives by setting better goals.
Procrastination will kill your dreams, so create SMART goals instead.
When I was younger, I spent a lot of time playing video games and getting high. I used to enjoy smoking weed, but then at the end of the day, I’d feel regret about all the things I didn’t do. However, the truth was that I was using the weed as an excuse not to do anything else.
It is easy to get into bad habits that kill your time and keep you away from what you value and want to work towards.
But the more time we spend avoiding the things that we want to accomplish, the worse it feels.
The problem is there are many things that we can put our time into that aren’t related to our goals. While the internet has enabled us to find anything we want super-fast, it has opened up a world of new distractions that are harder than ever to avoid.
But I can say from my past experiences that my biggest problem, or the reason I procrastinated so much, was that I was afraid of failure, wasn’t clear about what I wanted, and couldn’t get myself to stick with what I was working on.
However, recently, I’ve realized that being clear about my goals and making them something that I can accomplish made an enormous difference. For this reason, I now try to focus on creating SMART goals, which are:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
It is easy to set a vague goal about something you want, but it is impossible to get anything done without a clear plan. This is why SMART goals are so important.
Be specific about what you want; if you don’t know what you are working towards, how will you get there? Make sure your goal is measurable; that way, you will see if you are making progress or not.
Pick goals that you can accomplish, no point in aiming towards something you are guaranteed to fail.
Make sure your goal is relevant to your abilities and what you can do. Objects that you can’t jump into will always be more difficult. Simply, if you’ve never skated on ice before, don’t set the goal of playing in the NHL.
And finally, give yourself a time limit, or at least have a sense of how long your goal will take. If time isn’t factoring into your goal, you will have no reason to work on it today, as you will have an excuse to keep procrastinating until tomorrow.
It is easy to procrastinate when you aren’t clear about what you want; however, once you know what you need to do each day, it gets easier to accomplish your dreams.
How can procrastination be a killer of dreams?
The only way to accomplish something worth mentioning is through long-term dedication towards a goal or dream. When we put off doing the work it takes to get something done, our plans seem more and more impossible to accomplish.
In the past, I had a lot of different dreams about the things I wanted to accomplish. But the more I thought about them, the less I did anything about them. And sometimes, by waiting, the dream became impossible to achieve because some else had done what I had been planning on trying to do.
The feeling of regret from procrastination compounds.
You might feel bad about putting something off for a day or two. But after a week, you will feel worse, and you are also going to have less confidence in your ability to do what you want to do.
Over the years, I’ve had a lot of big plans about the sorts of things I wanted to accomplish with my life. The bigger my goals, the easier it was to procrastinate and put off doing what I needed to do, but that always made me feel worse in the long run.
Over the last year, I have been committed to my dream; it is something that I haven’t done so well before. And even though I procrastinate sometimes, I can keep my eye on the prize, making everything more manageable as I always know what I have to be working on.
Knowing I have no choice but to finish what I have started makes it easier to keep at a big goal. Though convincing myself to think this way was the biggest challenge, the rest gets easier once that part is done.
Why is procrastination a killer?
Over the summer, I heard a story from my mom about a distant friend. The person had had a sore tooth, but he ignored it and put off seeing the dentist.
At some point, he started to get a severe headache and eventually went to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was too late, and the tooth infection had spread to his brain, and he died.
While this might not be all that common, it happened to someone I know, so it is worth noting.
If we procrastinate with our health, we might put off getting a problem checked out too long, and it will get much worse.
I don’t think this person expected to die from a sore tooth, but it happened. While this example is pretty extreme, it did happen. I am sure there are many health concerns that people put off that only make them worse.
When it comes to our purpose in life, we sometimes push off what it takes to accomplish what we feel matters most to us. While this might not physically cause us harm, it might kill our motivation and desire to live a more meaningful life.
If we let procrastination get in the way of working towards our goals, it could spiritually kill us. Luckily, it is never too late, and if we believe in our dreams and are willing to put in the effort, anything is possible, as long as it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).
What is the root cause of procrastination?
While there might be different causes of procrastination, as everyone is different, a few common reasons might be relatable.
Fear of failure is a common reason people might be afraid to start working on what matters to them. If you think you will do a lousy job at what you try to do, you aren’t likely to feel very motivated to get started.
Learned helplessness, often we might feel like we can’t do anything right, and this might act as a source of demotivation that keeps us from working towards our goals. If through your experience, you always see failure, you will think that failure is inevitable.
Open-mindedness, some people are very open to new experiences, so they will always seek out new things. While this can be enjoyable, it works against our best interests as constantly changing focus is an excellent way to amplify a procrastination problem.
Laziness, some people are simply lazy and have no intention of working towards their goals. While many people are lazy, numerous different factors go into creating lazy people. However, if you are lazy, you need to be willing to push yourself if you want to get anything done.
Perfectionism, sometimes we want to do everything perfectly, so then it becomes impossible to get started as unrealistic expectations are impossible to keep up with. If you expect to be perfect, you will always have an excuse to keep yourself from starting.
Not knowing where to start, I have found myself spinning my wheels for a long time because I knew my goal, but I had no idea how to make it a reality. If this is your problem, you should seek a mentor or someone who has done something similar to what you are trying to do and see what they did to succeed.
While this list of reasons people procrastinate covers many causes, it doesn’t cover everything. So if you are having trouble with procrastination, try to make sense of your unique situation.
Are you having trouble with procrastination? What are you doing to help yourself get past this obstacle? What advice would you give to other people who are having trouble with procrastination?