Procrastination: The act or habit of putting off or delaying, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.” Wikipedia
Inertia: With regard to effort, to resist motion, action and the like, inactivity,sluggishness.
With regard to those hopeful “New Year’s Resolutions”, if the above two states did not exist, most of us would have a much easier time following through with the changes that we hope to make in the new year:
- Manage to devote an hour each day to write.
- Rising at the appointed hour to engage in some form of exercise.
- Read less fiction and more biographies.
- Make more time to get together with friends.
It all sounds possible and within my means to do. But, then time passes and procrastination comes along with a healthy dose of judgement for me not doing something that I had planned to do in the past and failed. Judgement in and of themselves come equipped to siphon off any amount of positive energy I might have had when I decided to make some changes in my life. Since I have already made the mistake of going over past unfinished business, I find that I am no longer in the present moment and inertia from being overwhelmed soon follows.
So, after many many years of good intentions, I now understand that to stick to any kind of well meaning promise to myself that involves real change, I have first to stay in the present moment and start out very small with something that is within my power to affect real change. It is important to note, that this moment of choice is something that is not dependent on another’s involvement, thereby removing that variable like an inconsistent workout partner who will meet me at the gym.
A tool which has proven useful in the past has been to keep some record, some marked evidence, like a daily calendar that I can check, that is proof to me that I have accomplished what I had set out to do. There is something tangible in keeping this kind of proof that establishes oneself in the present. It brings to mind the crude slashes that I made on a maple tree that grew in my childhood backyard that affirmed for me that my birthday or the start of summer vacation was just so many days away. Later it was marking a calendar in college which was evidence that I had studied every day for a final. In New York in the early seventies when I became a vegetarian, it was a chalk board with a magnetic strip mounted on the front of my fridge where I kept the amount of days that I kept to my intent not to eat meat, and that included those scrumptious all beef franks served with bright splashes of hot mustard sold on the streets!
My small change this year happens to be spending no less than 15 minutes each morning in meditation. So far, I’m right on schedule.
Now take a moment and think and celebrate thoughts of what you wish to happen for you in the new year.
John Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach