It's starting early this year. Even earlier than last year, and certainly earlier than when I was younger. No, I'm not talking about the Christmas decorations in the shopping malls, although that seems to happen as soon as we leave our halloween parties.
I'm talking about what I like to call the "After the Holidays" syndrome, which is a symptom of the underlying disease of addiction to procrastination.
I've hosted numerous webinars and workshops about the dangers of waiting to take action until we perceive we have "less going on" in our life.
This year, I met with several prospects, and had discussions with several clients in October, and the first week of November which led to decisions on their part to wait until January to get started on something, whether it be with my services, or with something they wanted to do in their own life or business.
While they didn't actually say they wanted to wait until "after the holidays", most did say they would "really get started in January" because it was a new year and a fresh start.
My response to that is always the same. I ask, "When do you want the results to appear? Do you want the results in the new year? If the answer is yes, then you must get started on the work and the planning now, so that the fruits of your labor will appear in January. If you wait until January to get started, you will see results in March or April, and well, I suspect then that's cutting it awfully close to summer, which gives you another reason not to take action until "after Labor Day"
Look, I'm very understanding of the fact that sometimes you DO need to wait, and gather more information, save more money, or legitimately just have too much going on right now to add more to your plate. In these cases, it may be prudent to wait, and follow your instincts.
I'm talking about the times when we (myself included sometimes), seem to just default to procrastinating until some predetermined date in the future, when we know full well that when that date comes, we probably won't take action either.
This idea that someday in the future we will somehow have "less going on" in our life is also false. How can we possibly predict that? The only time we can be certain about is now. The fact is that we will always have "stuff" going on. There will always be ups, downs, challenges, setbacks, new opportunities, and projects that start and end.
So, why not just be clear on what we'd like to manifest in our life, and make it happen now, instead of staying in old habits which are preventing us from taking action?
Why are we sometimes addicted to procrastination? I have lots of theories on that, and it's probably a subject for another blog. The biggest reason however is usually fear. It could be a fear that we are going to lose something we have, or not get something we want. Or, fear of failure or even fear of success.
My challenge to you is this…If you find yourself needing to make a decision, no matter how minor, make it today. If that decision is to wait, because you have a legitimate reason to wait, then fine. I am certainly not going to tell you that you don't know what's best for your family, but whatever you do, take action today on something that is going to advance your personal or professional life.
If you catch yourself putting it off until "after the holidays", ask yourself why. How come you need to wait? Is the reason real? Or is it based in fear? Be hard on yourself when making these evaluations, because I promise you if you break the pattern of procrastination, and end this terrible addiction, you will accomplish far more of your goals, and experience more of what makes you happy.
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Photo Credit: Katpreston