You might think I’m about to ask you to spend some time reflecting on your priorities and goals. Reasonable assumption… but I have something else in mind.
That question — What do you want for yourself? — can become your go-to antidote to procrastination and bad habits
Here’s how it works.
Think of a bad habit you have. Or of your favorite method for putting off work. Or of the things you intend to do, but never seem to get to.
- You hit your snooze button in the morning three times more than you mean to.
- You mean to drink eight glasses of water a day… but you don’t.
- You intend to email five warm prospects every day… but you don’t.
- You eat more sugar than you should. (This is me!)
- You snap at your kids when you’re tired, and then regret it.
- You surf social media when you planned to be writing.
With those as inspiration, I’m sure you can come up with plenty of examples of things you’d like to do differently in your own life.
Start by writing down the top two or three you’d like to change most.
For me, these would be:
- I eat more sugar than I should.
- I don’t consistently focus the first hour of my day on my personal business goals.
- I schedule fiction writing time each week, but I only keep that commitment about half the time.
Lately, when I find myself reaching for a sugary snack, I say to myself in my head, “Is this what I want for myself?” When I ask that question, it gives me pause. And, with few exceptions, I move on to find a healthier snack.
It’s been working so well to curb my sugar cravings that I’m starting to apply it to other things.
When I have writing time scheduled and realize I’m looking for reasons to avoid it, I’ll ask, “What do you want for yourself?” It reminds me of the priorities I’ve set and the reasons behind them. And, again with few exceptions, a variation of that simple question is enough to set me back on my chosen course.
It’s really easy to do, and so far, it’s proving very effective.
If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it works for you. Share your experiences in the comments below.
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