Onward and Upwards!

So my fist blog post was read by a few and I even got some great feedback – thank you.

So what was I afraid of after all?  But once again I found myself just putting it off – “Sure I’ll do that tomorrow when I’m at home”! 

Procrastination!  Procrastination!  Procrastination!  Why can we not just do the wee things in life that will make us feel better – about ourselves, and the world around us??

I’m not talking about the big life changing decisions, like changing jobs or moving to a new country.  I’m talking about getting the trainers on and going for a run -  ‘ah but its raining” and we cant go in case we melt in the rain!

There is a train of thought the brain is wired to keep us form doing things that we find unpleasant, so instead of putting on the trainers and getting out there, we lie in front of the TV, because this is easier, and life is supposed to be easy right??

Eric Thomas, has a great take on procrastination – basically he doesn’t believe in it.  He gives the example of a woman at one of his talks that says she cannot get up early to go to the gym.  She just can’t get out of bed.  So he said to her if I asked you to meet me at 4am so I could give you a million dollars, what would you say – her reply was:  “I’d be there at 3:55am just to make sure!’ 

So you see, what you tell yourself is important as that decides weather you procrastinate or not. 

Any of you that know me, would know that I go through phases of training (swimming and running are my thing), but in the last five years, because of one thing or another I have done very little.  So on Monday I signed up for a 5K.  I then got changed and out the door to see if I could even run two mile.  Long tory short – I was doing ok (as in I was still upright and moving) until about the last quarter of a mile I got a blister.  Now, for someone who has all the gear and the correct socks, I had gone out in very short socks – WHY??  Oh God only knows.  So my story in my head these last couple of days has been – I have to let the blister heal.  When I could have been saying I will walk in flip-flops, or I will swim or I will do some weight training.

So what stories are you telling yourself that are holding you back?  What stuff are you putting in your own way that is stopping you from moving forward and doing the things that you know will ultimately make you feel better about yourself?

These stories run in a habit loop and keep you stuck.  So you need to break the loop and the only way to do this is to bring your focus to what you are thinking and choose what to think about.  Counting backwards form 5 to 1 will do this for you.  When you want to do something, don’t let the habit loop of ‘Sure I’ll just out a wash in first’ or ‘what if someone laughs at me” , or whatever it is you are telling yourself, don’t let it distract you.  Count backwards form 5 (I find out loud is beast), this brings your thoughts to the front part of your brain, the pre-frontal cortex, where your focused thinking happens , and then move forward into what it is you are stopping yourself doing.

Try it – 5-4-3-2-1 Out for a run.  5-4-3-2-1 Set the bun down.  5-4-3-2-1 Ask for the pay rise.  5-4-3-2-1 Get out of bed.

Try it.  See how you get on.  After all what is the worst that could happen?

I have gotten a lot of things done by literally 5-4-3-2-1’ing my through the obstacles I had been setting up for myself.

And now I am literally going to 5-4-3-2-1 it up the stairs to change and go for a run.

I would love to hear how you have used it and the results you got.  All the best.