Posts Tagged ‘goal setting’

How to Overcome Procrastination

Friday, January 19th, 2007
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Why can’t I ever finish anything? Why do I procrastinate so much?

Most of us think we are simply lazy when we procrastinate. But the truth is that the cause of most procrastination isn’t laziness; it’s fear. We may be afraid that the task at hand is overwhelming or we may be afraid of failing at it. These are the two biggest fears that tend to keep us in approach/avoidance mode.

Here are five key ways to get past your resistance and get “it” done, whatever the “it” is:

1. Chunk it down. Find small ways to work on a project for a limited amount of time. Sharpen some pencils. Clean up your desk. Read some background material. Write one paragraph. Make one phone call. Look up one piece of information. Eat one healthy meal instead of snacking on junk food.
2. Reward yourself immediately for accomplishing something towards your goal. If you only reward yourself for completing something that feels huge, you are setting yourself up for feeling like a failure all along the way. Make sure your reward isn’t counterproductive. For example, if you want to become fit or lose weight, don’t reward yourself with chocolate cake. Instead, take time off for a walk or to watch a movie.
3. Set a new goal that is reasonable, attainable, and rewardable. Now you’re ready for the next step. If you committed to 15 minutes in Step 1, commit to 30 minutes this time. You may find that your ability to stick with a project increases as you get more invested in it.
4. Make a commitment to someone else that you will do what you say you want to do. Committing to others is a way of ensuring that we are answerable for our promises. Most of us find it easier to keep commitments to others than to ourselves.
5. Create an affirmation. It can be something like, “I now keep my commitments.” I now achieve my goals.” “I finish what I start.” “I no longer let fear stop me.” Affirmations are positive thoughts you are willing to begin believing for your highest good.

Commit to this five-step plan and you will have achieved what you set out to do and build your self-esteem in the process.

For more on living your extraordinary life in every way, please visit Jane Straus’s web site, Read her articles, watch video excerpts of her seminars, listen to her free teleseminars, schedule a private coaching session, book Jane for a keynote, and order Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life.

Five Strategies to Ensure You’ll Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Dear Jane,
I always break my New Year’s resolutions. What can I do differently this year?

This is the time of year when we tend to do two things:
1. We stand in front of a mirror and reprimand ourselves for all our bad habits.
2. We promise that “we shall overcome” these same bad habits beginning January 1.

And what tends to happen by mid-January? We are back to where we were, only worse because now we are really beating ourselves up for our behaviors. So how do we get out of this self-flagellating, humiliating vicious cycle?

Here are 5 strategies to boost your chances that you will actually keep your promises to yourself:

1. Start small. If you want to lose 20 pounds, make a resolution to lose five pounds. Then when you have achieved this goal, make a new agreement with yourself. It’s much easier to continue with a new habit that’s working than to set the bar so high that anything less will feel like failure.
2. Isolate one behavior you are willing to modify. If you are resolving to work out, for example, do you need to get up a half an hour earlier? Exercise during lunch hour? If you are resolving to lose weight, are you willing to cut down on alcohol or sweets or fats? Are you willing to trade in your cheeseburger and fries for a salad? Be honest about what you are willing to do and you won’t disappoint yourself down the line.
3. Start with a clean slate. Most of us pick the same resolution every year. This is a setup for shame and self-blame. Get creative. Think of something you’d like to do or do differently that you haven’t considered before. You’re more likely to succeed when you start from a neutral place rather than in the red.
4. Explore what’s been holding you back. Resistance usually has a fear underlying it. What are you afraid of if you succeed? Rejection? Isolation? Abandonment? In Enough Is Enough!, Chapter 5, Break the Spell of Fear, I discuss how to make fear your ally.
5. Voice your commitment. Tell someone else what you intend to do so that they can help support you if you waiver. Give them permission to remind you how important this resolution was to you on December 31.

You have the responsibility (ability to respond) to treat yourself with dignity, respect, and compassion when you make your New Year’s resolutions. Make this your year for win/win experiences with yourself.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
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