Become a Master of Follow-Through…Now
You have a great idea that never gets down on paper.
You continuously make plans with people and then cancel at the last minute.
You keep putting off that activity until tomorrow (and now it’s been six months).
Lack of follow-through plays a larger role in our lives than some of us would like to admit. Well, no more. It’s time to face the fact: you have commitment issues, and it’s time to deal with them.
As adults, we have to push ourselves through all kinds of challenges, some little, some huge: finding financial stability (as best we can); choosing healthy relationships with lovers and friends; and generally dealing with the ups, downs, and crashes of life.
Recently, however, I’ve started to notice a phenomenon in how many people I know or work with deal with these challenges: They just don’t do anything.
As it turns out, commitment issues extend far beyond serial dating. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all guilty of it:
“I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
“I can always do it later.”
“I’m scared of…x, y, or z happening.”
These common procrastination techniques might be fine when it comes to smaller projects or assignments, but this attitude of flakiness and lack of follow-through can quickly turn into a way of being in all areas of your life.
I’m not a stranger to getting into ruts, and it usually starts with a lack of commitment to my own happiness.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few ways to break through the blocks, follow-through on what I KNOW I need to do, deal with the challenges before me, and commit to getting out of my own way:
Many of us do-good-types are very good at fixing problems that exist externally in the world. We are moved to action by injustice or hardship, and have no problem jumping into a project that needs our help. Taking this same attitude:
No one else is going to do it for you. If you want or need something deep down, it’s time to go out and make it happen. No excuses. Fight for yourself. Be your own best advocate.
2. Picture Yourself On The Other Side
I was recently talking to a woman who desperately wanted to leave her job, but was terrified about what would come next. She had built up enough savings to hold her over for a few months until she found something else. (I should note, leaving one’s job in this economy without another lined up isn’t always wise, but in this case, it wasn’t the money that was keeping her stuck.)
I asked her to forget about the process of resigning and leaving, and instead meditate on how it would feel a month from now on the other side of the whole thing. Immediately, a huge smile came across her face and her posture aligned. She could feel in her body the lightness that would come from following through and committing to her plan to leave.
This visualization allowed her to get through the challenges that lay ahead, knowing how much better she would feel about herself on the other side. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
3. “Scared? Do It Anyway.”
I know, this sounds a bit harsh, but it’s actually one of my go-to mantras. I am no stranger to fear. It’s a powerful emotion that I’m easily derailed by.
But sometimes, a little tough love is needed in order to live the life you were meant to be living.
Yes, it requires jumping off the cliff. But I guarantee you, you will figure out how to fly.
So, are you scared?? Great. Do it anyway.
When it comes down to it, we all have commitment issues in some areas of our lives. It’s not necessarily the singular act of procrastination itself that’s the problem; it’s the passive energy of not acting over and over again that can turn a bad habit into a full-fledged rut.
It’s time to take control of your own happiness, and follow-through.
Your future self will thank you for it.
What are YOUR follow-through techniques? Leave a comment over at the blog, because we’d all love to know!