Do you dream about losing weight, decreasing your level of stress and anxiety, or overcoming sadness or depression? You want to change your life for the better, you really do. However, you find yourself stuck in an exhausting cycle of wishful thinking, then procrastination, frustration, and inaction. You consider living a different life, but just can't seem to get your self started eating differently, learning to relax, acting differently, or taking steps to move into greater happiness.

If you are procrastinating from taking action, but it doesn't bother you, then that's okay. However, when your procrastination leaves you feeling burdened, discouraged, and apathetic, it is time to take action. The following five simple steps can help you overcome your resistance, get focused, and get started on improving your life.

1) Look at Why You Are Procrastinating
If you have been considering your goal for quite some time, yet you are stuck in the land of inertia, it may be that you have not considered the benefits of staying where you are. If you are procrastinating, it is important that you ask yourself, "What is my payoff for staying stuck? What am I getting out of it?" Be honest with yourself, and be kind. For example, if you use food for comfort, one of your benefits to procrastinating could be that you do not know of any other way to comfort your self. To move forward, your first steps would not be going on a strict diet, but instead learning new ways of dealing with your emotions, stress, anxiety, or self-esteem. Use the following questions to uncover your needs and discover new ways to take care of yourself.

• How does procrastination serve you?

• Do you get to avoid taking action on your dream, thereby avoiding the risk of failure?

• Are you waiting for the "right" mood or the "right" time to begin?

• Do you really want to move forward, or are you pressuring yourself to think you “should” move forward?

• Are you 100 percent ready in your heart to change?

• Do you have hope that you can have what you want?

• Do you fear failure, afraid things won't turn out well?

• Do you fear success, or the life you would have to live if you were successful?

• Does what is known seem more comfortable than what is unknown?

• Do you have undeveloped goal setting skills?

2) Define Your Big Picture
In order to end procrastination and move forward, it is extremely helpful to spend time defining your overall goal. When you know what your dream is, in writing, you are able to set a direction for your life. In addition, being clear on your destination will give you strength throughout your day. You can use your overall goal to help you remember that your dream is important to you not just when times are good, but throughout the long haul. By making a commitment to your dream, instead of bowing out when times get tough, you will able to ride out those difficult times with confidence knowing that hardships are temporary and not a reflection of your dream as a whole.

3) Lay Out a Plan of Action
Your big picture provides direction, grounding, and strength. However, if you stop here, you will be overwhelmed by the enormity of your task. Learn how to break down your overall goal into achievable stages and then into even smaller manageable action steps. You can overcome procrastination when you know what is the first step that feels right for the amount of energy and motivation you have today? Write down your today action steps and make them a priority. Pick a time when you will take action, write it in your appointment book, and follow through when the time comes.

4) Finish What You Start
When you set your specific today actions, know in advance that the actions you chose are ones that you are capable of following through with. For example, if you already know that you will not exercise today, do not choose that as the action you "should" be doing. Instead, choose an action that has importance and meaning to you, and is an action that you are capable of completing. Then follow through. Learning to honor your word to yourself, making your needs a priority, and finishing what you started feels empowering and good!

5) Chart Your Efforts and Successes!
Helen Keller stated, "Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." The best way to build up your belief that you achieve your goal is to list your accomplishments. Every day, take a couple of minutes to list all your efforts and successes. Each step toward your goal deserves recognition, documentation, and celebration. Get in the habit of acknowledging what you have done that feels good and has moved you forward in the right direction. You gain confidence from each small step forward. In addition, you gain the energy required to take your next step toward your larger goal. Recognizing your effort, successes, and accomplishments keeps inspiration flowing.

Procrastination not only delays you living the life of your dreams, it also commonly involves feelings of guilt, frustration, stress, and depression. Use these five steps to put your goal into perspective, provide clarity, organize your priorities, and start moving forward with doable yet meaningful actions. Soon, you will be feeling lighter and happier as you find yourself on the road to a better life!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit to access hundreds of content filled articles and sign up for a Fr'ee subscription to Loving Miracles! newsletter.

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