I’ll Starting on Monday…Procrastinate Much?

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I was recently speaking to a lady who was struggling with weight loss and wanted to stop procrastinating.

Her New Year’s resolution was to have lost nearly one stone by the end of March, but she admitted she was still exactly the same weight as she was on the 1st January (possibly a couple of pounds more, to her annoyance). I could feel her frustration as she expressed that she felt as though she was ‘going around in circles’ and taking ‘two steps forward, and two steps back’.

I don’t know about you, but I could totally relate.

Why is it, when we really REALLY want to change that we can’t seem to make progress, and find ourselves stuck in procrastination and avoidance?

How to Stop Procrastinating

Why Do We Procrastinate?

In this particular example, the woman I was talking to ‘hates’ to exercise. HATES IT! But every time she comes to put her jeans on, they feel so uncomfortable that she tells herself again that she needs to change. There is now a very clear internal conflict. The PAIN of not being able to get in to jeans versus, the pain of exercising.

Depending on which is the immediate one in front of her, dictates which one is more painful. We tend to work a lot harder at avoiding short term pain, than gaining long term pleasure. This is why we procrastinate and avoid things that feel difficult, when we know they have the potential to change our life, and help us get closer to a better version of ourselves.

So when Monday comes around again, and something crops up at work / with the kids / an illness / an unexpected visitor and once again this lady doesn’t follow through on getting to the gym, it’s because she’s associating more pain in that moment to exercising, than she is to not being able to get in her jeans.

So what does she do? On Tuesday she convinces herself that the week is ‘half over’ so she’ll wait again and start NEXT Monday. You can see how this easily turns from one week, in to months, and sometimes in to years.

She wants the result, but doesn’t want to have to go through the process. She associates the process with too much pain. So I’ll repeat again that we’ll usually do more to avoid anything painful (short term) than to potentially gain pleasure (long term).

Results therefore essentially come down to how bad you want it (the pleasure), and how much pain you are associating to the process.

Read more about the Pain / Pleasure Principle here…

Run The Day or The Day Runs You.

Some people realise they are procrastinating and avoiding. Others justify lack of progress with ‘genuine reasons’ to ‘put it off’ if unavoidable things enter their life beyond her control. However, I’ll tell you something I know for sure. EVERYONE has to deal with daily, weekly things that enter their life beyond their control. It’s HOW you REACT and RESPOND that makes the difference between the person who changes their life, and the person who stays frustrated and stuck.

Success is not about time and how easy your life is. Quite the opposite.

Everyone can make a Plan A. What really counts is how you handle Plan B, C, D, E …

So if you have decided that you want to make a change in your life, and you’re getting frustrated that it doesn’t seem to be happening and looking externally for answers – you can end the search here. The answer is within YOU.

You KNOW what you need to do (i.e. eat better and move more in this case) but you keep putting it off, because you don’t really want to have to do it.

So you have to know that until you are WILLING TO DO THE THING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO, and make this goal your absolute PRIORITY above everything else, or certainly up there on your to-do list, you will remain where you are, and continue to have the same frustrations and pain (e.g. not being able to get your jeans on).

Feeling Frustrated in Your Life?

Are You Prioritising Your Schedule, or Scheduling Your Priority?

The truth is it’s easy to NOT make progress on the things that REALLY matter to you, when you are in the habit of being in the comfort zone. If you’re not used to feeling OUT of your comfort zone. If you always justify waiting for Monday OR putting your schedule ahead of your priorities. You HAVE to make time in there for what really matters to you – the things that you know will transform your life.

The important things are rarely a 5 minute job. They usually require dedication, time, attention, courage, commitment and at some point, probably dealing with a bit of a sick feeling in your stomach. In other words, they feel a bit (or a lot) difficult for one reason or another. They give you pain.

However it is these things, when you make them a priority – the things that are uncomfortable – that end up making you the most proud of yourself, producing the most satisfying results, and feeling like growth and progress. Nobody ever progressed staying where they are comfortable.

The One Thing You Need to Know In Order To Stop Procrastinating on the Thing You Want Is…


If you’re waiting until ***insert excuse*** then it really means you’re waiting until you ‘feel like’ taking action. You’re waiting until you ‘feel like’ being uncomfortable. And that ain’t ever going to happen.

You’re never going to feel like it because your brain and body like to be on auto-pilot – they like things as they are. It’s cosy here in the comfort zone – don’t change too much – it’s too hard. Your normal habits and routines are way easier for your brain to cope with. Staying the same is easier – less scary, less visible, less risky – after all “what if I fail????”

It’s like learning to do anything the first time, like the first time you try to drive a car. At first it’s terrifying because you’re totally aware that you have no idea what you are doing, or how to do – this is called conscious incompetence. You have a few lessons, and whilst it still feels new and nerve-racking, you kind of know what to do now, but you just have to think about it. this is called conscious competence. After years of driving a car, sometimes you can’t even remember how you drove from A to B, because you’ve become so adept at it – it’s like auto-pilot. You have become unconsciously competent, and it is at this stage that the new skill or habit becomes part of your life and things transform.

Creating massive change in your life is simple – however it isn’t always easy. Courage to take consistent and massive action is required. The kicker is it rarely feels EASY. So just prepare yourself for that – get a bit of grrrrrrrr about you and as Nike would say, just DO IT.

You have to push through the bit where your brain is slamming on the emergency brake because you’re trying something new and it feels uncomfortable.

Take it from best-selling author and CNN reporter Mel Robbins from her renowned Ted Talk on what she calls the 5 Second Rule. I highly recommend her book if you are struggling to get started. Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule.


Sometimes we see other people who have succeeded in areas where we are not making progress. We tell ourselves ‘it’s ok for her, because she …: –

  • Doesn’t work
  • Does work
  • Has more time
  • Has no kids
  • Has lots of kids so lots of exercise
  • Has a supportive partner
  • Has no partner so free to do what she pleases
  • Likes exercise more than you do
  • Doesn’t need to exercise because she’s ‘naturally thin’
  • Has the money to spend on a gym membership
  • Blah Blah Blah

The top and bottom of it is, people who succeed in their goals do the things they NEED to do. Whether they feel like it or not.

It’s hard to admit that to ourselves at times, but instead of focusing so much energy feeling annoyed, frustrated and resentful that we don’t have someone else’s life, we should be looking inwards and channelling all that energy on answering this question “how do I make this happen for myself in SPITE of the challenges I feel I have right now?”

Capture Your ‘Activation Energy’

‘Activation Energy’ is the force that’s required to do something new. Yep it’s an actual thing. A chemical reaction.

Translated in to terms that I can understand, this means when you have the urge to change….to do something new…..to go after a goal that is important to you…TAKE ACTION IN THAT MOMENT!

To create change requires a physical force. It’s not enough to just think about it, or say you’ll do it. When you are thinking of your goal, and planning how you will do it, make sure you finish by actually physically taking some form of action. So for example if you are looking to lose weight, and haven’t been making progress, but right now are deciding you WILL change, then you have to solidify that right now.

Right here, right now DECIDE to make a change, and to solidify that DO SOMETHING about it. Take one small step towards the version of yourself you want to become.

  • Join a class and schedule it in your diary
  • Organise some childcare
  • Pack a bag for the gym or lift out your trainers and have them by the side of the bed for the next morning.
  • Throw all the chocolate in the bin (don’t do the old excuse – When I’ve eaten all the chocolate, THEN I’ll start. You hear yourself say it and know how stupid this sounds! πŸ™‚
  • Make a phone-call to a Personal Trainer and book a session
  • Make a commitment to a workout buddy and hold yourselves accountable by setting goals and targets (e.g. if we walk 5km this week, we’ll treat ourselves to a new lipstick)
  • Join a gym
  • Buy some new trainers you can’t wait to wear
  • Do some jumping jacks on the spot for 1 minute – NOW
  • COMMIT by physically doing something you wouldn’t normally do!!!

It doesn’t need to take longer than 60 seconds BUT DO SOMETHING IN THE MOMENT, when that little voice in your head is telling you that you want (or need) to change.

You have about a 5 second window before your brain applies the emergency brake. That’s it. 5 little seconds where you can say ‘let’s do this!!!’ or ‘oh never mind, I’ll wait until Monday.’ Except Monday isn’t coming.

Nobody ever really feels like doing it. I’d rather eat pan eu chocolate every morning than make scrambled eggs. I’m not a freak. However the more I push myself outside of my old bad habits and routines, the more I empower myself to take action on the things that are important to me when it feels really tough. Like pushing through that final round of burpees before your head blows off. It feels vile whilst I’m doing it, but afterwards I feel good. Proud, accomplished, content. Sometimes even EPIC.

Wouldn’t you rather feel epic NOW than wait until Monday to feel good?

When you live a life where your emergency brake keeps getting pulled, you always feel stuck. You always have regrets. You feel like you’re going around and around in circles making no progress.

The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So…..

If you’ve said you’ll ‘start on Monday’ before, and have never reached your goal, maybe it’s time to try something NEW….like NOW.

How to Capture Activation Energy

Start Today

If you are struggling with procrastination when it comes to feeling better about the way you look, use your Activation Energy and make a move towards what I consider to be the three best ways to get out of a rut: –

  1. Get ACCOUNTABLE to someone else – a trainer, a friend, a class, a gym…Tell them why this is so important to you, so they are invested in your success and can remind you when times get tough. If you want, feel free to reach out to me πŸ™‚ I’m always happy to help anyone make positive changes in their life.
  2. FOCUS. Change your focus to WHY you NEED to change NOW. Essentially zone in on the long term PLEASURE. Where are you going to be in 1 month or 1 year from now if you don’t take action today and keep waiting for Monday? What rewards will you experience or give yourself during the process and once you reach your goal?
  3. Have a PLAN. Plan to win by planning for your moments of weakness. Plan on ways you can learn to love the process more, because that is everything. For example, I can be prone to nibbling when watching trash TV. What stops me? Having a bath instead of zoning out in front on the TV. Doing my nails whilst watching the box. Watching TV programmes that are inspirational, or reading Health and Fitness mag whilst the telly is on. Prepare in advance for your moments of weakness because will power at times, will be weak in the early days. Prepare and plan for this.

Don’t Think. Just Do.

Utilising my activation energy and just getting on with a workout (especially when I don’t feel like it) has built my will power, my strength (physical and mental) and my resilience. All essential skills for a happy, successful life that needs to prioritise ME.

I absolutely have many moments where the little voice in my head says, “oh you are too tired today!” and sometimes that voice wins. But in training myself as regularly as possible to stop thinking, and instead take action, I can feel the will power muscle getting a bit stronger.

The key to lasting change is to find a way to LOVE what you need to get done to reach your goals. Find a way to fall in love with the process, and you will get the results.

But to get started and stop procrastinating, it’s simple. Just start now. Go on. What are you waiting for? Don’t say Monday πŸ˜‰

If you need help getting started, building momentum and gaining traction on your goals, check out The Best Self Project 30 Day Transform or email hello@thebestselfproject.co.uk

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