Are you stalling? Unhinged by all of life’s little distractions and cannot seem to get ahead? Are you wanting to get sober but thinking not yet, another day, if and when, and later, maybe one day? Knowing that there are steps to take but intimidated that once started one must finish? I’m almost certain everyone has felt that they have procrastinated in life at one time or another, or regularly. For those who have an avoidant personality, it may seem that they are in a constant state of inaction and life is unmanageable due to a fear of decision making and ultimate lack of productivity. No matter whether its work, passion, diet, fitness, or recovery related, everyone has a moment of hesitation. “Am I ready?” we ask. The goal is to get out of our heads and start taking advantage of the moment. Yes we are ready. Like any muscle, transforming thought to action takes practice and anyone can get good at it. Here are some tips to start picking up the weights of change and start putting down the habit of procrastinating.
Seek motivation. Don’t wait for it to come to you. It’s a lie if you believe that one simply waits for inspiration to arrive or that there is a “right time” to be sober when life is not what it could be right now. In reality you could be waiting a very long time, and the longer one waits, the easier it is to become complacent with the way things are. Human beings are designed to protect themselves and avoid states of un-comfortability. It is dynamically normal, going against human nature, to step into the unknown and face difficulty willingly. That said, no one ever moves a mountain by sitting next to it. By choosing to be motivated and by observing the positive results, one finds a reason to stay motivated. By saying that the right time is right now is the first step in manifesting change.
Start small. Don’t allow negativity and intimidation to seep in because you haven’t set reasonable and manageable goals for yourself. Begin by breaking up one large goal into 3-5 different realizable pieces, and then set a deadline for each step, allowing yourself the self-respect of creating a timeline that works for you. With each small decision to move forward comes another small step accomplished. Small steps add up and are rewarding because one can visibly see themselves moving in the direction of their goals and the destination of fulfillment becomes a feasible outcome.
Make decision-making a habit. Indecision and inaction is in itself a decision. Hesitation is a killer of action, and especially in recovery settings, it can lead to having little to no follow-through with accomplishing our goals. It’s challenging enough to make any lifestyle change, and choosing sobriety is no less difficult. You will embrace these challenges by learning your habits of thought and modify them with new intentions. We are designed to transform thought into action in a matter of seconds and by consistently focusing on optimism and immediacy, the human brain quickly learns to transform our thoughts into regular patterns of determined action.
Change your environment. It is incredible how new surroundings, elements of tone, feeling and sound, can influence and impact our decisions. Just as important as avoiding negative environments that led to our addictions, choosing an atmosphere of excitement, positivity, and tranquility does just as much good enhancing our brain’s ability to think clearly and without whatever familiar clutter has created hesitation in the past. Gravitate toward things you love, admire, and enjoy. Associate with people who inspire you. Allow only encouraging words and images to permeate your state of being. Choose how you are going to be affected by the quality of content you allow in your sacred space. All of these efforts allow you to grow as a person because you will stay motivated by the people and places you want to mold your life after. If one has experienced the throws of addiction, it is critical to change one’s environment simply to reset the mindset and standards one has accepted for themselves. External change is likely to lead to internal change and as one grows as a person, and gains strength in moving forward, one also develops feelings of self-worth and the value of personal achievement.
Essentially procrastination is a result of fear and a normal reaction to not knowing whether we will fail or succeed. Fear through procrastination is our body’s way of saying there is a risk that we are not certain we are prepared for. The fact of the matter is that not every step in life can be completely planned or prepared for. It is only through taking risks that a positive outcome can ever occur. In understanding this we have to be honest with ourselves about what is important and the willingness we must acquire to initiate change and growth. Just like with anything else, the recovery journey is about one day at a time and not putting off until tomorrow the better life one can have today. If you recognize a desire to move forward, take that first step, that first risk, and prioritize your life because your life comes first.