Why do we choose to wait until January?

“I want to lose weight, get more sleep, or start going to the gym; “It’s almost New Year’s so I’ll start then and I’ll make that my ‘New Year’s Resolution!”

Sound Familiar?

Do you have to WAIT to start taking care of yourself? Why is it so hard to start something today? Why do we wait 364 days to THINK about bettering ourselves?

Let’s talk about it. 😊

What is Procrastination and why do we do it?

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing a task or something that needs to be done. One of the only pros to procrastinating is that some individuals “work well under pressure.” If we wait until the last minute, there is a higher level of stress and pressure placed on us to put our nose to the ground and not let up until the task is completed. Remember the all-nighters before an assignment, project, or presentation was due? In hindsight, does staying up all night stressing out hopped up on caffeine look very healthy to you? The lack of sleep alone lowers our levels of productivity and attentiveness for the next day!

A few cons to procrastinating are higher levels of stress, anxiety, and poor mood. In 2007, a survey was conducted amongst procrastinating and non-procrastinating college students. At the beginning of the semester, procrastinating students reported less illness and stress than their non-procrastinating counterparts. The reports drastically changed with the procrastinating students reporting much higher level of illness and stress by the end of the semester. 

How is this relevant to our overall health and fitness?

Some of us spend all year worrying about our health, appearance, job, tasks, family, and much more. We’ve been fed this idea of work/life balance. This concept has us trying to even out our efforts in each of these aspects of our lives. I love the idea of Work/Life Harmony that I learned from Andre Young, an expert on personal and professional leadership. Aren’t some things more important to you than the others? Does it sound right to only give your significant other or family members the same attention as your job? That is for you to decide!

 We go days, weeks, months, even YEARS without bettering our fitness and overall health. Then, 53 times a year (Mondays and New Year’s) we attempt to make a positive change only to end up at square one a few days or weeks later. It’s a cycle we find ourselves in over and over again. What is stopping us from taking action and working on ourselves 365 days a year? That is the question I have for you. I want this change for you!

Let’s make a change!

When any task is put on your plate and you feel that you want to put it off, write it down and list the steps needed to complete it. Personally, I love to use the calendar app on my smartphone to schedule tasks like appointments throughout my day so that I know that there is time set aside for said task. Instead of worrying about when I will do something or putting off the task, my phone will give me a nudge and notify me that it is time to get to work (notebook planners are cool too!) When it comes to to-do lists or priority goals that need to be completed, I love to write those down so I physically have them with me. Then I get to cross each task out when completed. It’s a satisfying feeling! 

Both of these approaches can be used for creating new, healthy habits as well! If you are trying to lose weight, you can set notifications with positive, motivating messages to pop up during the day to make healthier choices towards that goal. For example, you can set a message reminding you to eat breakfast, drink that greens smoothie, or workout to start your day. You can also write a positive message or goal reminder on a sticky note and place in somewhere you will see every morning or throughout the day.

Community Support is a big help as well. If there is a change you would like to make in your life, tell your significant other, family and/or friends about it. They can check in with you periodically to see how you are doing with your goals. This will make you more accountable to your goal and more mindful of YOUR decisions. Who knows, maybe you will inspire them to join you or work on goals of their own!

The time is NOW!

Time is a precious resource that you can not create more of. Once it is gone, it’s gone forever. Each day that we rise and get out of bed is a gift that some did not receive. I implore you to live mindfully and with the intention to better yourself each day. Mondays and New Year’s is not always guaranteed. Why leave all of the days, week, and months leading up to New Year’s unutilized to make a change? Yes, it is uncomfortable to make a big change in your life. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Inspire yourself and those around you with your actions.

Get out there and get it done! 

Stefano Sarge

Check out my previous article on S.M.A.R.T. goal setting by clicking here.

As new year resolutions begin, remember the words of our favorite manager Micheal Scott.

Never, Ever, Ever Give Up

 

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