Procrastination has been around as long as humans have. We all have had our moments where getting moving seems hard and we avoid things that are important (like exercise).
Even though we know that having a productive day is really satisfying, it still can be hard to experience to stay motivated. Here are a few tips for staying committed to your workout!
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination means postponing one or more tasks. Procrastination keeps us from doing the things we need to get done.
Why do we procrastinate? According to psychology, the human brain values immediate rewards more than it does future rewards. Since the goals we set are always in the future, it is sometimes hard to achieve them. When it comes to making decisions, our brains tend to choose the option that brings immediate gratification.
We all want to see a slim, well-toned body in our futures, but it's hard not to be tempted by a slice of cake in front of us.
The Real Problem
The big problem with procrastination is that you put things off. Once you actually do the work, it is usually easier than dealing with the guilt, worry and shame we feel when we put that task off. The problem is not the task itself, but getting started. To stop procrastination, we need to make it easier for ourselves to conquer the task at hand.
How to Stop the Excuses
To get started tackling your goals faster, consider two things:
Make the rewards for starting a goal as good as the rewards for procrastination.
First, a good strategy for getting started sooner is to get rid of temptation. Combine something that you know is good for you long term with something that feels good right away. Watch your favourite TV program while riding a stationary bike. Exercise is good for your health while watching tv is a great short-term reward.
Secondly, make the consequences more immediate. Skipping one gym session will not kill you, but making a habit of skipping the gym does make a big difference for your body.
Find a reliable friend that you can regularly train with at set times. Being held accountable to a friend makes it easier to keep your motivation and harder to cancel your gym date without having a good reason.
Procrastination is best overcome by planning ahead. What are you waiting for? Start now!