3 reasons you keep postponing the things you want or need to do

How do you feel when you find yourself saying,  I didn’t get to it?

Do you reach the end of the day never accomplishing what you set out to do? Does that cause you anxiety or other negative emotions?  Let’s think of it in another way. We are heading into September and for those of us in the northern hemisphere we may have memories of going back to school in September. Think of those new shoes, new school book bag and pencils. Rethink procrastination as getting into the back-to-school routine.  Secret word – Routine!

Your guiding light is routine. It will change your behavior and change your life.

Why does procrastination happen

Procrastination may have to do with scheduling what you want to accomplish in the day. You may be over scheduled, you may have set your bar way too high. For instance, you want to start a walking program.  The day slips away because there is no specific time identified for walking.  If you have a system or routine for getting started, you will see a big difference.    As a Tiny Habits Coach, if a client wants to begin a walking program there are a few design techniques that can be used to succeed in starting a walking program. Let’s pretend that is your goal.

First, we need to dial the goal back and do three things FIRST:

  1. Stop judging failure, it’s ok that you didn’t walk yesterday – today is a new day
  2. Take the aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors – walking five miles is too big, putting you your shoes is something you can do
  3. Embrace mistakes as discoveries and use them as learning tools to move forward

Let’s get off the couch and get started

Starting your new routine goes something like this. After I ___________, I will ___________

Put your back-to-school hat on and think back to when you had your books in your book bag and your brown paper bag with your lunch sitting on the kitchen counter by the door. You can use this same concept. Have your shoes and socks by the door so you are ready to go tomorrow. Hopefully you don’t have a dog that nibbles shoes.

Use the Tiny Habits recipe

When you use the Tiny Habits recipe you will design your own behavior change. After I eat breakfast, I will put on my walking shoes. Hopefully, you have your clothes on as well and not still in your PJs. If that’s the case we need a different recipe.

Putting on your shoes is the first step to developing a consistent walking program.  Assuming you always eat breakfast, you don’t let the day get by without a walk. Hardwire that routine. Most important, after the walk, congradulate yourself. You have really accomplished something. It’s all about finding a routine that you normally have and can use as an anchor to help you develop a new habit and stop procrastinating.

Are your negative emotions getting in the way?

Your negative emotions may be getting in the way.  Maybe you want to start walking because you are feeling you need to get healthier, yet you are too tired or depressed.  Sometimes it’s easier to turn on the TV or sit in a chair.  And when you do that, you feel bad and revert back to judging yourself. Yes, putting on your shoes takes effort. You can do it!

Try to understand your feelings and don’t judge yourself. You can even self talk as if you were talking to a friend that stayed in the chair and didn’t walk. Would you over and over again chastise them? No, you would try to understand and help them succeed. Change your self talk narrative.

Are you feeling frustrated that you will never get to where you want to be?  You look in the mirror and say why bother, I’m too fat or I’m too old.  Can you change the narrative and begin to use your imagination? Imagine yourself as being strong and in charge because you are taking that first step toward YOUR health. It might sound woo woo, but compassionate self-talk can help.  Can you say to yourself – “yes, I have not been so good to my body in the past. That is the past and now I am going to start taking the first step toward changing that.” You may only get your walking shoes on at first, but it’s the first step, and tomorrow those shoes might just step outside.

Change the narrative in your mind

As someone who is painfully shy, I tend to avoid going to group gatherings.  I try to change my mind’s narrative to say to myself “do something you are afraid of” and sometimes that is just striking up a conversation. It really works! I have used that motto since high school.

Negative self-talk is easy

Your thought patterns can lead you in several different directions. It’s easy to do negative self-talk.  Example:  I’m too old and can’t possibly walk one mile.  So let’s flip the narrative around and say, I can put on my walking shoes.  Yeah me!

Keep in mind that if you show up and face your procrastination, you will make progress. Take it in little bits, congratulate yourself with each win, and do it one tiny step at a time.

Do you go down the rabbit hole?

Sitting down and writing blog posts always takes me down rabbit holes. I find that I keep reading and research more, then I edit over and over again and then when it’s posted I still find errors, argh.   If I follow the routine and choose a specific time and day, follow my 4-day writing plan, it makes life much easier.

I also try to plan a few blogs ahead.  Ideally, it would be a quarter or more.  I easily get distracted, I love to learn, and then find it challenging to sit and do my work.  It’s hard and I try to take one step at a time.

Back to school was so easy

Wouldn’t it be nice to be back in school where we had to be in class at a certain time and what we did was prescribed for us until the bell rang at the end of the day? No procrastination at school, we had to wait until after school to procrastinate.

If you want more ideas about habit changes and procrastination, see below where I shared a few of my past blog posts.



BOOK: Tiny Habits, The Small Habits That Change Everything. 2020 by BJ Fogg, PhD


Self Criticism


Consistent Morning Exercise May Br Beneficial for Individual with Obesity: Schumacher, Thomas, et al., The American College of Sports Medicine, 2020 PP. 201-208.


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Sandi Feaster