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Note: This is a guest post from Sean Burrows of What Is Personal Growth
Often times, we find ourselves going back and forth in terms of working on our goals and our growth as human beings. We’ll go through periods where we work hard consistently everyday without ever feeling burned out, then sometimes we shift and go through periods where we stagnate and put them off for a time. Let’s be clear however, that there is a big difference between taking small breaks such as a vacation, and stagnation.
Here are 5 tips that have helped me stay focused in times when the procrastination bug starts to bite.
1. Clear All Unnecessary Distractions
A big source of stagnation is what we do in our daily lives which serve no true purpose except to distract us. If you want to stay focused on achieving your dreams, you need to find everything in your life that is distracting you from that.
Some of the big ones for me were:
- Video games
- Poor relationships
- Unhealthy food
- Other people’s drama
There were many more which I had to remove from my life, and there still is, but these were the ones that were having the biggest impact. All of these were taking my focus off of my goals when I participated in them.
Now of course some distractions are extremely difficult to give up, a lot of them are very addictive. Video games and television are extremely addictive, at least they were for me. But giving them up has been a true blessing in my life. No matter how difficult it is, know that it will be worth it in the end.
2. Keep a Journal
Writing in a journal has been a profound benefit for me. What helps best is writing down my goals and also my progress. Knowing that you’re progressing is a great way to stay motivated. Who wants to keep doing something when they think all their efforts are for nothing? Often times, our growth and important steps towards our goals are overlooked or ignored. Writing down every single positive step you’ve taken towards your goals, no matter how small it may seem, will always serve as a reminder that you ARE progressing, and that reaching your goals happens one step at a time.
Write down some areas in your life and go through them. Note how you’ve improved in those areas, and what you think you could do to improve even more. Here are a few examples that I use:
3. Create New Habits
When you want to move from a habit that you know is stagnating you, to one that is beneficial and empowering, the best way is to stick with it for at least 21 days. Doing this will engrave it into your personality, and you will eventually start doing it without even thinking about it. After about 21-30 days you’ll start noticing the positive changes it’s having on your life.
For example, if you want to start going to the gym, mark down in a calendar when you want to go and what time. This way you will always have something to remind you of your goal. After 21 days of not giving up, you won’t need a calendar anymore because it is now a habit.
4. Surround Yourself With People That Have Similar Goals
If you’re trying to improve your life and remove things which are preventing you from doing that, it doesn’t make much sense to hang around people who are still stuck in the things which you are trying to move on from. This one can be difficult for a lot of people. Some of us are in relationships, and have friends that we’ve known for a long time, but they may not be interested in the same goals you are. There’s nothing wrong with knowing that you’ve outgrown someone and moving on, especially if they have no interest in improving themselves.
Moving on from people which are holding you back will be a great weight lifted on your shoulders. I’ve noticed that when I move on from specific aspects of my life that are preventing me from progressing, new ones start to come into my life which help accelerate my goals. It’s like being a receiver in football. You have this defender on you running everywhere you go, preventing you from catching the ball. But after a few plays you begin to realize what you need to do to get past him, and catch the pass for a touchdown.
5. Take Breaks
As I said earlier, there is a big difference in taking some time off, and pure stagnation. Taking some time off recharges and refreshes your mind. The absolute best thing for me is going camping or hiking. Being out in nature is very calming and balancing. All the answers to my questions just seem to be answered so much easier when I’m out in nature. And I always come back with new insights and a focused mind.
Growing as a human being and achieving our dreams is meant to be a fun experience, it’s what we’re here for, it’s what we’re designed to do. The problem in today’s society is that there are so many things that we get caught up in which can do the opposite. There are many different obstacles that we must overcome in our lives, and there always will be, but they don’t have to be looked at as negative experiences. Everything we do in our lives is a lesson of some kind, even the most negative experiences have some kind of lesson to be learned, usually the most important ones.
A strong motivator for me is knowing that once I’ve overcome something which isn’t helping me in my growth, I now am more credible to help someone who might be going through the same thing. If I achieve a goal, now I am in a position to help others who may have that same goal.
Sean Burrows loves to learn and discover new ways to improve the quality of peoples lives. He studies personal development and health rigorously, and shares his life’s lessons, creative ideas, and healthy recipes through his blog at http://www.what-is-personal-growth.com – You can also follow Sean on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/36burrows
Photo by darkpatator