Stop the I’ll Do It Tomorrow Attitude

In the Bible we read: “. . . the love of money is the root of all evil . . .” (1 Timothy 6:10). And I believe that to be true; however, procrastination comes in a close second. Putting something off until tomorrow is rarely a good idea. How often I’ve heard people make comments like: I’ll start my diet next week; I’ll begin exercising at the beginning of next year; I’ll initiate a job search “soon.” Well, do you know what all these statements have in common?

They are all statements of procrastination.

Sure, you can attempt to justify your inactivity in a plethora of ways, but rationalizing will not lead to favorable results. Taking action is the only method to achieve your goals and thus success, and the sooner you develop the tendency for action vs inaction the better.

Therefore, I’ll provide you with a list of suggestions to assist you in squelching procrastination.

1) Read the book The 5 Second Rule by author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins. (I am not sponsored or in any way compensated for my recommendation.) You will be amazed by the sheer simplicity and practicality of this book.

2) Stop striving for perfection because perfection is a yardstick that does not exist. Moreover, don’t worry if you haven’t got all the answers—learn as you go or ask for assistance. Reaching out to someone for help does not mean you are inadequate.

3) Communicate your goals to somebody—including a deadline, preferably—so that you feel the pressure to take action. The fear of looking like a fool can be a useful weapon, so use it to your advantage.

4) Surround yourself with friends and coworkers who are action minded. People have a tendency to emulate the individuals they hang out with; consequently, if you spend more time with people of action and less time with procrastinators, you’ll be more apt to succeed.

5) Reward yourself for accomplishing tasks. It can be something as simple as a nice dinner or as extravagant as a vacation, depending on the particular goal and your budget. The point is: have a dangling carrot to keep you moving forward if necessary.

So, now you have absolutely no reason to continue dilly-dallying (aka procrastinating) because you have the necessary tools to succeed. Also, don’t berate yourself for missteps because that will only have negative effects. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on.

Do Your Actions Match Your Words?

How many times has someone—perhaps with good intentions—told you they would do something, only to never follow through? Or worse yet, how often do you fail at putting action behind your words? The truth is anyone can talk a good game; however, your actions are the indisputable proof that validates those words.

According to my good, old friend Mark Twain: “Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.”

I believe there are two primary reasons why people don’t make good on their words: (1) They are attempting to impress people by promising what they can’t or don’t want to carry out. (2) They have a difficult time saying no—so they reluctantly say yes. Subsequently, their desire isn’t powerful enough to engender action because they were unwilling from the start.

First, if you really want to impress someone, you should deliver on your agreements. That simple action is unimaginably impressive. Nothing conveys integrity better than being a man or woman whose word is reliable.

Second, learn to respect yourself and others. You can do this by merely saying no when necessary and yes whenever you can—anything else is unsatisfactory. I believe most people would prefer being told no rather than receiving a false promise.

So, make a vow to yourself today that your actions will always match your words. And I will leave you with a quote from Wesam Fawzi: “Ordinary People Promise To Do More. Extraordinary People Just Do More.”

Stop Going Through Your Day on Autopilot

How often do you find yourself meandering through your day without much thought or concern for what you’re doing? Maybe more frequently than you would care to admit. Don’t worry—it happens to all of us. But this detachment from the liveliness around you will quell opportunities to learn, grow, and develop healthier relationships. Moreover, when you’re not actively participating in your own life, you cannot become the optimal version of yourself. You are essentially existing, not living.

This is a BAD thing.

What can you do to prevent this autopilot mode from occurring? Well, you have to make a conscious effort to stay connected throughout your entire day. And here are a few recommendations to engender action on your part.

1) Pay attention – This might sound obvious, but you would be surprised just how many people are not observant of their surroundings. Look at that cardinal perched on a nearby fence; admire the color—red, orange, yellow, green—of tree leaves in your neighborhood; or people watch at your local Starbucks.

2) Interact – Mark Twain might have been a misanthrope, but you can be more gregarious. Take every occasion to engage with the people around you. This includes family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. (Note: Use common sense when attempting to interact with individuals you’re not acquainted with.)

3) Change your routine – Want to avoid a run-of-the-mill lifestyle? Then monotony is your enemy; therefore, make regular adjustments to your routine. Have fun with this one and be creative. So you might take a different route to work, fix eclectic meals, participate in unusual activities, etc.

4) Develop a sense of humor – If you’re like most people, your days are replete with mundane activities and unappreciative people. Trust me—I get it. Nevertheless, you don’t have to take things so seriously. Look for humorous situations around you. Or better yet, learn to laugh at yourself for those little foibles.

Now . . . go out there and actively participate in your life because you have no more excuses.

Ways to Kill a Relationship

Relationships are an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and if a relationship is mutually rewarding to all parties involved, it can last a lifetime. But are you acquainted with the three BIG relationship killers? These points pertain to friendships, intimate associations, and familial relationships. Moreover, you should avoid these mistakes at all costs.

1) Lack of communication – Without open lines of communication any bond will eventually weaken. You hear this advice ad nauseam; however, let me add: honest and healthy discourse—not yelling or fighting or accusing.

2) Assumptions – Making assumptions regarding another individual or their emotions can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and arguments. Don’t be afraid to question someone to verify information before jumping to conclusions.

3) Lack of flexibility – For any relationship to be healthy, you have to be willing to compromise from time to time. I’m not telling you to be a doormat, but you should consider the needs and desires of others as much as your own

So, make a note of the three BIG no-nos and avoid committing these mistakes in your relationships. Unless of course . . . you want them to end.

It’s Simple to Be Happy

Listening to individuals pontificate regarding their pursuit of happiness, you would believe they were searching for some magical unicorn—never spotted, just an object of lore. These people are always looking for a relationship, job, hobby, etc., they believe will lead to happiness and a quintessential existence in never-never land. Wake up! The alarm clock is sounding.

There is only one person responsible for your happiness: You

Therefore, you have the ability to choose happy or unhappy. Unfortunately, many people make the decision to be unhappy. If you’re one of those individuals, today is your lucky day; I’m going to provide you with the steps necessary for growth.

Step 1: Recognize and accept the fact you and you alone are in charge of your happiness. This step is paramount in the process. If you do not fully adhere to this belief, you are wasting your time reading any further.

Step 2: Stop continually thinking of yourself. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to ponder your wants and desires, and to express those needs to others. But if you never contemplate the happiness of family members, your partner, friends, or even strangers (hint, hint, charity), you need to correct this situation immediately.

Step 3: Learn to be satisfied with what you have. You don’t need more “stuff” to make you happy. Show appreciation for the wonderful individuals in your life and the material possessions you are fortunate enough to have acquired. There are numerous people in the world that will go without basic necessities today. Keep that in mind.

Step 4: Quit attempting to control every situation. There are some circumstances you can change/alter and some you cannot. Become proficient at discerning the difference. In the words of Epictetus (circa 50-130), “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” And while we’re at it, stop searching for perfection. Just like the unicorn, perfection is a myth.

Step 5: Evaluate your associations and disconnect from anyone who is not healthy for you. It’s better to have a few close friends than a gaggle that bring nothing but drama and pain. This also applies to intimate relationships; however, when a marriage is at stake, you should always seek assistance from a qualified professional.

So, now you have unearthed the secret in the garden of happiness. Simple, right? Well … simple yes, but easy, no. Like any gardener worth their seeds would tell you: A garden requires frequent maintenance. You have to water. You have to weed. You have to nourish. And you’ll have to perform the same type of work. Nothing of value comes without a cost. What price are you willing to pay for your happiness?