541: Overcome Procrastination Forever in 4 Simple Steps

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Hal Elrod

Procrastination. We’re all human, and we’re all guilty of doing it sometimes—myself included. There’s no shame in admitting it. And beating ourselves up about it is a waste of energy. The solution to overcoming it is to understand why we’re doing it in the first place.

So today, I’m digging deep to get to the root causes of why we procrastinate and how to overcome it. I’m sharing four (4) simple steps that have consistently helped me overcome the hesitation to act, regardless of how I feel.

Once you start including these steps in your daily routines, I promise you that taking action will begin to feel more natural. Most importantly, challenges will no longer appear as insurmountable obstacles but as opportunities to step fearlessly toward your dreams and accomplish your greatest aspirations. 

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Our biggest failures often teach us the greatest lessons
  • The obstacles in your way are usually created by you
  • The things you tell yourself over and over become your reality
  • Once you get moving, it’s easier to get going
  • You can’t rewrite the past, but you have the power to control your actions today

 

AYG TWEETABLES

“The most dangerous enemy is the one that you can't see or that you don't know that you have.”

“The only thing to fear is fear itself.”

“That's why you do the right thing, not the easy thing. It's not just for the sake of doing the right thing. It's for the sake of who you are becoming, who it makes of you to do the thing you don't feel like doing.”

 

THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)

 

Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)

 

RESOURCES:

 

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Copyright © 2024 Miracle Morning, LP and International Literary Properties LLC

Hal Elrod: Hello, friends. Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and today we are talking about how to overcome procrastination forever and I’m breaking it down for you in four simple steps. If you struggle procrastination, join the club. That means you are a human being and you often give in to human nature, which is to do the minimum that we need to do to survive, right? That’s how we are wired from our ancestors millions of years ago or however far back we go. But it’s time to overcome procrastination because it holds us back from achieving the things we want in our life.

 

And today I am breaking it down in depth, not only the four simple steps to overcome procrastination. We will get to that. But first, we’re going to identify four of the causes of procrastination. What are the four primary causes that hold us back and prevent us from doing what we need to do that we know we need to do, when we need to do it because we just don’t feel like it, or we have fear, or we’ll unpack all of those reasons to help you overcome them. And I give you solutions one by one as I present each of the fears, so you can immediately identify the fear or identify the cause, I should say, and then overcome that very cause. And again, we’ll wrap the episode with four simple steps, your plan to overcome procrastination forever.

 

But before we dive into the episode, I want to take a couple of minutes to invite you to check out our two sponsors that bring you this episode today and week after week. And first and foremost, Organifi. And today I’m picking a theme. I’m sharing with you two supplements, one from Organifi and one from our other sponsor, CURED Nutrition, that are in the form of a gummy, a delicious, nutritious, supplement in the form of a yummy chewy gummy. And the first is from Organifi. They make a product called Happy Drops. I take these in the morning. In fact, I just took them five minutes ago so it’s 11:30 right now. So, I take them after my smoothie about an hour later once I’ve digested the smoothie.

 

But these daily superfood gummies combine potent, clinically studied ingredients for natural mood-lifting, mental calmness, stress relief, and adaptogenic support with zero negative side effects. So, elevate your mood naturally. They are safe for daily use, they are fast-acting and powerful, and I take them about four days a week on average, four to five days a week. So, head over to Organifi.com/Hal if you want to improve your mood and get a little aid, a little help, little support. The Happy Drops include organic passionflower extract, gotu kola extract, saffron extract, and ginger extract. Again, go to Organifi.com/Hal that’s spelled O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal and use the discount code ‘HAL’ for 20% off your order as a listener of the podcast.

 

And then last but not least, I want to tell you about another gummy supplement made by CURED Nutrition. And it’s called Serenity Gummies. They’re called Serenity Gummies. They include l-theanine, reishi, cannabidiol, I can’t pronounce that word, and ashwagandha. And there’s a small amount of THC. Now, this product will help reduce stress and unwind the mind. And trust me, it works very well. The first time you take it about an hour, I don’t know, 30 to 60 minutes later, you go, “Oh, my God, I feel so good.” Support a balanced mood and you can use it as a replacement for alcohol. So, these are more of an evening supplement. That’s what I find is the best time of use for them.

 

So, take your Happy Drops by Organifi in the morning, and then take your Serenity Gummies in the evening by CURED Nutrition. To head over or try CURED Nutrition Serenity Gummies, go to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal. That is C-U-R-E-D, CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and use that same discount code ‘HAL,’ my name, for 20% off your entire order and it’s a great combo. Like I said, I take Happy Drops by Organifi in the morning and then Serenity Gummies by CURED Nutrition in the evening. It’s a great way to get through the whole day, aiding your mental and emotional well-being.

 

All right. Without further ado, let’s talk about this. Let’s dive in and get you to overcome procrastination forever in four simple steps. Here we go.

 

[EPISODE]

 

Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community. Thank you for being here today listening to the podcast and we’re talking about how to overcome procrastination. We did an episode on this. I mean, I’m sure we’ve done a few over the years, but we did one on Episode 444. This is Episode 541, I believe. So, about 100 episodes ago, we covered this topic, and it’s a topic that it’s a consistent theme in most of our lives. In fact, what prompted today is I was just going through our annual community assessment, which I send out at least once a year, thus annual, and the responses to the question, what is your single biggest challenge, actually, your number one single biggest challenge?

 

The first two responses, and again they were in the thousands, but actually 3,305 for this particular annual assessment to be exact. The first response was procrastination. The second was procrastination. I go a few down, procrastination. In between there was a couple of motivations. I need more money, money, time management, weight loss. So, there’s definitely more than one challenge that each of us are facing. But if you look at procrastination, it’s one that almost all of us, myself included, we face it. It’s a challenge. It’s a struggle. And here’s the thing is it affects everything else. So, if I look at this list and weight loss, for example, is the third response, right? The first two were procrastination. The third was weight loss.

 

And if you actually look at, okay, well, what’s actually the challenge with weight loss? And if you really dig deep more often than not you go, “Oh, that person’s procrastinating on doing the things they need to do to lose weight,” right? And I don’t know for that particular person. Maybe they’re doing what they can do but for most of us, procrastination is actually the underlying issue that is holding us back from improving the areas of our lives that want to improve, achieving our goals, so on and so forth. And so, understanding that underlying issue and addressing it is really crucial. So, that’s why today, as I was looking through the survey and going, “Could I do a topic, money or time management?” Last week we talked about motivation. If you missed last week’s episode, I encourage you to go back and listen to it. I was on fire just like I was channeling the information or the inspiration that you all needed. And the episode was called The Motivation You Need To Pursue Your Dreams.

 

I talked about how many of us have stopped dreaming, myself included, ever since 2020. The world felt out of control. The future felt uncertain. It still potentially does for many of us, if not all of us collectively. And I realized that I had stopped dreaming. And I realized that the future is always uncertain but it’s our dreams that give us meaning and purpose. And when we wake up in the morning, we know what we’re working towards. And sometimes we achieve the dream, sometimes we don’t, but to not have a dream is the fallacy. Like, that’s what prevents us from waking up with purpose and fulfillment. So, anyway, that was last episode, Episode 540. In case you missed it, you can listen to it at MiracleMorning.com/540.

 

But today we’re going to talk about procrastination. All right. So, how to overcome it? And what is procrastination, right? It’s the act of delaying the thing that you need to do. That’s the simple definition, the act of delaying the thing that you need to do. We procrastinate on the thing that we need to do. And I think one of the biggest questions, the most important, profound question, it’s the question that is how you find the solution to our procrastination. And the question is, how do we get ourselves to do it? Let me frame it toward you. How do you get yourself to do what you need to do when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not? That is the question that we’re going to answer today. How do you get yourself to do what you need to do when you need to do it, whether you feel like it or not? Because the opposite of that is procrastination. It’s, “Oh, I don’t do the thing that I need to do when I need to do it, especially if I don’t feel like it.”

 

And that’s the first place for us to start. There’s three things I want to talk about today in relation to procrastination. Number one, what is procrastination? We just covered that. But number two, what causes procrastination? Like, what causes us to procrastinate? Is it fear? Is it laziness? Is it a lack of clarity or a lack of commitment? Or is it all of the above? Right? What is it that causes to procrastinate? Because if you’re not aware, if we are not aware of the cause of the thing that’s holding us back, then we can’t overcome it, right? I forgot what, I’m missing that phrase, but like the most dangerous enemy is the one that you can’t see or that you don’t know that you have.

 

If you don’t even know that you have an enemy, or you don’t know what the enemy’s doing, you can’t address it. You’ve got to be aware this is the enemy. This is their tactic. This is what I need to take care of or respond to or prepare for or address. So, what causes us to procrastinate, to put off the things that we know we should do, that we could do, that if we did them, it would transform our lives or improve our lives or enhance our lives? But we don’t do it. Why? Why do we not do these things? So, fear for sure is one of the causes. It’s an underlying cause. And it could be a fear of failure, like I don’t take action, I don’t do the thing because I don’t really believe I can succeed. And I feel like I’m going to embarrass myself or I’m going to feel like a failure because I look back at my past and I’ve struggled to follow through in the past, and I don’t want to do it again, right?

 

And that’s another fear is fear of being judged, which is in relation to fear of failure. Fear of failure, number one, you judge yourself. We judge ourselves as, “Oh man, I failed again. I suck,” and we don’t like the way that feels. It doesn’t feel good to beat ourselves up even though we do it all the time, right? We all beat ourselves up, most likely far too often than we should, far more often than we should. But that fear of failure is followed by or paired with the fear of being judged, judging ourselves or other people judging us. I don’t want to look like a failure again. Also, fear of making a mistake. Just fear of, especially if you’re a perfectionist, I’m a perfectionist, that fear of making a mistake.

 

And again, it’s often tied into being judged because if you didn’t judge yourself or worry about other people judging you for failing or making a mistake or looking silly, right, if you weren’t judging yourself or other people judging you, then it wouldn’t really be a big deal. You’d go, “Yeah, I’ll make a mistake. Who cares? That’s how I learn. I learn, I grow, I evolve when I make mistakes. So, I’m happy to make mistakes. Oh, failure? Yeah. No, failure is part of the journey to success.” I love John Maxwell’s book. I quoted it last week, Failing Forward. I read that book probably 20 years ago, I think roughly 20 years ago, and it stuck with me, which a good book can do.

 

But Failing Forward, the premise of that is that everyone’s afraid of failure, yet the most successful people in the world, or all of us, when we succeed rarely is a straight line. You usually fail and make mistakes and have to course correct along the way, and that’s called failing forward. It’s like, “Oh, I failed at my first attempt, but I’m going to learn from that. I’m going to apply what I learned and I’m going to keep moving forward. I’m going to fail forward. I’m going to keep moving forward despite the failure.” And we can embrace failure as an asset because it’s part of the journey. A, it’s inevitable, B, it’s an asset because it teaches you. We often learn the greatest lessons from our failure. You go, “Oh, that’s what I did wrong. Got it. I’m going to correct that and I’m going to keep moving forward.”

 

So, the first cause of procrastination is fear. That’s a deep-seated, deep-rooted cause. And if you ever heard the cliche phrase, that the only thing to fear is fear itself, if you understand what that means, is that someone that’s not afraid of something, then there’s nothing to fear because they’re realizing that whatever it is they’re pursuing like the worst case scenario is maybe failure, but failure is a good thing. So, it’s this story we have around fear that actually is the issue. It’s that we label fear is a bad thing. Fear is also an inevitable part of the journey, just as failure is an inevitable part of the journey, so is fear. So, if you can embrace fear, embrace failure, don’t give it some negative connotation. It has no power over you. I’m afraid of stuff all the time, right?

 

I’m afraid to, you know, anytime I give a speech or any time I do a training for a company, I’m always afraid that what if I sound stupid? But, dude, before I record this podcast. Before I record this podcast, I have fear because I don’t have total clarity on everything that I’m going to talk about and where I’m going to go. And so, I have to face the fear, right? It’s kind of jumping off the cliff, right? Building your wings on the way down. So, anyway, fear is a cause of why you procrastinate, why we procrastinate. And if you can acknowledge that and be aware of it and go, “Okay. I’m going to feel the fear and I’m going to do it anyway.” I tell my kids that all the time. “Dad, but I’m afraid.” “Yeah. Me too. I’m afraid for you, right? But we got to feel the fear and do it anyway because the worst thing that can happen is not really anything to be afraid of.”

 

Second cause of procrastination is laziness. And laziness often is an identity. We view ourselves as lazy or we don’t feel like doing the thing. And a great example is with my son the other day. Actually, not every day. Every single time. Or not just the other day. Every time he has basketball practice. He’s kind of new to basketball and I struggle to push people to do things they don’t want to do. I get myself to do it but with friends, family, loved ones, you, it’s like, “I don’t want to,” I’m like, “Okay.” I’m kind of a softy when it comes to that. I’m not the like militant coach or dad. But I realize my son, there’s so much benefit to him playing a team sport. And other than when he was really young, like seven, he went through like a four-year period without playing any team sports. He’d play with friends on the park or whatever.

 

But anyway, having a coach and having discipline and having structure and being pushed harder and all of these things and playing on a team, I finally decided this is a must. And if you ever want to have screen time, you have to also play a sport. So, sign up for basketball and he would resist every week. He would be in tears sometimes every practice. Two practices a week and a game every Saturday. And sometimes he’d be in tears or just, “I don’t feel like it, dad. I don’t want to. I’m tired. I don’t want to.” And I would say, “Hey, you have to act your way into feeling. You got to do the thing you’re afraid of or do the thing you don’t feel like. And what you’ll find, Halston,” my son’s name is Halston.

 

I said, “What you’ll prove yourself is that you have more inside of you, more energy that you can generate, more capability, more motivation, more discipline than you think you do. And the only way to prove that to yourself is to do the thing that you don’t feel like doing. If you feel lazy and you allow yourself to be lazy, then you are lazy.” I’m going to say it again. If you feel lazy, you don’t feel like doing it, and then you allow that feeling to dictate your behavior. So, meaning you feel lazy, so you choose to be lazy versus feel lazy but I’m going to do the thing anyway. I don’t feel like going to the gym, but I’m going to stand up. I’m going to grab my car keys. I’m going to walk to the gym or walk to the car and go to the gym. I don’t feel like going for a walk after dinner, but I committed to it so I’m going to get up and I’m going to start walking.

 

And what happens when you do the thing that you need to do or want to do or will get you where you want to go, that predetermined activity even if you don’t feel like it, in fact, especially when you don’t feel like it, that’s how you develop discipline. Doing the thing that you need to do when you don’t feel like it is how you develop discipline. So, with my son, I’m his accountability buddy, right? It’s like, “Hey, buddy, no, we’re going,” and sometimes he’s in tears. He’s 11 years old but he goes to basketball, whether it’s practice or a game. And what happens? He steps on the court that even though when he was laying in his bed going, “Dad, I don’t feel like it.” “Of course, you’re lying down. You’re literally telling your body it’s time to be lazy.”

 

But if you get up and you generate energy, you know that Brendon Burchard, one of his seminars talked about how our body is like a power plant. A power plant does not have energy. It generates energy. Our body does not like it’s not energized when we’re lying around. We generate energy. So, with my son, he gets up, he goes to practice. And what do you know? He’s running down the court. He’s smiling with his friends. He’s laughing. He’s making baskets. And then afterwards he feels good about himself. And he now developed discipline to go, “Oh, even if I don’t feel like it, I can still do the thing.” And that’s what I’m trying to instill in him. And that’s what I’m trying to instill in you is that, yeah, the second cause of procrastination is laziness.

 

And then just another way of putting that is not feeling like it, doing what you don’t feel like, or not doing what you do. Sorry. Giving in to your feelings. Sorry. I’m not very articulate with that. But laziness. And so, the solution to that is doing the thing that you need to do whether you feel like it or not. And the beauty of it is every time you do that, like the first time’s the hardest, right? If you’re like, “Oh, man, I only do what I feel like.” And those who only do what they feel like don’t do much because when we’re sitting down, we don’t feel like doing much. You’ve got to get your butt up and you got to do the thing or take that first step, get out the door, move your body.

 

And so, doing the thing that you don’t feel like doing is how you develop discipline becomes easier and easier and easier. And take that from someone, me, who was lazy for my entire life. And it wasn’t until I was 19 years old, right, that I started in sales and I was like, “Oh, I’m done being lazy.” And that’s a big part is an identity shift. If you view yourself as lazy, you need to shift the identity right now, like in writing go, “I’ve been lazy and I’ve allowed myself to give into laziness in the past, but no more. From this day forward, I am committed to doing the things I need to do, whether I feel like them or not.” I’d encourage you to, if you can, write this down like write that down.

 

That should be in your affirmations, maybe identifying that, “Yeah, in the past I’ve allowed myself to be lazy, give in to those lazy feelings, but no more. I am committed to doing what I need to do when I need to do it, whether I feel like it or not. And in doing so, I will become extraordinarily disciplined and that will enable me to create everything else I want for my life.” That’s the purpose to me of anything that you do, right? You’re doing the things you’re doing. You’re doing your Miracle Morning to develop the discipline, the mindset, the abilities to be able to create everything else that you want for your life from this day forward.

 

You’re going to the gym not just to get in better shape, not just to build muscle or lose weight. You’re going to the gym to become the person that you need to be, to create everything else that you want for your life. That’s why you do the right thing, not the easy thing. It’s not just for the sake of doing the right thing. It’s for the sake of who you are becoming, who it makes of you to do the thing you don’t feel like doing. That’s how you overcome laziness. You shift your identity, and then you live in alignment with this new identity, that you’re committed to being a disciplined person and doing what’s right, not what’s easy. Doing the thing you need to do, whether you feel like it or not. So, that’s the second cause of procrastination.

 

Obviously, we’re talking about the causes and the solutions. I should have prefaced it with that, right? I’m not just listing off the causes for you to ruminate over, or feel bad for yourself like, “Oh, I do that. Oh yeah, I do that too. I suck at that.” No. We’re talking about the causes and the solutions, and then I’m going to end this with how to overcome procrastination. And again, these solutions are steps along the way. These are important. But I’m going to kind of break it down into like four steps for you to overcome procrastination.

 

So, first cause of procrastination is fear, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, judging yourself, others judging you. Number two is laziness. Number three is a lack of clarity. This is a big one, lack of clarity. And I talked about this on last week’s episode, Episode #540: The Motivation You Need To Pursue Your Dreams. If you don’t have clarity, a clear vision, or even a murky vision, like some sort of vision of what you’re working towards, if you don’t have any clarity on what you’re working towards, a better future, a vision for the future, a dream, a goal, a dream is just usually a bigger goal, right? They’re just semantics. They’re words, right? In fact, vision, dream, goal, they could all be synonyms for each other.

 

But that vision for your future, that dream, that goal, remember, whether or not you believe you can achieve it and very often we don’t because we look at our current reality. You look around, you’re like, “I’m not living that way. I’m not doing the things that are going to get me there right now. I’ve never achieved a dream like that. Right? We get stuck in who we are limiting of who we could become versus or where we are in our lives limiting where we could go. But both of those, who you could become and where you could go are limitless, and it starts with clarity. It starts with you clarifying if there were nothing holding me back. And the only thing holding you back most often is you.

 

There could be other restrictions, right? There could be logistical restrictions or financial restrictions, but there are no restrictions other than us to getting better, to improving our lives, to taking the first step toward a goal or a vision. And by the way, that first step is writing, you know, imagining what that goal, what that vision might be. So, the third cause of procrastination is a lack of clarity because how could you move toward something that you have no clarity around? There’s nothing to move towards. You haven’t taken the time to dream, to imagine, to consider a better possibility for your future, your near future, or your distant future. It could be a ten-year vision. It could be a one-year vision. It could be a 30-day challenge. But it’s clarifying what it is in your life that you want.

 

And by the way, you could back up to the first two causes of procrastination that could also prevent the third cause or inform the third cause, meaning fear could cause you or prevent you from generating clarity because you go, “Well, I’m afraid I can’t make my life any better, and I’m not capable. And so, I’m not going to take the time to create a vision for a better future, to dream, to set goals because I’m afraid. Or I’m too lazy. I don’t feel like scheduling 30 minutes or an hour to dream of what’s possible and write down my goals.” And again, if you want to go the last episode, I talked about the different areas of your life, setting goals or dreaming in your relationships and your finances and travel and leisure and recreation and parenting, whatever areas for you.

 

And by the way, great resource for that is The Bucket List Journal by Ben Nemtin. That’s actually something I’ve been filling out again and it has helped to reignite my dreams. The Bucket List Journal by Ben Nemtin. You can get it, I’m sure, on Amazon. So, lack of clarity is the third cause of procrastination, and we have to schedule a time to generate that clarity. And you don’t have to get it perfect. Just start writing, start journaling. If anything were possible because for the most part it is, what would I pursue? What would I dream of? What would I envision for my future?

 

And then number four, the fourth and the final cause of procrastination that I’ll share, I’m sure we could come up with a dozen more, but it’s a lack of commitment. It’s a lack of commitment. In life, we get what we’re committed to and very rarely do we get anything more than we’re committed to. We get what we’re committed to. We don’t get what we want just because we want it. So, when you start dreaming and you start clarifying your vision and your dreams and your goals, that’s a step, but it’s not in and of itself the only step. You’ve got to follow that up with a commitment. “Okay, I’ve identified that, okay, I’ve got fears but I’m going to face my fears. I’m going to move forward. I’ve identified that I’ve been lazy in the past, but now I’m committed to not being lazy anymore. I’m going to do the things that I need to do. The first thing I need to do is number three, right, overcome that lack of clarity by scheduling 30 minutes a week to generate clarity and revisit that clarity.”

 

This is not a one-time event. Clarity is not a one-time event. It’s not, “I’m going to generate clarity and then everything is going to magically happen.” No. I’m going to generate clarity and then I’m going to revisit that clarity and I’m going to edify or iterate on that clarity. I’m going to ask myself, “Is that still what I want? Or do I want something slightly different? Is there a nuance to what I want? Maybe I completely want something else that’s more important or that’s more urgent or that I want now.” You got to revisit that clarity. Week after week or day after day, you’ve got to review those goals. And for me, of course, and I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this.

 

Those are in my affirmations every day. And my affirmations are step four, the lack of commitment that holds us back, that causes us to procrastinate because we’re not committed to following through with the thing that we just clarified and the actions that will get us there. That lack of commitment, I override that. In fact, I override all four of these with my affirmations that I read daily. And I’m not perfect. There are days where I don’t read them. I get busy at whatever, but more often than not, I’m reading affirmations that follow three steps. If you’ve read the new Miracle Morning, Updated and Expanded Edition, the three steps that I fine-tuned over the last 15 years, step one is affirm what you are committed to.

 

I am committed to being the best father that I can be or mother that I can be for my kids. I am committed to providing financial security for my family. I am committed to losing 20 pounds and getting in the best shape of my life. I am committed to helping my father through his cancer journey. Right? Like, whatever, I’m just spitballing things that are in my affirmations. But that’s the step one of the three-step affirmation formula. Step one is affirm what you’re committed to. And when you do that on day one, you might go, “I don’t know. I don’t feel committed because I haven’t been committed and I’ve wanted to be committed but I’ve been lazy and I haven’t had clarity and I’ve let fear override or control my decision-making. And I’ve allowed myself to be lazy and all of these things.” So, you might on day one when you affirm, you put in writing what you’re committed to.

 

On day one, you have like, “I don’t really feel like it though. I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m committed.” But whatever you affirm repeatedly becomes your reality. That’s worth writing down. That’s why affirmations are so important. What you affirm repeatedly becomes your reality. And the problem is that we have been unconsciously affirming negative, disempowering beliefs and thoughts, right? “I’m so lazy. I always procrastinate. Man, my life is not where I want it to be.” That becomes your reality. Whatever you affirm repeatedly, whatever you tell yourself becomes your reality. In the same way that if you tell yourself you’re stupid every day, that’s going to seep into your subconscious and you’re going to feel stupid. If you tell yourself you’re lazy, same thing, and then you’re going to procrastinate. So, we need to affirm a better reality. What we’re committed to creating, who we’re committed to being, that is step one of the affirmation formula.

 

Step two, affirm why it’s a must for you. Why are you committed to being the father your kids deserve, or the mother your kids deserve? Why are you committed to getting the best shape of your life? Why are you committed to providing financial security and freedom for your family? Why are you committed to writing your first book or starting your business? What are the compelling reasons that are so compelling that you will continue to do whatever it takes, whether you feel like it or not, because you have such an empowering why that is fueling your drive, your motivation to keep moving forward? And then step three in the affirmation formula, the Miracle Morning affirmation formula is affirm which actions you will take and when. What are you going to do and when are you going to do it to follow through with your commitments?

 

So, again these are four causes of procrastination. And I just told you how to overcome all four of them. And if you need to go back and listen to this, awesome. You can do that. In fact, I encourage you to do that. Repetition is often crucial. We usually rarely hear something once and that’s enough. Like, we’ve got to revisit it, meditate on it, reflect on it, write it down, read it again, right? Again, clarity is something you have to generate consistently weekly at the very least, if not daily, through your affirmations. So, how do you overcome procrastination? Clarify what you want in your life. Commit to what you want. And then schedule the necessary actions. Schedule, right? Number three in the affirmation formula is to clarify which actions you will take and when you will take them. So, you’ve got to schedule that. You’ve got to put that in your schedule.

 

And then last but not least, to overcome procrastination is to act your way into feeling. I’ve also heard it said to move your way into motivation. And then what was the other? I just read a book the other day and he said it. I didn’t write it down. It’s underlined. Anyway, there’s another way to say it, but you get the idea, right? And I mentioned this last week. I’ve talked about this. It’s just an important thing. I talk to my kids about it all the time. We have to do the thing that whether we feel like it or not, that first baby step that will generate the motivation and the energy and the momentum, momentum is so important. You have to have the discipline to generate the momentum that will move you forward. And John Maxwell, in that book, Failing Forward, called it act your way into feeling, meaning you can’t sit around and be lazy.

 

Oh, great example. It just happened yesterday. So, my daughter and I went to, I took my daughter to Six Flags San Antonio. She’s 14, and we went to Six Flags and it was so hot. It was like 93 but the humidity, it felt like it was over 100. And so, we went on like three roller coasters and we’re like, “This is not enjoyable. Like, I am sweating. This is not fun.” And there’s also a water park at Six Flags Fiesta. And so, my daughter said, “Hey, why don’t we…” It’s lunchtime. She goes, “Why don’t we? There’s no good food here. It’s all junk food.” She said, “Why don’t we leave and go eat somewhere healthy or healthier out of the theme park? And then let’s come back. We brought our bathing suits and let’s go to the water park.” I’m like, “Okay.”

 

So, we go and we have a big lunch. Like, we have delicious food at this place called Cafe Vida, a big lunch, and we drive back to the water park and we pull in and my food coma starts to kick in. I go, “I think I’m having a food coma.” She said, “Me too.” I was like, “Let’s just sit here for a little bit.” She said, “Yeah, we’re on the same page.” So, we’re sitting there, we’re sitting there, we’re sitting there. Probably 30 minutes go by. And I said, “You want to go in?” She’s like, “Maybe we just go home,” and we live like 90 minutes away. I mean, it’s a big deal. We got up in the morning, drove down there.

 

I said, “Sweetheart, we drove all this way. We’re not going home.” She’s like, “I just don’t feel like going in.” I said, “Well, because, A, we just ate a bunch of food, so we need to move our bodies to get the food digesting and kick our metabolism in.” She said, “Okay.” I said, “Number two, we got to act our way into feeling.” I said, “We’re sitting in the car.” And I literally told her, I’m like, “I talked about this all the time. Like, we’re sitting in the car with a big stomach full of food. Of course, we don’t feel like it, but if we put our bathing suits on and we start walking toward the water park, I guarantee you, we will generate energy and we will feel more motivated and more energized. And then once we get on that first slide and we feel that thrill, right, we’re going to feel even more motivated and more energized.”

 

So, we did it and we had a great time at the water park. And we were in line and she’s like, “I can’t believe we almost went home.” I was like, “I don’t know that I would have driven you home.” But she’s like, “Well, I wanted to go. I was ready to go home.” She goes, “I’m so glad we’re here. This is so fun.” And so, that’s just a real-life example that happened less than 24 hours ago of not feeling like doing the thing. And granted, the thing was going to a water park. I know it’s not quite the same as like going to the gym or like going to work or whatever, but it’s pretty close because we did not feel like it.

 

We were tired. We were lethargic. We just wanted, you know, what is it? You know, body in motion stays in motion or an object in motion stays at motion but an object not moving, I’m saying it wrong, but doesn’t want to move, right? There’s a lot to that which I’m forgetting. But the point is, that’s that last piece. To overcome procrastination, you have to do the thing you don’t feel like, even if you don’t feel like it when you need to do it. And whether that is as simple as I talked last week about packing your gym bag and getting in your car and setting the GPS to the gym even if you don’t feel like working out because it doesn’t take much discipline or energy to get in the car and set your GPS. But if you do that, that’s the momentum that you need.

 

You can never undervalue momentum. Momentum is what we create, we generate when we act our way into feeling. And when you get in the car dressed in your workout clothes and you set the GPS, it didn’t take much energy at all. But it leads to a cascading effect of you going to the gym, walking through the door, feeling the energy of everybody else working out, you working out. Then you feel good, you feel proud of yourself, and now you’re more likely to do it again and again and again and again. Though each and every day, it requires more often than not acting your way into feeling.

 

Same thing, when I used to, when I was in sales, I scheduled the time that I was going to get on the phone, and when my alarm went off to make prospecting calls, I knew that I didn’t feel like it. I knew that I would talk myself out of doing it. So, I picked up the phone and I just started dialing the first number. And then literally I had to look at my referral and I go, “Okay, wait. Who am I calling? What am I saying? Where’s my script?” You know, but I acted my way into feeling. And once I got that first call out of the way, then I had momentum and it was easy to make the rest of the calls.

 

I did the same thing when I was writing The Miracle Morning. There were so many days where I didn’t feel like writing. So, I made a commitment that when the timer went off, I would open my computer and something I did is I always left the Microsoft Word document open the night before so that it was right there. I open my computer. It was the first thing I saw and I just started typing gibberish. This is literally I would just start typing. And then usually not gibberish, but I would say like, “I don’t feel like writing today. However, I know that I need to write.”

 

So, I’m committed to writing because I did commit to writing, and I’m the kind of person that’s going to follow through whether I feel like it or not. Okay. What am I going to write about today? Literally, this is what I would do. And so, the first like paragraph was like a journal entry that was transitioning me from not feeling like it to reminding myself I’m committed. And I’m doing this to help millions of people or lots of people and share this Miracle Morning practice that changed my life. So, the point is, you act your way into feeling. You just do the thing that you need to do the first baby step, whether you feel like it or not. And then all of a sudden, wow, now you’ve created that momentum and now you take the second, third, fourth, fifth and so on and so forth, the ongoing steps that get you toward that goal.

 

So, in conclusion, if you have been procrastinating up until this point, you get to change that right now. You can’t change the past, so there’s no reason to beat yourself up and wish you would have been different because that wishing and wanting any aspect of reality, past, present, or future were different than it is is futile. It’s delusional. You can’t change the past. You can change everything else. And that is great news. And it starts by you generating clarity, clarifying what you want in terms of what you want to create, and also who you want to become to create it.

 

That’s number one is generate the clarity. Clarify what you want. Number two is commit to it. Commit to it in writing. Follow that three-step affirmation formula. “I’m committed to _____ no matter what. There is no other option.” Then list the reasons why you’re committed. What are the benefits for you? And then write down what specific actions you’re going to take and affirm that every day. Number three, schedule those actions. And number four, act your way into feeling. If you follow those four steps, you can overcome procrastination and create everything that you want for your life one thing at a time, one goal at a time, one step at a time.

 

[CLOSING]

 

Hal Elrod: All right, goal achievers, I love you so much. I hope this episode you won’t just think, “Yeah, that was great,” but you actually will go back, listen to it again if you need to, take some notes, implement these steps, and leave procrastination behind. And by the way, don’t beat yourself up if you procrastinate again because even like I do it. I’m not perfect. I still procrastinate sometimes and I realize, “Oh, I’m procrastinating. I’m procrastinating for the last three weeks on this thing. What am I doing?” And then I got to follow my own advice, implement these steps, and overcome procrastination. You can do it too! Love you so much. I will talk to you next week.

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