Do you tend to put off some of the things you need to get done? Most of us do, at least some of the time. Yet, we all know that putting things off doesn’t make them go away.  To  push  past  your  desire to procrastinate, try some of these tips:

  1. Stop badgering yourself. Many times people are their own worst critics. But mentally berating yourself only drives you deeper into guilt instead of spurring you to action. In fact, it’s been found that self-compassion actually helps to motivate people more than self-blame.
  2. Since we need to exert a certain amount of self-control to get ourselves to do things that we don’t want to do, keep in mind what we’ve learned in recent years about how to develop more self-control:  self-control, like a muscle, gets stronger with practice. So, the more you practice self-control, the less you will have to struggle to push past procrastination. At the same time, you don’t want to overdo it because your self-control “muscle” needs time to rest and recharge.
  3. Ask yourself what’s blocking you from doing what you need to do and then figure out how to address the issue that’s getting in your way. It could be that the task too big and you need to break it into smaller steps. Maybe you find the task boring and you need to develop a way to make it more interesting. Perhaps you need to get more organized before you can begin working on the task. Possibly you simply need to rest and allow your self-control “muscle” to recharge. Whatever your reason for procrastinating, approach the task in a way that will enable you to address your specific concern and move toward accomplishing your goal.
  4. Remind yourself of times in the past when you’ve successfully accomplished your goals, and think about what strategies were helpful in those situations. Try to apply those lessons now.
  5. If past experience indicates that a particular task is likely to be very difficult for you to accomplish, it may be helpful to  seek out additional information, learn new skills, or look for assistance. Don’t allow negative thoughts about the past to determine your present.
  6. Make a list of your reasons for wanting to accomplish this task. Write down: (1) how you will benefit by doing this; (2) how you imagine it will feel to have it finished; and (3) what negative things will happen if you don’t get this done.
  7. Go public with your goal, and have others hold you accountable. This has been shown to be a very helpful strategy for accomplishing goals.
  8. Eliminate temptations and distractions that can take your attention away from your task, such as the computer, TV, phone, etc. Instead, use those temptations as a reward for meeting the smaller goals you set.
  9. If you are truly struggling to get started, try to take just a small step. Doing even a small amount of the task can dramatically increase the likelihood that you will finish. The small amount you work on doesn’t even have to be the first step in the process either; it’s fine to skip ahead to a part that is less difficult for you to accomplish.

Finally, once you finish the job, think about what you helped you succeed and how you can apply that lesson in the future. And, be sure to take time to recognize your efforts and accomplishments.

                                                             Stepping Stones to Success

As the new year approaches, you may be thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you hope to improve your life by  eliminating unhelpful habits and/or by establishing  new positive  habits.  While contemplating what you want to do in the coming year, you might find yourself thinking about resolutions you made but didn’t keep during the past year. Keep in mind that if you only focus on what you didn’t accomplish this past year,  you can end up feeling like you’re not good enough and you may even feel  like a failure.

Beginning a new year with a defeated mindset will only make it that much harder to reach new goals. Instead, focus on what worked well for you this past year and what you achieved. Then lay down more stepping stones.

A good place to begin is with a sense of gratitude. Ask yourself what has blessed your life: health, loving friends, a comfortable home, special family members, employment — you fill in the blank. Also, try to think about your blessings in context. Maybe your job doesn’t pay as much as you’d like, but you find your work fulfilling. Perhaps you’ve experienced some health struggles, but you feel good about the way you handled those challenges. You may not have tons of friends, but the ones you have are truly special. Your family may not live nearby, but you love each other and keep in touch regularly. Take some time to really savor these good things in your life.

canstockphoto29626029Focus as well on giving yourself credit for your own successes, large and small. Even if you didn’t meet all your goals this year,  it’s important to recognize and celebrate the things you did accomplish, and, give some thought to how you contributed to those accomplishments. Of the things you tried to accomplish, what went well?

Next, consider how you can build upon your blessings and your successes. Maybe you want to develop new ways to support your health, such as learning how to make healthy food choices that are also tasty, finding enjoyable ways to increase your activity level, and so forth.  Perhaps you can deepen your relationships by showing your appreciation to your friends and family.  Maybe you can make your work more satisfying by performing random acts of kindness at the office (who left that cookie tray in the break room?), or by finding creative ways to make the work more interesting. Whatever your goals now, you can consider how to develop new strategies, but you can also build upon elements of the strategies you’ve used before that worked well. No matter what you want to do, you can use the blessings and successes from this year to inspire and encourage yourself.

canstockphoto21501545Lastly, set reasonable, incremental goals. Think about your larger goals, and then break them down into smaller steps so you can experience a series of successes on the way to achieving the overall goal. For example, if you decide you want to develop a new exercise routine, but you haven’t exercised regularly in a long time, you can try to begin by walking 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week, rather than trying to run for an hour daily. Then you can gradually  increase the amount you exercise, if that’s your larger goal. Remember to keep track of your progress, so you will be able to recognize what you are accomplishing and give yourself the credit you deserve.

The same applies to any resolution you set: use small, achievable goals towards your ultimate goals. As you reach your smaller goals, acknowledge and celebrate each accomplishment. You’ve earned it!


As you consider how you would like to build on your blessings and successes in the new year, keep in mind that…


                    SINCE COACHING IS EASILY DONE OVER THE PHONE, YOU CAN  RECEIVE A                                                                  COMPLIMENTARY COACHING CONSULTATION                                                        NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE             



For more ideas about developing a “What Went Well” perspective as the new year approaches, you can also check out

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S.M.A.R.T. GOALS  by Audrey Berger, Ph.D. – Coach at Turning Point Life Coaching

S.M.A.R.T. GoalsGoals provide us with direction and motivation, and help us to structure our time and our choices. Studies have found that pursuing meaningful goals contributes significantly to happiness. This post will address some ways you can structure your goals to increase the likelihood of success. The acronym that is frequently used to describe this process is “S.M.A.R.T.” Here’s what it stands for: Continue reading