Surprising Link Between Planning and Procrastination

So you have goals for the new year. Planning is important to make them happen, but sometimes planning can turn into procrastination.

When that happens, your plans can actually prevent you from reaching your goal. Learn how to turn your dreams into reality.

Use these tips to help you move from thinking to doing.

  1. Set a time limit. Decide in advance how long you’ll spend on planning. For example, give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to map out your day instead of letting it consume much of your morning.
  2. Work backwards. When you arrange a wedding or a dinner party, you probably work backwards from the final date. Try it with other goals as well. Set a deadline for a large goal, and then give yourself earlier milestone dates and smaller goals to lead up to the big one.
  3. Look at the big picture. Planning gets problematic if you start obsessing about small details. Take a step back and focus on your major goals.
  4. Take a first step. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Pick out at least one thing you can do today. Look for something that’s feasible in terms of your current resources. Once you’ve taken a first step, the next steps will be easier.
  5. Get support. It’s easier to accomplish a goal when you have someone to help keep you on track. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and give you valuable feedback. If you’re working on financial goals, our office would love to be part of your support team.
  6. Review your progress. Set milestones and target dates when you’ll evaluate your performance and refine your plans. Checking in with yourself and making adjustments if you need to increases your chances of achieving your goals.
  7. Be flexible. True fulfillment has more to do with spending your time engaged in meaningful activities than sticking to a rigid plan. Keep your goal and core values in sight. If you need to make adjustments, that’s okay.

Make planning work to your advantage. While there are many good reasons to think before taking action, you need to do something if you’re going to reach your goals. Let your plans give you a sense of direction instead of holding you back.


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