what you focus on you create more of
, forI just finished cutting the grass. I really didn't feel like it. Rain is rolling in tomorrow, however, so I knew I should get it done sooner rather than later. So I made a deal with myself. I told myself I only had to do the front parts because they are the longest and they are more visible to the neighbors. 👀
After I finished the front portions, it seemed like a no-brainer to keep going. Habit had kicked in. So I continued, telling myself I could stop whenever I got tired.
We have a patch between our yard and the neighbor's yard, and I have always hated mowing it. It's all uphill, and there are trees and bushes in the way. I had an "aha" moment when I was mowing that today. I don't dread it so much anymore. I tried to figure out why.
It dawned on me that I mentally break it into sections, giving myself full permission to skip any section I want. The grass doesn't grow as thick there, so if I skip parts once in a while, it is barely noticeable. I break it into small chunks, and I take it once chunk at a time. I hadn't even realized I was doing that! In addition, I realized that the chunks aren't really as annoying as they used to feel. I pondered that for a minute and realized the difference.
We got new sod a few years ago. Before that, there were a lot of bare patches and a lot of dust would be kicked up when I mowed that section. Since I don't get a dust bath every time, I enjoy it more. Now that I have had that realization, I can change my thinking about that part of my mowing duties.
Is there something in your life that you don't feel like doing? You know you should, but the idea overwhelms you? Try making a deal with yourself. "I only have to walk to the end of the driveway." or "I will drink one extra glass of water today." or "I will eat one new vegetable this week." Maybe you will take that first step and allow yourself to be propelled forward by your momentum.
And while you are at it, challenge your old way of thinking. Maybe you are only thinking a certain way because it's a habit and you haven't really questioned it. Maybe you think you are the kind of person who hates vegetables, for example. When was the last time you tried a new one? It's worth figuring out if you still feel the same way or if there is one small step you can take in the right direction. You may be surprised what you learn about yourself, and what new habits you begin to create.
I think there are two kinds of people in this world. Those that put off doing boring or scary things, and those that do them right away to get them over with. I am actively working on being the latter.
I have been reflecting a lot about my procrastination, as well as researching some reasons why I do it. I have even worked on it in therapy. Here are some of my "AHA moments" thus far.
I think the best way to start to kick the procrastination habit (Yep-- it's a habit!) is to first decide WHY we do it. There are lots of reasons, but I think they can be put into a few categories.
These reasons are really specific to situation. You may be able to buckle down and get things done at work when you are so busy you don't even have time to sit down, but when it comes time to fold that laundry at night, you decide you can do it tomorrow. (or the day after, or the day after that..) Think about a particular area in which you are good at procrastinating, and then see which reason sounds familiar.
Once you figure out why you are procrastinating, here are some strategies to try:
If all of this sounds overwhelming, don't worry. You can think about it later. 😂🤣😁
I have to be honest with you. I am not a big fan of broccoli. I eat it because it is good for me, but I don't really like the taste. I usually steam it or roast it and use nice olive oil or grass-fed butter to make it taste better.
We are usually pretty good about using up our vegetables before they go bad, but the other day I noticed that we had two big heads of broccoli. I decided I was going to experiment with one of them. I washed it, chopped it, and threw it in the food processor and made broccoli rice. It turned out great! I ate it that morning with my breakfast -- it's very much like cauliflower in that somehow it tastes better when it is cut into such small pieces.
And there is magic in cutting broccoli up. It releases a cancer-fighting enzyme. Here is a quick video that explains it.
What you focus on grows.
You create what you focus on.
You become what you focus on.
What you focus on expands.
Where the attention goes the energy flows.
These are all ways to say the same thing. It may sound a little "woo-woo," but it is scientific and "true-true." 😂🤣
There is a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and it is a filter. Without it, they say we wouldn't be able to handle all of the stimuli around us at any given point in time. The RAS filters for what we find important. How does it know what we find important? Our brain knows what's important to us because of what we focus on.
Have you ever been in the market for a new car and all of a sudden the kind of car you are looking for appears over and over on the road?
Have you ever learned a new word and then read it or heard it the next day?
These are examples of your RAS at work. The cars and words were there all along, but your brain didn't filter for them until you focused on them. It's why you can hear your name mentioned in a crowd of chatting people, or why an eye doctor notices people who are wearing glasses or squinting. Here is a quick video if you want to learn more!
Take a minute to think about the beliefs you have and the inner dialogue that plays on a loop in your head. Those thoughts, whether they are are serving you or not, send signals to your brain. The brain then searches for proof that your thought or belief is true. How wild is that? If you believe you are never going to lose weight, for instance, your brain searches for proof of that, and your belief becomes stronger.
But there is good news! You can change your thoughts! Once you begin to focus on what you DO want to feel and think, then your brain searches for proof, which feeds the now positive belief. Whattt?!
It may sound weird, but give it a chance. Pick something positive to focus on and watch your world shift. 🌎
You're welcome. 💗
About the Author
Kim is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a mom of two grown kiddos, and a former elementary school teacher. Most days, she can be found training clients, prepping food, thinking about food, or writing about food. She is also obsessed with mindset and habits. She is a 9w1 on the enneagram.