Have you ever wanted to get healthier and not been able to get started or started but not been able to stay with it?

Meet Francine, a small business owner, author, wife, mother, effective communicator, and spiritual seeker. She had solid relationships with her clients, friends and family.

There was that one area of her life that kept her frustrated because she could not get started or if she started she could not stay with it.

The doctor told her if she lost 15 pounds she would feel better, have more energy, and help her heart be healthier.  Part of her knew he was right and part of her believed she would be on the road of endless sacrificing. She just wanted to be thinner without giving up the foods that she loved.

Francine had talked about dieting but never actually made the changes that would make her happier and, healthier. She always said she would start next Monday. When next Monday arrived, she would procrastinate by finding other activities to keep her too busy to pay attention to her health.

Everyone procrastinates on something. It’s important to recognize that Francine and you are not alone, procrastination is normal, and there are strategies you can embrace to get through it.

In fact, procrastination is so common that strategies have been tested and proven. Here are the top nine tips to overcome procrastination.

Tip #1-  Give it Five or Ten Minutes

With this strategy, the objective is to spend five or ten minutes doing the task that you’ve been avoiding. The logic is that you can endure five minutes of anything.

If Francine could get started for 5 or 10 minutes she would be able to increase her time and find success.

Set yourself up for success by making a list of difficult things you have done or situations you’ve gotten through in five or 10 minutes.

Start each sentence with, “If I can _______ for 5 minutes, I can (insert task action) for 5 minutes. Repeat these to yourself as often as needed.

If you’ve been avoiding cleaning off your desk, spend five minutes on the task. That’s it. When the five minutes is up, you are free and clear to stop working on the task.

Of course, most often, once you get into doing something, you can continue. You’ll probably finish cleaning off that desk.

Tip #2 –  Find Your Why

Why are you procrastinating? There is often an underlying reason. Sure, maybe you just don’t like doing the task. But maybe there is another, deeper, reason behind your procrastination.

For example, a writer may procrastinate on the last chapter of their book because they’re afraid of feedback, rejection from editors, or the revision process.

Dig deep and try to figure out why you are procrastinating. Then, you’ll be able to face the project head on.

Tip # 3 –  Work on Your Self-Discipline

The truth is that you can benefit from a little more self-discipline. You probably don’t push yourself as much as you might. You don’t stick to the task, and you give up too easily – not all the time, but probably more than you’d like. So, start working on your self-discipline.

For example, you might run for one minute longer or eat one more serving of vegetables. Wake up 15 minutes earlier to make one more phone call each day. Start learning to push yourself just a little bit harder.

It’ll overlap into all areas of your life and you’ll be able to accomplish that project you’ve been dreading and avoiding.

Tip #4 – Set Realistic Goals

One of the biggest reasons that people avoid some projects, goals, or tasks is because they simply expect too much from themselves. They’re unrealistic.

A common example is the weight loss goal. “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this month,” sounds great on paper. It’s specific and it is time bound.

But is it realistic? Not really. Sure, it’s possible to lose that much in a month but it would require tremendous discipline, a great plan, and no mistakes.

Something that might be more realistic is “I’m going to lose a pound a week by cutting 500 calories out of my diet and walking for 20 minutes a day.”

This makes the plan feel more achievable and you’re less likely to procrastinate.

When setting goals for yourself, make sure you feel 80-90% confident you can achieve the goals you set for yourself.

You can do this, see strategies 5 through 9 in Part 2 – Read Part 2 Here

Nancy Dadami is a Feng Shui Specialist, Creatively Fit Coach, and Artist. She teaches open-minded people to live in “the flow” and align with their Inner Magnificence so they can build confidence, magnetize what they want, and thrive as their authentic self in the world”.

9 Tips to Overcome Procrastination and Boost Your Confidence – Part 1