Benchmark Business Group

DECEMBER: NATIONAL PROCRASTINATION MONTH

December 6, 2010

The month of December is known for many things, most notably the Holidays, the official beginning of winter, and as a time for many celebrations and social gatherings. If you’re a business owner (and even if you’re not), you could probably categorize most of your December activities in the following two ways: (1) completing tasks and goals by year-end that have piled up from earlier months due to procrastination, and (2) creating that ever-increasing list of intentions to do or start things that can wait until after the first of the year but you always have and certainly do intend to do them and know you should do them but simply haven’t gotten around to them in spite of the fact that your life would be a whole lot easier, healthier, more efficient, more successful had you simply done it but procrastinated instead. (I’ll punctuate that sentence later, when I have more time.)

Even worse, those intentions often end up with a death sentence by ending up on your New Year’s Resolution list. (How’d your last one work out?) It’s a list full of projects, programs, things to do, places to go, and progress to make which apparently can only be done “when the time is right”. What does that even mean!?! When I hear people say it, I’ve asked what that means to them, and have never gotten a clear answer—I don’t think anyone really knows. Do you? Apparently it’s just a feeling. If so, how would you distinguish it from gastritis or cramps?

All kidding aside, someone once said, “Anything really worth doing is worth doing NOW.” The opposite applies as well—anything NOT worth doing isn’t worth doing at all, and it certainly isn’t worth putting on a list of things your going to do. So, the first question is: “Is the thing you are considering worth doing?” Then ask yourself: How important is it to me? To my business? To my health and well-being? To my family? To my life?

Let’s take a simple and all too common example: diet and exercise. Like many people, my eating habits are not the best, I get very little sustained exercise even though I’m pretty active, and I could certainly stand to lose 30 lbs for the sake of my blood pressure, glucose levels and overall feeling of health and well-being. I’ve educated myself enough on the pros and cons of my physical condition that I know beyond any doubt that making those things happen would most definitely be worth it! So, right after the first of the year I’m going to get started! What do you think? As I read what I just wrote, I’m not even buying it myself.

So what if it’s December, only a month to go in the year…the new year just around the corner.  Do something different, even counter-intuitive, for once. If there is something you intend to do that’s worth doing, get started today—NOW!

When it comes to your business, if there is strategic development work that needs to be done in order to begin to see different results in 2011, get started NOW. Don’t wait for 2011 before you even begin the process, let alone begin to really think about it. If you do, you’ll still be just thinking about it when half of next year is over, and it will become a new member of the first category of the December procrastination list—stuff that piled up from earlier in the year that never really got started.

And once you’ve gotten started, give yourself a major edge—allow yourself to be held accountable for continuing and completing what you’ve started. Whatever it is—personal fitness, getting organized, business development—get a coach! Studies have shown that people have a 20 times greater chance of achieving their stated objectives when engaged with a coach than left to their own devises and self-discipline. It’s the difference between a 4% chance and an 80% chance.

Wouldn’t you rather experience December as your own National Celebrate Success Month?

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