The other day, I procrastinated for an hour before I finally got my butt to my mat for some yoga practice. And you know what else? I procrastinated on the November newsletter until it was too late! I kept putting it off (even though I had the time) to do other things that I thought were more important or that I wanted to do instead. Then all of a sudden, November was gone! I’m taking this experience and learning from it.
I shared that truth so that you all would know that even as a teacher, no one is perfect, and we all have our personal roadblocks that sometimes delay or prevent us from doing the things we want (or need) to do.
Procrastination is one of those things that we all deal with from time to time. For some of us, it can be a big roadblock that actually stands in the way of our highest potential. Why do we procrastinate, when most of the time, if we’d just do the thing we’re running from, we’d really benefit from?
Procrastination is typically a symptom of something else: Fear, anxiety, imposter syndrome, laziness, and sometimes just downright defiance keep us from doing those things we want to do. Maybe it’s a big project at work. It could be starting a new lifestyle change or working on our business or reading that book. We could be procrastinating on cleaning out the garage or making that doctor appointment.
For many of us, it’s getting to our mats. At our core, we know that procrastination only makes things worse! But did you know that procrastination is actually is considered self-harm? The New York Times reported:
“It’s self-harm,” said Dr. Piers Steel, a professor of motivational psychology at the University of Calgary. That self-awareness is a key part of why procrastinating makes us feel so rotten. When we procrastinate, we’re not only aware that we’re avoiding the task in question, but also that doing so is probably a bad idea. And yet, we do it anyway.”
So how do we stop procrastinating? The first step is self-awareness, which is something our yoga practice tunes us into. In order to stop doing something, you must first know that you’re doing it! And then you have to dial in and figure out why you’re doing it, which is another thing our practice can help with.
The next step is discipline. Discipline is the antidote to procrastination. When it comes to getting those taxes done, discipline looks like setting a day and a block of time specifically for getting to the taxes.
When it comes to our yoga practice, it’s dedicating specific days and times to our practice, and not letting anything get in the way of it. Motivation comes later. And sometimes, it doesn’t come at all. Some days, we just don’t feel like it.
Maybe instead of procrastinating, you push yourself on your mat a little harder. Or maybe you dial it back and only do a 30-minute practice.
But you know what? You showed up. And you did so intentionally. That’s what matters! We have this beautiful opportunity, every day, to come to our mats and learn from our practice. We just have to get there first.