You know the old saying, “Never put off until tomorrow, what you can do today?” It's the basis for the secret saboteurs that we all have to face at some point. I’ve been putting off writing this article for days. I had a good idea for the article and coming up with the idea is half the battle, so no big deal! I’ll just sit down and write it. But each day for the last 10 days, I found myself doing something else (anything else) and day after day, before I knew it, the day was done but the article wasn’t. No problem, I’ll do it tomorrow.
Tomorrows can become our secret saboteurs. If there is any task on your list that doesn’t have a deadline and doesn’t sound like fun, chances are you’ll find a good reason to put it off until tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what it is:
- Preparing your tax return? Come January 1st, there are exactly 104 tomorrows before April 15th comes around.
- Losing weight? I have a friend who vowed to start a diet on Jan. 1st and each time I ask her how it’s going, she says she’s going to start on Monday (note: there are endless Mondays).
- Need to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your partner or spouse? Not today, you’re tired and he or she is crabby, it can always wait until tomorrow.
But tomorrow never comes, right? Within 24 hours, tomorrow becomes today. And VOILA!! there’s another tomorrow we can put things off to. The secret saboteur strikes again.
There certainly is a segment of the population that possesses an enormous amount of self-discipline and if they say they’re going to do something, gosh darn it, they do it! But a majority of people tend to put things off until they simply can’t put them off any longer.
A perfect example of this is the day or two before you leave on vacation. Suddenly, you become the most efficient and effective person on earth; clearing out the in basket, returning calls, finishing reports, paying bills. You are focused and driven. Why??? Because, come your departure date, there is no tomorrow.
So how do you draw the line in the sand and do what you say you’re going to do when you said you would do it? How do you keep the secret saboteur from derailing your success? Enlist an accountability partner. It might be a co-worker, a friend, or your spouse or partner, but share your goals with someone and ask them to check back with you to make sure you followed through.
Knowing you’ve made a commitment to someone else is so much more powerful than making a commitment to ourselves. So often, we let ourselves off the hook and no one is the wiser. But when you make a commitment to someone else, your integrity is at stake.
This is one reason why working with a coach can be so effective. Once or twice a month you know you’re going to report to your coach who will hold you accountable (in a very supportive way) for what you said you were going to do. Once or twice a month, there is no tomorrow.
I’ve told my clients, “I don’t care if you wait until a day to two before we meet to start getting things done. At least you’re making consistent progress toward your goals.”
If you don’t share your intentions with someone else, it’s too easy to keep putting things off. Identify some or even a group of someones) who can be accountability partners for you. It can be a friend, a family member, someone else who is also trying to work their plan for the year, or best of all, your own coach.
Stop letting tomorrow after tomorrow slip by without tackling your priorities, or making progress toward your goals, or having that heart-to-heart conversation that’s long overdue. It's time to put that secret saboteur out of commission once and for all so that you can create the results that will make the next 12 months your best year yet.
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About the Author
Kris Gleason has been a Certified Best Year Yet® Coach since 2004 working with individuals, businesses, and organizations to improve personal and team productivity and build a sustainable culture of performance. Combining the latest coaching, communication, and strategic planning tools, she consistently helps clients transform attitudes and behaviors, while empowering individuals and teams to take the actions necessary to produce desired results.
Kris has more than 30 years’ experience in the corporate world specializing in strategic planning, marketing, and sales. In 2002, while coaching financial advisors as part of her job with a securities broker/dealer, she discovered that coaching was her calling.
"I used to think I would be a great coach because I had so much hard-earned wisdom to share,” said Kris. “Since becoming a coach, I’ve learned that my job is to listen intently and ask the tough questions that encourage the client’s own wisdom to rise to the surface. I am never surprised, but always delighted, when a client has an ‘ah-ha moment’!”
You may contact Kris Gleason at:
Results Coaching, LLC: 402-827-5298
E-mail: [email protected]