Procrastination — a term with which I’m all too familiar. Consider this column, for example. I’ve had weeks to write it. But here I am again, a day past deadline. I’m hardly alone in this syndrome of self-inflicted worry.
Although there are many areas of life one can “put off,” the one that stands out in my mind like a neon sign is procrastinating when it comes to improving health and fitness.
There’s a long tradition of New Year’s resolutions. The first day of every year becomes that day we’ve put off. This is the day we all get a fresh start. Everyone wants to reach their goals. Everyone. But why do we wait until a new year rolls around in the hope this will be the year we actually change our lives for the better?
Let’s start with the obvious — why people start fitness programs. Health issues dominate the top of the charts. So many times I hear people say their doctor told them it was necessary. For others, it might be an important event like a wedding. For still others, they just decided fitness was important.
Maybe you don’t fall into those categories. Then what? There are also many reasons why people put off starting a fitness program. One common reason is that it’s not a quick, one-day task. Starting a fitness program is starting a healthy lifestyle. It’s ongoing. It’s for life. That can be pretty intimidating for most people, especially someone who’s just beginning.
So what’s the first step? Start thinking about it. Ask yourself these questions: Why am I considering a fitness program? What is my life lacking without it? What are my goals? After you’ve answered these questions, next comes the hardest one. It’s the question most people would rather not answer. Why haven’t I done this?
We all know the benefits of exercise and that it’s important. Try telling yourself it can’t wait another day, another month or another year. Feeling better and taking care of your body should be the reason you stop procrastinating. If you’re really ready to do it for yourself, you will. Forget the excuses — that you don’t know how to exercise, you need to get fit before you go to a gym or are too busy. Just take the first step and start. I’ve learned to put my workout before many of my other daily tasks so I feel better and can accomplish more things.
I don’t know why I procrastinated writing this column instead of just doing it. I’ll start thinking about my next column … tomorrow.