Have you ever planned on doing something you had plenty of time to accomplish, but somehow managed to not get it done until the very last minute? I know I have. While some people struggle less with procrastination than others I believe it is a constant challenge we are all faced with on a daily basis. I have heard it said, “Work expands to all time available.” In most areas of life we can juggle this and still seem to get by. While delaying action with homework assignments and getting to work on time can certainly create stressful situations they rarely carry life changing consequences. What if there are some areas of our lives where we are procrastinating and could potentially do so for years and years? Is it possible there are some areas that we must take action in now? If so, what could force us into taking action?
The answer is simple. We just have to press play. It might even be more accurate to press fast forward. All of our lives are full of busyness. Some of the busy things are good, but I have observed most often my life can fill up with the urgent and unimportant. There are many problems with this, but one of the biggest problems is it keeps us from ever acting on the important and not urgent issues. Our lives are currently set in motion down a path. For most of us there are one or more areas where we will not like where we end up, but we never spend enough to time to truly consider the consequences of our decisions and actions. I am convinced in order to breakout of bad habits and routines we must play the tape forward on our lives and ask ourselves some honest questions about where we are headed. Most of our day to day decisions have a lag time before we see any significant consequences. When we play the tape ahead it helps us focus on what is most important.
Go ahead and roll the tape forward in the most important areas of your life and ask yourself this simple question, “If I keep doing what I am currently doing will I like where I wind up XYZ years down the road?” Now XYZ years can be any time frame and this still works. I have found this is a challenge for most of us because we are so conditioned to think day to day, week to week, and month to month. I encourage you to project out five to ten years down the road. What do you see? Let me put some specific applications to this question and see if any of them have some relevance for you:
If you keep eating like you are currently eating will you like where your body weight is ten years from now?
If you continue to neglect exercise the next ten years will you like how you age and perform?
If you continue working so many hours and spending nights on the road away from your family will you like where you marriage winds up eight years from now?
If you do not have regular prayer and bible study will you like the example you set for your children and how they will view their faith ten years from now?
If you continue to work in your profession will you be able to pay for your kids to go to college so they are not burdened by student loans as young adults seven years from now?
These are just a few examples and I am sure you could think of many more. Did any of them hit home for you? Do not just brush them off. Let the weight of these questions sit on you and think through their consequences. If you have identified one or more areas where changes is needed to prevent you from arriving somewhere you do not want to go in life then it is imperative to take action NOW. Ask yourself,
I have had to do this several times. The first time caused me to start a home based business and retire from teaching because it would NEVER provide my family the financial freedom we desired. Another time it led me to begin using Metabolic Nutrition System and Spark and clean up my eating because I needed to take control of my health. This question led us to make hard decisions with our time like cutting cable and not going on long distance trips for a while. Some decisions were easier than others, but even the hard ones have always been worth it.
Questions: When you play the tape ahead what is the one area you know you are not currently headed down the right path in? What action will you take to improve it? Comment below.