“I know I should be doing it, I know it’s a good idea, but I just keep putting it off!” Ever heard that cry coming out of your own mouth, or from someone you know?

In a recent poll I conducted as to what was the one thing that got in the way of people taking care of their end-of-life affairs, ‘putting it off’ was the one that came top, by far.

And of course, it is something that can be applied to any action we know we ‘should’ be taking but just do not get around to.

Like Maureen, who bought a wonderful self-help book, got all inspired by how she was going to change her life finally – and six months later, it was still on the shelf and hadn’t even been looked at.

Or Silvia, who promised herself faithfully every spring that she would go on a diet and attend an exercise class – and she did. But then didn’t continue.

Or Sandie, in my field of work, who started the thinking involved with making her end-of-life plans, but got stopped by a visit from a grandchild, and then didn’t get started again. And that was two years ago.

It’s very, very common to put off what you know you NEED to do, but don’t really WANT to do, for whatever reason.

So, here are three tips that will really help.

Change Your Thinking

If you’re constantly thinking you don’t have time to take action, that’s quite possibly true at one level. However, that’s not going to help get the thing done, is it? Instead, change your thinking around it.

For instance, consider the idea that there is plenty of time. It is a finite amount, after all. Or the phrase, “time is my friend” or “I am in charge of my time.” All of these challenge the underlying notion of lack of time, which is what you are stating when you say you don’t have enough.

Start Small

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of a diet, an exercise class, or an end-of-life plan, then it needs to be broken down into much smaller, more manageable chunks. Only then will it become possible to consider where you might start.

For instance, although I don’t recommend diets, if you decided to do one, the first step might be finding the plan that feels right for you. Or admitting that you need support doing this kind of thing and investigating what is available in your area.

You have to take the first steps (often research) before you can go any further, as with any journey.

With an end-of-life plan, the first step is very often admitting your own mortality, as in, “Oh yeah. Death is going to come to me too.” Not always easy to do, but once you do admit it, then other questions that need to be answered will come rushing.

Reach Out for Help

In order to reach out, you need to be able to admit you need help. For instance, I go to a Pilates class twice per week. I go twice because I know that I am not going to do this kind of exercise on my own at home. I simply am not going to do it.

The freedom I gained in admitting that allowed me to look at what I then needed to do to avoid my back seizing up. The price I pay is having to go to two classes per week.

If you find it difficult to get your head round the fact that an end-of-life plan needs to be done, then help from others in a similar situation can be really useful.

Get together with a bunch of friends (just two or three is fine) and use a helpful book to go through what you need to do, step by step. This way, you can hold each other accountable too.

Or consider becoming a leader in your field of interest. There is no better way to ensure you take care of your own health/end of life plans/whatever area is your passion. After all, you have to walk your talk then, don’t you!

What’s getting in your way of getting things done? Comment below and let’s hear about it – sometimes just having it witnessed is enough to start the process of action!

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