It was Sunday morning and I had just finished a run, my meditative Wim Hof style breathing method, and writing down my affirmations and daily journal entry. Since it was the weekend, I was about to try and justify sitting around and reading a few addictive fiction novels when I thought about the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP) Modules that I needed to study and read through. I tried to convince myself the problem was that I didn’t feel like starting that yet.
DING DING DING! An alarm went off in my head.
It was my honest side, struggling to get in a word. The honest side reminded me that the Resistance just spoke and the truth of the matter was that I would never feel like starting the FAP modules. The problem was defeating this resistance and starting anyway.
With big projects that don’t have intermediate deadlines, how is one able to not procrastinate and get started? There is no easy answer. To be honest, I don’t even know how to explain to my readers in a useful way how I was able to turn my computer on and get started. You have to do it at least once and feel the reward. Then, you have to not do it, and feel the consequence; you have to feel the self loathing. Then you have to succeed at doing it again. And again. And again. Eventually, you realize that it is never easy to reap long term rewards, but conquering those small battles each and every time reap very LARGE benefits.
And the battles are small. Admit it. How big a deal is it to get a project started? Or, how big a deal is it to continue the project that you already started? I mean, all you have to do is start it (or continue it). Let’s not play it off that it will be easy, because it isn’t. But it isn’t that big a deal. It is such a small and easily won battle.
You just need to win a handful of these and you can begin to develop some good habits. The struggle will always be there, but the habit will make these battles easier and easier to win.