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beating procrastination - The best time to plant a tree

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

I write this as we head toward the final six weeks of 2021. Wow. Where did that year go? It’s been eventful on many levels. You may be one of the people who set out to achieve some things when you started the year. You may also be one of the many who for good and less good reasons have got knocked off course from what you wanted to achieve.

There’s a Chinese proverb I like. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today”. How about taking this approach for 2021 and looking to squeeze all that you can from what remains?

Taking stock of what you set out to do is the first step. No judgment of why or why not progress has fallen short of what you want is required here. If you didn’t write things down previously, write them down now. If you did write them down, start reviewing them. Do this objectively. Here are a few questions to help the review and establish a way forward.

  1. Is this thing still relevant? Life circumstance change. So, ensuring the thing you thought was important at the start of the year is still important, is a helpful place to start. Hanging on to out-of-date goals is like hanging on to clothes that no longer fit.

  2. What got in the way? Being objective about this question is essential. Was it really that you didn’t have time? Was it really that you didn’t have the resources? Was it really that external influences stopped you? This is holding the mirror up to ourselves. It’s only when we can really be honest with ourselves that we get to move on with powerful inner confidence.

  3. What adjustments could I make? Is it narrowing down the goal or objective to something more manageable? Is it pausing some goals to free up your capacity? Is it about working out what specific things you could adjust to increase your commitment level?

  4. What’s next? Assuming you have narrowed down a goal or two that still feel relevant, you really don’t need to wait until January to recommit to them and take action. I like the approach of: What can I do now? What can I do next? What might I do later? This helps focus the mind and build some momentum behind what you’d like to achieve.

Whatever has gone on you still have time to make some progress even if that might not have been what you intended earlier in the year. Make today the time you plant the seeds for the progress you want to see.

As always, I’m interested in how you get on or if you have any questions.


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