How I kick procrastination’s butt

You probably don’t have to look far (for me, it’s just a quick trip to the mirror) to find somebody who could be characterized as a great “starter.” It’s that person who’s full of ideas and enthusiasm and willing to commit wholeheartedly to a project … at first. But somewhere along the way, the spark dies, other stuff gets in the way, and that devil on our shoulder – procrastination – wins another battle.



If you’re like me and you would consider yourself a great starter but a poor finisher, take heart! You’re a member of a popular club. The problem is that chronically lousy finishers have a difficult time achieving success and fulfillment in life. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves to learn how to become great finishers.

Here’s one secret I’ve learned that helps me finish what I start:

Change your motivation methods.

One key to avoiding the pitfalls that lead to quitting is to change the way we motivate ourselves. Trust me; it works! We start by minimizing what Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, an expert on the science of motivation, calls “to-date thinking,” and maximizing “to-go thinking.”

“To-date thinking” is the practice of focusing on how far we’ve already come or how much we’ve already accomplished. On the flip side, “to-go thinking” focuses on what is still left to be done. Studies show that too much “to-date thinking” can kill our motivation to finish rather than sustain it because we feel a premature sense of accomplishment. As a result, we start slacking off and shift our attention elsewhere. This seems to be a big problem for fellow DIYers and it is a major reason why none of the rooms in our homes ever seem to get finished!

It is no secret that great finishers force themselves to stay focused on a goal until it is accomplished. They don’t spend a lot of time patting themselves on the back for a job half-done. In his bestselling book, “The Millionaire Mind,” Thomas Stanley wrote that one of the secrets he uncovered from the self-made millionaires he interviewed was the fact that they were “finishers in a society of starters.”

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 3:13-14

Are you prepared to embrace “to-go thinking” and whip procrastination for good? Find out more about how to be a finisher in Chapter 4 of my e-book. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy yet, enter your email address in the box on my right sidebar. I will never share your email address with anyone and I’m not trying to sell you anything. If you’re already a subscriber, look for the little thumbnail link to the book at the bottom of my emailed post.

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6 Responses

  1. Great post! Full of timely reminders and insight — thanks for sharing!
    xo Heidi

  2. Angie W says:

    I can apply this lesson to my weight loss journey. I’m at a plateau and need a kick start to get going again. I love the concept of ‘to-date-thinking’ vs. ‘to-go-thinking’. It’s perfect.

  3. Penny says:

    THANKS I always love thoughts like this that challenge me to grow. Awesome!
    I have a big summer planned, in my head. This is great motivation to make it work and not come to the end of the summer with regrets and, “wish I would have….” Your blog is a blessing!!

  1. June 12, 2013

    […] How I kick procrastination’s butt […]

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