Ep #8: Free Yourself from The Procrastination Trap

Weight Loss for Quilters with Dara Tomasson | Free Yourself from The Procrastination Trap

How many times have you promised yourself you’ll get to it tomorrow? And how many tomorrows have come and gone without that thing getting done?

The procrastination trap is one that all of us get stuck in at some point. Setting big goals feels great, but when the time comes to actually get to work, many of us tend to want to delay the discomfort. We find ourselves putting off our goals with the intention of getting to them later, all the while knowing we probably aren’t going to and that things aren’t going to change. It’s a cycle that can feel extremely frustrating and discouraging.

Join me on the podcast this week as I show you what procrastination means, why we do it, and how to change your relationship with yourself to finally stop procrastinating. I’m laying out the trade-offs required of you to get out of the procrastination trap, and I know it’s going to help you accomplish the things you want in life. 

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away $100 gift cards to Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gatherings shop to four lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the podcast! Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode, so stay tuned!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What happens when you procrastinate. 
  • The reason we procrastinate.
  • What is required of us to reach the goals we set for ourselves.
  • The difference between being a procrastinator and having the habit of procrastinating.
  • How to get out of the procrastination trap.

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Full Episode Transcript:

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How many times have you promised yourself that you will get to it tomorrow? How many tomorrows have come and gone where you still haven’t finished that project or completed that goal? Want to figure out how to stop putting things off to tomorrow knowing full well that things won’t change? Well, let’s dive into today’s episode on how to stop procrastinating and start doing what you want.

Before I dive into the episode I do want to share with you some amazing reviews that have come from listeners just like you. This is from Do Chick; Dara is here to help us not only lose weight but to lose the whole problem of being overweight. She is wholeheartedly giving us the tools to find the right mindset and stay there to become a naturally thin healthy person. She gives real life examples and personal scenarios to help the listener know how to deal with issues. I’m looking forward to hearing more. Thank you so much.

And I’m just going to share one more because these are just so much fun. This is from Three Eaglets. She said, and it’s a five star review, loved all the information and examples so far. I am someone who is definitely way overweight but has always in my head thought of myself as not being overweight until I see myself in the mirror or picture. I would love some tools to address that. Don’t worry, keep listening, I will definitely help you understand how you can address that. So, I love that you can ask questions also in your rating, so thank you for all of those.

You can expect to understand what procrastination is, what to do with it and then change your relationship with it by the end of this episode. Not sure you want to hear another five steps to avoiding procrastination lecture, I mean, tips, because all of the last 30 times you’ve heard didn’t have you change. I get it. I was you. In fact, sometimes I still fall into the procrastination trap. But the difference is I can get myself out of the trap quicker and quicker.

So, if you find yourself in the procrastination trap, that big hole in the ground I am throwing you a rope for you to hang onto so you can get out of it and start living your life that you really want. Ready? Let’s go.

I’m Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode eight. Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good? After 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.

So, procrastination is something I do teach in my program because for all of us procrastination truly is putting something off then means that we’re putting off a result that we could potentially have. So, if we have a goal to losing weight we are putting that goal off. If we have a goal of completing that quilt or finishing all our blocks of the month before we start a new one, we literally are just putting off results that we could have in our life.

And I really like the way that James Clear talks about procrastination. He talks about it as a time inconsistency. So, the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards versus delayed results. So, for example it’s way more fun to have the newest, coolest fat quarter bundle than investing that money into RSPs or any sort of retirement fund. Because the presence of once that immediate reward whereas if we invested that money then in 20 years, 30 years you will have a higher return.

So, this goes back to our primal wiring where our toddler brain or our survival brain wants that immediate reward. And so, when we set goals we are setting them for our future self. But the current self has to do the work. So, you can raise your hand if you want but I’m pretty sure I can tell you that you have wanted to lose weight in the past.

So, the problem is your current self says, “You know what? I don’t really like how my body is right now. It’s kind of overloaded. I don’t really have as much energy because I’m carrying so much extra weight around. And so, I want to go on this diet. I want to lose the weight.” So, you get really excited about it and you go and you invest in whatever it is, if you get the containers, or buy the shakes, or download the app. And you get super excited that you’re going to have these results.

However, the current self, your present self is the one who has to do the work. So, there is an inconsistency with future self wanting something, current self is the one who has to do it. So, I like to picture a spectrum. So, think about a line, a starting line and a finishing line. So, the current self is on the one end, the future self is on the other. And the future self is really excited about losing the weight but there are different steps you have to take to reach that goal. And so, what starts to happen is there becomes tension between the current self and the future self.

So, I’m curious about you. What goes on in your head? So, we have the idea in our head, we should be able to do this, this should be amazing. So, when we fail we have no room for compassion or there’s no room for air. The negative self-talk comes in, the berating of why haven’t you figured this out yet, how many times do we have to go down this road. And then we start going into the story of I’m not good enough because all of us have some version of that, that’s called shame.

And so, if we’re not quite meeting the goal that we had set for ourselves then that feeds that story of yeah, I guess you’re not good enough. Or it could feed the other story of blame where as well, what’s wrong with you, you didn’t pick the right diet, you didn’t make it work. And so, what starts happening is there’s so much tension between the current self and the future self and you get so overwhelmed, and stressed, and worried that of course you don’t take the appropriate action and then you don’t get the result.

So, I like the way that Mel Robinson describes procrastination. And she talks about the difference between being a procrastinator versus having the habit of procrastinating. And the procrastinating literally is just delaying an action that you’re taking. And so, if you label yourself as a procrastinator then you’ve put yourself in the hole rather than if you say sometimes I have the habit of procrastinating. Sometimes I procrastinate. Sometimes I quilt. Sometimes I sleep. And so now it’s really loosened up in your mind that it’s not all or nothing thinking.

The other part about that is that we all have stress in life. And if we try to avoid the stress then we are putting off growth, whereas if we can just accept that stress is normal then we embrace that we can have growth and change.

Pablo Picasso said, “I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.” And just like James Clear said, he said, “The problem is not doing the work, it’s starting the work. Motivation often comes after starting, not before.” So, if you put those two together of what Pablo Picasso said is, “I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.” And going back to that self-dialog of why haven’t you figured this out yet.

We’re starting to see the picture of procrastination literally is just we’re having a negative feeling, we’re having some discomfort. And we’re pushing away from it or we’re allowing it. So, one of the ways that I love to describe procrastination is to think about what are the things you want to have in your life? So, if you want to just take a moment and put me on pause for a moment. Write down all the things you want to accomplish in your life.

Sometimes I even imagine myself, my ideal self when I was eight to twelve thinking when I grow up, I have a 17 year old daughter and for probably the last seven years she has been making a list of all the names that she wants to name her children. And she thinks about what her husband’s going to be like. Do you remember those days? And so, I want you to just go back and think about what are all the things you want in your life. Now, I want a clean house. I want finished quilts and I want to be comfortable and at ease in my body. So, I want a clean house, finished quilts and thin and comfortable body.

So, I can have discomfort now of actually doing the work of cleaning my house or doing the work of troubleshooting that difficult trouble spot of the quilt, or not eating the cupcake in that moment. Or I can have the discomfort later of having a messy house, of having a whole bunch of unfinished quilt projects and having a body that I’m not really that comfortable in.

So, I’m not sure if you have Googled procrastination on YouTube or Ted Talks. But Tim Urban, so I’m not sure if you’re one of the three million viewers that have watched this TED Talk. But he talks about the instant gratification monkey. And so, you think about the organ player and he has the little monkey that has the symbols in his hands. And he just walks around going, “I want this. I want this. I want this.” So how often do you show up in your life as the instant gratification money who says, “I just want this right now and I don’t want to have anything hard or difficult in my life?”

So, I want you to think of how this plays out when what happens the longer you wait to do something, what’s actually the consequence? So, what happens when you continuously say, “I’m not going to clean the house”, or continuously say, “I’m not going to finish the quilt”, or continuously say, “I’m not going to take care of my body.” What is the consequence of that? The longer you put it off, what happens? It just compounds, doesn’t it? It just gets worse and worse.

So, do you want to hear the solution? Do you want to hear how you can change this relationship you have with yourself where you have the discomfort now, you have the ability to say, “You know what? I don’t really want to clean my house right now. I’d rather just lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook. But I’m going to allow myself to have a little bit discomfort now because at six o’clock tonight when I am going to have dinner, I want to walk into a clean kitchen. And before I go to bed I want feel proud of myself of what I’ve done during the day.”

So, this is the solution. I want you to imagine your day just like a battery in your cellphone. So, imagine if you could only charge your phone once a day. That’s it. You can’t charge it anymore. It’s just like the amount of hours we have in the day. So, we only have a limited amount of hours every day. And just like the battery in our cellphone we can only charge it once a day. So, I call this our brain juice. We only have so much brain juice every day. And so how do you want to spend that time?

Now, we know we have 60,000 thoughts a day approximately. So, there are going to be things that happen during the day, I always talk about dirty toilets but cleaning, I don’t really enjoy scrubbing toilets. So, we could spend time going through every single thought and working through that. Or we can just decide to just allow that feeling just to have some negative emotion in us.

And Brooke Castillo who is the President of The Life Coach School, she said, “Let’s just get good at feeling negative emotions. Let’s get good at feeling terrible because the better we get at in the short term the more amazingness we create for ourselves in the long term.” So, I want you to think about the most recent episode in your life where you procrastinated.

And just like I said at the beginning of this podcast, where do you find that you get yourself in pitfalls? Is it in the quilting studio? Is it starting new projects? Is it your house? Is it putting off difficult relationships, conversations you have with people? Do you find that you are struggling? Where are you struggling? So going back to the feelings podcast, we talked about feelings are literally just vibrations in our body.

And so, I’m going to tell you a story. So, when I was first learning how to apply the tools, the life coaching tools. My husband and I needed to get new winter tires. And there was a miscommunication of which tire store we were going to go to. My husband didn’t bring his cellphone with him. And so that made it complicated to communicate with each other. And it was one of those busy mornings. We had kids to drop off, we had a bunch of different errands that we had to do. We were going to go on a trip so we had to put our winter tires on.

There’s rules about driving on certain roads with winter tires, lots of piled up stress. And so, I went to one tire store, he went to another. He had to track me down, all the details. You can just imagine all of this. And so finally we were able to connect. We got taken care of. And there was just a few words that were maybe just a little bit short.

And it is 10 in the morning and I found myself driving to Wendy’s to get a frosty. And I remember driving. And it was very automatic. I didn’t even think about what were you thinking, it’s 10 o’clock in the morning, this is not time to go for frosties. It literally was just this reaction. And I was about halfway there and I pulled off to the side of the road, and I realized, what am I doing? Why am I driving to Wendy’s? Why am I going to buy a frosty? And I remember that feeling of just allowing myself to process that emotion. And I held on tight to the steering wheel.

And I literally said these words, “Welcome to being a human, having a human experience.” And so, when I talk about procrastination in these terms, I was willing to allow myself the discomfort in my body of all the thoughts that I had of this is stressful, this is complicated. Why do we have to have these problems in life? Being an adult is really annoying. Why couldn’t I have communicated better? Why couldn’t he have communicated better? All of those thoughts caused me a lot of stress, which was a lot of discomfort.

But I realized after I had processed that emotion, allowing those vibrations in my body was I would much rather allow myself to feel that discomfort now than if I went to the Wendy’s and after I ate the frosty, then that emotion inside me would be even worse. Because not only, though I’m still carrying around these negative feelings towards myself and my husband but then I had the extra mistrust of myself of eating something I hadn’t planned on eating. And so that would just keep compounding. And then I would break trust with myself and I’d feel really terrible.

So, I wanted to just offer this challenge for you all. So, when we talk about procrastination it literally is you can have discomfort now in doing the thing that’s going to go in the direction that you want to go in. Or you’re going to just delay that discomfort for later.

So just take a moment. I do want to encourage you after you listen to this podcast. So, if you’re doing dishes right now, or if you’re chain piecing, or if you’re doing some free motion quilting, or if you’re driving, whatever it is. I would encourage you to just after you listen to my podcast, just give yourself five minutes, just five minutes with your brain and allow what I’m sharing to soak in. So, imagine you’re a sponge and I have a bucket, and I just throw a bucket at you. You’re not going to really get much of that water. It’s not really going to soak in.

But if I just put that sponge in a bucket of water and I let it sit for five minutes, what’s going to happen? So that is my challenge for you after you listen to my podcast, just allow yourself to sit with what I’m sharing. So again, this is my challenge to you, procrastination literally is just you having a negative emotion or even a positive emotion and you’re not allowing it to be inside of you. And so, you’re pushing it off to later.

So, what I want you to do is I want you to decide, do you want to have the clean house, the finished quilt and the thin comfortable body now and have the discomfort now of accomplishing those goals? Or do you want to delay it? And so, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this. And just remember, we only have so many hours a day. We only have so much brain juice a day. And so how you decide to use that time will help you have the kind of life that you want.

This is such a great tool and so I visualize in my mind, do I want to have the discomfort now of cleaning the toilet, working through the problem or eating the healthy food or am I going to have it later? Because eventually it’s going to come.

Alright, so fun to share this tool with you about procrastination. I hope that as you think about procrastination in a different way, it’s going to help you so much as you truly start to accomplish the things in your life that you want. Thanks so much for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more information please visit me at daratomasson.com.  See you next week.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away $100 gift cards to Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gathering shop to four lucky listeners who follow, rate and review the podcast. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the podcast.

My goal for this show is to provide you with tons of value. So please let me know in your review if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover. Visit daratomasson.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.

Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.


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