You’re likely feeling the usual urge to make positive changes in your life, as the new year approaches. We are at the beginning of a new year, as of the writing of this article. Bellies full and rife with lethargy, we’re all likely sat around (in the West at any rate) contemplating our moves for the next 12 months. This is due to our year-end review. As we eat our stale food and slip into another food coma ?
No, did we reach the goals that we set for ourselves last year? We didn’t. And I don’t think so. According to a 2016 study, of the 41% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, by the end of the year, only 9% feel they are successful in keeping them.
Is it procrastination, perfectionism or both?
Are perfectionism and procrastination holding you back from achieving your goals?
The failing rate of New Year’s resolutions is 91%! How we set our goals is a big part of this. These studies frequently cite the setting unrealistic goals . as the main reason for failure. This is a sign that we are not aligned with or connecting to our goals. That’s where perfectionionism and procrastination can come in.
Perfectionism is just fear manifesting itself as a mental block. Fear of failure, social ostracisation and/or social rejection is not the goal. Fear of Change . Our subconscious wants to keep things the same. It knows that your decisions have led to your survival. It is only trying to shake things up and it may end up with an unknown outcome.
This is the root cause for your perfectionionism and procrastination. It’s easy to claim that you are a perfectionist. But what does this really mean? Are you referring to the fact that you will not stop working until you are satisfied with the outcome? Do you mean you won’t start a project until you know the outcome will be perfect?
If you fall into the latter camp, you might consider that this perfectionism-procrastination loop is just an excuse–a manifestation of your deeply rooted subconscious fear of change.
You could also substitute “unrealistic” with “vague” to get a better idea of the problem. Many people say they want more money, to lose weight, to eat healthier food, and so forth. But they don’t know what it actually means. You can’t plan a course to get there if you don’t have a clear vision.
Think about the time you did something so routine that it was almost unnoticeable in your head. This could be shopping for groceries or doing laundry. It is something you do regularly and with a purpose. You won’t be able to buy food if you don’t visit the grocery store. You can’t eat if you don’t have enough food. If you don’t eat, you die. This is a very clear purpose.
As you walk out of the supermarket, the thought of a chain reaction of potentially catastrophic events doesn’t weigh on your mind. It’s all about making sure you have everything on your shopping list. You know that you will get what you need. Mentally and energetically, you are already connected to “Bringing home the bacon” (or a substitute for meat-free bacon, if vegan).
You’ve already reached your mental goal. It’s now just a matter of doing the physical work. It’s not necessary to be too focused on what you are doing while you shop.
How to Break the Perfectionism-Procrastination Loop
1. Recognize the Loop
The first thing you can do to break this perfectionism-procrastination loop is to recognize it. Be open to the truth and examine what’s behind your perfectionism. Be open and honest with yourself. If possible, try not to add judgment.
Judgment or harsh self-criticism can cause as much damage as your subconscious fear and anxiety about change. So, try to avoid introducing it. As impartial observers, you should consider yourself. You are only there to observe what is going on in the first instance.
2. Set Intentions Properly
With this knowledge, your approach to your goals will change naturally. However, it is important to know how to properly set intentions. If you are one of the aforementioned New Years’ resolution setters who winds up making claims of perfectionism while not taking any action, you ought really to ask yourself:
“If I’m such a perfectionist, why do I keep setting such vague goals?”
Would a perfectionist set out to make “more money” this year and leave it at that?! Is it possible for someone so obsessed with perfection to set a goal to “lose more weight” or simply be more focused on their body and weight?
You might feel that you should not start because of the risk of missing your target. What are you actually aiming for? Let’s go back a moment and see what procrastination means. Procrastin