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3 Effective Principles to Help You Stop Procrastinating and Start Taking Action



When it comes to achieving your goals and living your dreams, most people have a hard time because they procrastinate and are not taking any action to achieve what they want in life. They tell you that they want to be successful, but they are not doing anything about it. Does this sound familiar to you?

You are what you do, not what you say you will do. Don’t just say that you want to build an online business with your free time, and when you get back home from work, all you do is watch TV. You have to stop procrastinating on your goals and start taking action instead. Taking action is the only key to getting the results you desire.

Here are three powerful methods that can help you in this:

1. Apply the Goldilocks Strategy

Imagine you are a regular tennis player. And if you have to play a match against a complete rookie, how will you feel? Well, most people will say that it will be boring because the opponent is too easy. And this is true. Now, how about if your opponent is Roger Federer? Do you think the match is going to be exciting and fun?

Not likely, because the opponent is too strong and you can’t even return the ball. If the match is too easy, you will feel bored. On the other hand, if the match is too difficult, you will feel overwhelmed. Hence, you have to find the sweet spot between the two. You have to find an opponent that has almost the same skill level as you.

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama

It is the same when it comes to working on your goals and doing your tasks. When the task is too difficult, you feel overwhelmed, and you do not want to do it. Conversely, when the task is too easy, you don’t feel motivated to do it. And this is where the Goldilocks strategy comes in. Make the task or the work just right for you. Not too difficult and not too easy, just right.

2. Revisit Your Purpose

Why are some people able to work harder and stay later while some don’t have the motivation to work at all? It all comes down to their purpose. A heavy smoker finds it hard to get rid of his bad smoking habit. He tries many times, but he fails. So he continues to smoke, and his health deteriorates.

One day, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctor tells him that if he did not stop smoking, he would never live past three months. Suddenly, he had all the reasons to stop smoking, and it becomes a must.

When you have a strong and emotional reason to do something, you will do it. When you don’t have a reason, you don’t even care about it. Why do you wake up in the morning? If you have nothing to do and have no plan for the weekend, you will choose to sleep more. However, when you have a reason to wake up, you will get up.

Can you see how your reasons can drive you? Thus, revisit your purpose. Why do you want to achieve your goals? Why do you want to live your dreams? Why do you want to work more and take action? Why can’t you rest and procrastinate?

Your reasons will become the fuel that motivates you to move forward and to take action. The stronger and more emotional your reasons, the more desperate you will be. When you have a strong purpose and are committed, you will do whatever it takes. When you are just interested and have no clear reasons, you will do what is convenient.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

3. Build A Ritual

Extraordinary people are able to take action and work on their dreams regardless of their feelings because they have built a ritual. In other words, they have made it into a habit. The process has become the ritual, and they will work on it whether they feel like it or not. This is what you need to do too.

Create a ritual that you will follow through to take action each day. For example, you can make your morning ritual as follows:

  • After washing up, go to the kitchen and drink a cup full of water.
  • After that, do some stretching and exercises.
  • And then practice daily goal setting.
  • After that, work on your most important task.

It is a chain reaction that one follows another. After you wash up, you drink the water. After drinking, you do some exercise. There is a cue for every action. The cue to start working on your most important task is after you write down your goals. The cue to exercise is after you drink the water.

When everything is in position, you will make it into a ritual and eventually, it will become a habit that will keep you moving whether you like it or not. What you can do right now is to write down your ritual. How do you want your morning to be? What about the afternoon and evening? Create your ritual right now and follow through.

Remember, what you do once in awhile is not as important as what you do every day. It is your habit that will shape your life and your destiny.

How do you beat procrastination? Please leave your thoughts below!

Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, You can download his guidebook, Active Goal Setting and make your dreams a reality. You can also follow him on Facebook.



  1. Acha Harrison

    Dec 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome post Shawn! Thanks for sharing….found this really helpful.

  2. Ewen Munro

    Dec 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Great post, Shawn! It’s interesting that you mentioned how our rituals also shape our motivation. Good points! 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

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