One Simple Tweak to Stop Procrastinating and Living Happier

When’s the last time you saw something on, for instance, the SOHP blog, about a way for you to be happier? And when you first read it, your initial impression was: “Wow! This fits me exactly. It will really change my life!”

But you never followed through.

Never even took that first step.

You’re not alone. In fact, congratulations, you are human. Everyone does this.

Jesse Arroyo/ArroyoPhotos.comAs a short background, I’ve done pretty well on the scoreboard of life. I’ve played pro-basketball, founded three international software companies, and lived in six countries—though I wasn’t happy. Far from it. So I went through a personal transformation, which included earning a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

My studies taught me about why we procrastinate. Even though I’ve achieved a lot in my life, I still go through resistance and fear when starting something new.

While I mostly speak and train to companies and groups, I also coach. Helping people go for it is what I like helping people do best. So I wrote a book on it. And I’m here to share a new way for you to jump in and get things started in your life easily and gracefully.

It’s simple: you experiment.

Instead of trying to make massive, life-changing decisions all the time, let’s go easy on ourselves.

Let me give you an example …

A client, Donna, called me up crying and said, “I just found out I’m allergic to wheat. They call it Celiac disease. I eat bread and pasta for every meal! How am I going to not do that for the rest of my life?”

So I replied, “Donna, you don’t have to eliminate wheat for the rest of your life.”

She was confused. “What do you mean? The doctor just told me…”

“Yes, Donna, I hear you. Though don’t focus on that right now. Are you open to trying an experiment?”

“Yes,” she said as she started to calm down.

“Is it possible for you stay away from wheat for the next two days? That’s all you have to do. Then let’s have a conversation to see how those two days went.”

“Shoot! Two days? Yes, I can do that!”

Of course, she called me two days later after successfully changing her diet. She found out what worked and what didn’t work during those two days, and then we did a five-day experiment of eliminating wheat from her diet. Then she was on her way.

By calling things an experiment, what were once these massive changes are now tiny tests.

The great things about experiments are:

  • You only fail an experiment by not conducting one. The purpose of experimenting is to see what works and what doesn’t. We become more present with the task at hand. We don’t get all tied up in succeeding or failing and we enjoy the journey.
  • Experiments are short and easy. The brain has trouble committing to long-term goals. This breaks it down to something very doable.
  • We learn best by doing. Not pondering, studying, mulling. By the time you analyze something for the hundredth time, you most likely could have tried it out. Just do it already!

What in your life are you procrastinating about doing? What haven’t you moved forward on? 

Have an idea for a book?  Sit down right now and write the table of contents. If it’s no good, throw it away.

Planning on getting in shape? Then today work out for ten minutes. That’s your experiment. See how it goes.

Want to be happier? Say one nice thing one time to one person. Then do two. Go from there.


You betcha.

What’s your experiment?

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