Monday, November 29, 2010

11 Ways to Cure Someday Syndrome

  • Someday Syndrome: not doing what you want to because you don’t know what it is, because you’re procrastinating about it, or because you have too much stuff getting in your way.

Everyone suffers from Someday Syndrome at some point in their lives, often catching it repeatedly. For me, most recently, I’d been saying that I really should give running a try without doing anything about it.
You probably have something similar going on in your life – a project, a task, a goal – that you just haven’t got around to doing yet. Right?
I could quote Nike and say: Just Do It, but if it were that simple Someday Syndrome wouldn’t exist. I hate suffering from Someday Syndrome. I want so much and I want it all now but slowly I am trying to train my mind that things take time and that someday can start right now. Everything I do to achieve that goal everyday is me constantly living my dreams and goals. My someday is my everyday.
1. Be you. This is The Happiness Project’s number one Happiness Commandment. If you can't be you who are you living for. Who are you doing all the hard life searching for if it is not for you. 
2. Clear out the junk. If you don’t know what would suit you better, it could be because your mind and emotions are all cluttered up. I mean, seriously, if your mind’s in chaos, how could you possibly make a clear decision on getting rid of your somedays? The clutter I’m talking about includes the negative thoughts.
3. Know what you want. And why you want it. If you are going cure Someday Syndrome, you’ll need to know details about that desire and the reasons behind it.
And if you don’t know what that is, the blogosphere is full of blogs ready to help you figure out your dreams.
4. Make a grand plan. I say “grand” because this is the big picture plan. Don’t get carried away. Planning can feel like action, but really it’s no different than talking. Until you actually do something, you’re still procrastinating.
5. Take one step at a time. The only details you need to choose at this point is first steps. I get overwhelmed by details. When I look past the big picture I don’t just see a few details – I see all of them, therefore I focus on just the next two or three things that I’m going to do.
6. Ignore the rest. That’s right. Ignore everything else in the goal except what you’re working on. We often use comparisons of where we are now to where we want to be as a form of procrastination. While checking in is always a good thing, we can do it when each small task is completed, and not in the middle of a task.
7. Get help. Daniel Gilbert in his book Stumbling on Happiness, says that the best route to figuring out if our goals will actually make us happy is to talk to others who have done it.
8. Don’t compare. Be careful when you get help, because the dream-shattering tendency to compare lurks nearby. Leo talks about the bad side to comparisons in his post: Life’s Enough. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.
Enough said. (Yes, I’m taking my own advice about Getting Help and moving on.)
9. Be uncomfortable. Judith Sills in her book The Comfort Trap, or What If You’re Riding a Dead Horse? talks about how we might be terribly unhappy, but we’re comfortable so we don’t do anything about the unhappiness. Happiness is a risk, but the current situation even if it’s painful is safe.
Which would you prefer? Comfortably in pain and unhappy or uncomfortably blissful? I live my life the second way and would recommend that you always choose the uncomfortable option.
10. Celebrate the process as well as the end. I don’t mean celebrations like Dash’s Grade 3 “graduation ceremony” from The Incredibles. I mean acknowledge your progress. I Tweet my runs and mention them on my Facebook status. I also talk with other runners and we talk progress and tips.
And in turn this sharing inspires others and helps them move past their own Somedays and toward achieving their goals.
11. Don’t stop at the easy point. Wait a second. Most lists are only ten points. Why does this one have eleven?
Because it’s important to push yourself just a little bit further than you think you can go. 
So, while you’re celebrating and taking it one step at a time, come up with one unexpected action you can take that’ll add energy, excitement and a bit of fear to your goal.
Believe me, that bit of fear will probably be the best motivator you’ve ever found.

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