"I'm Not Ready to Quit!" -
"What Are You Waiting For?
by Fred H. Kelley
Procrastination. I know it well. From taxes to yard work to
filing papers--you name it, I'm the expert procrastinator. I can
put off doing anything, with style and ease. I file tax return
extensions at 11:59 PM on April 15 without breaking a sweat.
Am I proud of this? Well, admittedly, sometimes yes. I pat
myself on the back and say "I have the amazing ability to get
things done at the last minute."
Do I usually end up regretting my procrastination? Almost
always. So I've had to learn ways to get things done now, on
time. I'm still learning and always will be. Procrastination is
a persistent thief!
Procrastination is an expensive way to spend your life. Waiting
until the last minute can even cost you your life. And when you
"spend" your life mired in procrastination, you don't truly
live. You are perpetually putting off living.
Focusing on quitting smoking, how many times have you said "I'm
not ready to quit," or "I'll quit tomorrow," or "I'll quit when
I'm not under so much stress"? What are you waiting for?
THE COSTS OF PROCRASTINATION
If you fail to file your taxes on time, you'll pay penalties and
interest. If you fail to quit smoking, you'll eventually pay
with your life.
Putting off almost anything will cost you more tomorrow than it
will today. I firmly believe that one of the main costs of
procrastination is the mental anguish you experience when you
know you have something you really should be doing. But most
procrastination also comes with a direct cost, whether it be
financial or health-related or otherwise.
You should take careful note of the cost of waiting "until
later" to quit smoking. Calculate how much cigarettes cost you
every day, month and year. Calculate how much of your life goes
up in smoke with each cigarette. Estimates range from three to
15 minutes of your life are lost for every single cigarette you
smoke. That's one to five hours per pack! Is the temporary
satisfaction (fix) worth that much to you? Plus smoking causes
countless fires, wastes billions of dollars in "smoking break"
time and costs billions of dollars for medical care. You pay for
CAUSES OF PROCRASTINATION
So, what causes procrastination? You do, simply put. But why?
Why do you procrastinate? Why do you put off doing something
that is beneficial to you?
Life and motivation and psychology are complex and sometimes not
What causes me to put off doing my taxes? I hate dealing with
forms and complicated tax laws and hundreds of difficult
decisions and paperwork and financial information. In my mind
these are all good reasons to "do it later." (But I bet you
never saw a Nike ad that said, "Just do it later.")
There are numerous causes and explanations for procrastination,
including, but not limited to:
1. Fear of failure
2. Fear of success
3. Fear of the unknown
4. Lack of interest or motivation
5. Lack of information
6. Too much information
8. Not knowing where to start
9. Too busy
Whatever the supposed cause may be, most times they are simply
excuses for waiting until later to do something that needs doing
now. What's your excuse for not quitting today?
CURES FOR PROCRASTINATION
Jump in and get started! That's what I've found to be the best
cure for procrastination. Overcoming the inertia and getting
moving helps me to "keep on truckin'" through my taxes or
whatever else I need to do. If I sit and dread doing the data
entry for all my bank accounts, nothing happens. If it just sit
down, take the plunge and start inputting my financial
information in my computer, before I know it I'm nearly done. I
work through it until I get it right. Getting my various bank
accounts reconciled takes time and some trial and error, but by
jumping in feet first I get the process started, and my taxes
Similarly, to quit smoking, just get started. Today! Don't worry
if you don't have all the information or if the time isn't
perfect or if you don't think you can quit. Just give it your
best shot! There never will be the perfect conditions for you to
quit. Face it! Time waits for no one, as they say, so quit today
or face the consequences tomorrow.
Keep these thoughts in mind as you begin to quit:
DO IT TODAY! NOW! Not tomorrow or sometime soon. Seize the
moment and make it happen now. Now is the only time anyone has.
INCH BY INCH, IT'S A CINCH. If someone told you to smoke 7,300
cigarettes today, you'd call them crazy. But if they told you to
smoke a pack a day for one year, then you'd say "no problem."
Likewise, if you worry about not being able to smoke tomorrow
because you quit today, you may find yourself panicked and
unable to quit. Deal with today, and let tomorrow take care of
BEGIN WITH AN ENDING. Before you start a trip you'd better know
where you're going. In Stephen Covey's book "The 7 Habits of
Highly Effective People", one of the seven habits is "begin with
the end in mind." In other words, get a clear vision in your
mind (and on paper) of what you want, and where you want to be.
This may seem contradictory to what I said about not worrying
about tomorrow, but these two principles work hand-in-hand. By
knowing clearly what you want to achieve, you can relax in the
day-to-day details of accomplishing your goal.
THERE'S NEVER A "PERFECT" TIME OR SITUATION TO DO ANYTHING.
Don't wait for "perfect" because it will never come. Do the best
you can with what you know today. Great achievers don't
magically know all the answers when they begin some new
undertaking. The process, the action, the investigation that
they experience brings the answers and the achievement. You need
to begin the process of quitting today whether or not you know
how. You'll learn by doing. You may not quit permanently the
first time you try to quit. That's okay! You will learn what YOU
need to know to quit permanently next time. Great achievers take
massive action. Take action!
Quitting smoking now, today, is difficult, but the rewards are
immense. Throw out your excuses and get started. Excuses are the
currency of failure and the destitute.
Tomorrow never comes. Quit smoking today!