Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Make Procrastination Work for You

Chances are, you are making (or just made) resolutions for the new year. Some of the most popular resolutions are to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight.  For improving eating habits, the best thing may be to procrastinate. Procrastination has gotten a bad rap for so long that it is time we start leveraging it to our advantage for a healthy lifestyle. 

I used to eat ice cream like it was going out of style. I would get a pint of Ben & Jerry's cookie dough and down it in a single sitting after dinner. I didn't even bother with a bowl. I knew the whole thing would be gone. And this wasn't once in a while- it was every day. The thing was...I liked it. Who doesn't love rich, sugar and fat-laden ice cream? To make it worse, as soon as I "decided" I couldn't eat ice cream anymore it was the only thing I wanted.

As my waistline grew and my blood sugar climbed I knew I had to do something different. I was reading a book called Body by God by Dr. Ben Lerner. He suggested procrastinating. So I did. I would walk to Baskin-Robbins in Gig Harbor for a scoop. I had to wait 15 minutes to get to my ice cream (and I was walking 15 minutes each way for it). Then I decided to up the ante. I would say to myself, "I can wait an extra day".  Then it became 2 days, then 3 days. Then I was procrastinating to eat ice cream only on Sunday. When I got a Friday craving for ice cream I would put it off until Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I ate ice cream on Sunday and I was guilt-free. I was leveraging the power of procrastination to my advantage. 

Then a funny thing happened. I realized one Monday morning that I had missed my Sunday ice cream!  I was doing a lot of weekend travel for work and would be flying home on Sunday nights. It was purely by accident that I missed my dose that week. The next thing I knew it had been weeks since I had ice cream at all. Now it has been years since having ice cream (although I do enjoy a semi-annual bowl of coconut milk ice cream, sweetened with agave instead of sugar). I successfully leveraged procrastination to eliminate a bad food habit! 

You can do the same thing. Take a food you know is bad for you and just start procrastinating. Get to the Oreo cookies later. Save that pizza for another day. Put the sweets away for a while. It works if you just get to when you get to it.  Of course, you can call me now to help you through it and get some measurements to track how well procrastinating can work for you. Call me at 253-858-2474 and I will not procrastinate in helping you reach your goals.