Procrastination has been one of my lifelong obstacles when it’s come to getting my writing dreams off the ground. There’s always been a major distraction — or many distractions — to push my dreams to the back burner, where they wait for “the right time.”
I’m glad to have used my writing for over 15 years now to benefit businesses and churches through blogging, website and print content, and especially creating social media content. Writing for others has been a lot of fun, certainly. And it’s paid well.
But when it’s come to other aspects of my writing, I’ve procrastinated for years. I needed everything to be “perfect” — for example, to have the freedom to “be a writer” full-time and still pay the bills. But of course, that never happened.
In 2020, along with millions of other Americans who suddenly found themselves isolated from work, church, and social gatherings, a deep, dark sense of hopelessness began to soak into my psyche. Without the distractions of other people around me all day, I saw my life for what it was: I had wasted decades waiting for the “right time,” and now there was “no time.”
I would die without having accomplished one thing I wanted to accomplish. I would die without being “me.”
At least that’s what it felt like.
Once we got back to some sense of normalcy, I was able to tap into joy again as long as I was around my work colleagues or otherwise distracted, but underneath it all was that terrible despondency.
On August 31, 2022, I woke up in the middle of the night. Anger coursed through my mind and body. I’d been waking like this for months, and had started seeing a therapist. I was angry with my life and how it had turned out. I was angry with everyone I felt had interfered with my dreams. And I was very angry with myself for allowing it. I had given my life to others for decades and gave nothing to myself. Even with all the blessings I had enjoyed, I was living a life I didn’t want, and there was no way out.
I was stuck.
But this particular night, as I prayed again for God to just take me if nothing was going to change — if this was all I had to look forward to — the words “Miracle Morning” popped into my mind. “Miracle Morning.” That was the book a friend had shared in a Sunday School class many years before. He said it had changed his life.
The next morning, I googled “Miracle Morning” and jumped in. I hadn’t even read the book yet; I just downloaded the app on my phone and started doing my best version of it based on what I’d read quickly. I didn’t know what would come of it. I had no goals, no expectations. I just needed to do something good for myself. That’s all it was.
Now I know why Hal Elrod named his book “The Miracle Morning.” For the first time in my life, I began feeling in control of my present and my future. It was mine to create.
How One Hour Each Morning Changed Me
I read the actual book a few weeks later over a weekend. Soon I was practicing affirmations and visualization the “Hal Elrod” way.
That one hour in the morning — one hour! — changed my LIFE. But it changed me first. Something began happening in my brain, then in my mind. I no longer saw decades of wasted years behind me and hopelessness before me. Instead, I saw myself as capable, talented, resilient, and bold. I saw all my potential. I saw what is possible. I started dreaming again, but this time putting action behind my dreams.
Breaking the first hour in the morning into 6 short 10-minute segments to meditate (deep breathing), do personal affirmations (who do you want to be?), visualize (what do you want?), exercise (blood pumping!), read (books that help me become who I want to be) and journal (whatever is on my mind), gave me the mental fuel I needed to not only believe in myself and my dreams, but to start taking actionable steps to make them come true.
What started out as one hour has turned into two, because I recently added in an additional thirty minutes of writing and twenty more minutes of working out.
Thirty minutes of writing every morning doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re a writer. My son and his wife spend hours every day writing and share a successful self-publishing career. That’s my dream.
But then I added a two-hour writing session on Saturday mornings at libraries or coffee shops.
Now I’m working on multiple writing projects, including material I’m writing under a pen name. I’ve got two websites up and running along with seven social media profiles. Me. The Procrastinator.
It’s true what they say about overcoming procrastination: Take it one step at a time and you’ll be surprised at how much progress you can make. Nine months ago I thought my dreams were dead. Today my dreams are coming true.
Carpe Diem, baby.
Progress is progress, no matter how small. So, whether it’s just 5 minutes of work or an hour, I now celebrate every victory along the way. Thanks to my Miracle Morning practice, I write every day, if only the 10 minutes of journaling. But even on those mornings — which are incredibly rare — I’m always further along than I was the day before.
I believe in you, dear reader. I know you have dreams inside you that want to come to fruition. You get one life. One life. And it’s never too late to take control and create a life that brings you joy.
Start with your own Miracle Morning, and tell me how it changes you!