I am a professional procrastinator. It is one of my strongest and worst strengths. So as you can imagine, I’ve worked really hard at trying to figure out how to overcome this monster of a habit.
Lately, I have been able to overcome procrastination with a sense of ease. How? By working on my thinking.
I have been studying the work of Brooke Castillo for the past 3-4 years. Her work is concise and clear. The basis of her life coaching methodology is based on what she calls “The Model”. She admits that she didn’t invent this, but this is what she uses and teaches and let me tell you, it is extremely effective.
What the model is:
The model is a way of understanding that our thoughts create our feelings or emotions which drive our actions (or lack thereof) and create the results we currently have in our lives. So it would look like this:
C- Circumstances: Always neutral, this isn’t a feeling. This is a current condition that exists in this space and time. Example, I have to go to the grocery store.
T-Thoughts: This is where you decide how you feel in a thoughtful statement about going to the grocery store. Example: I’m too tired, the grocery store is overcrowded, I love going to the grocery store
F-Feeling: This is the emotion that is TRIGGERED by your thinking. Going to the grocery store isn’t inherently good or bad it just is. By thinking “The grocery store is overcrowded” you may feel anxious or irritated.
A-Action: Your action is the result of your feelings/emotions. If you are feeling anxious you might just stay home. If you are feeling too tired, this may result in inaction. If you love going to the grocery store, you will probably go.
R-Results: You don’t go to the grocery store- because your thoughts were “The grocery store is overcrowded” you felt too anxious, you didn’t go. But now you understand that the power of your results is based on your mindset in a way that you can work through and understand.
You can start at any point in the CTFAR lines. If you have a result, you can work backward.
How does this help with procrastination? If you don’t want to do something because you think it doesn’t matter, or you will do it later, etc. your results of that thought pattern will come down to the last minute I have to do this.
So how do we use the model to overcome procrastination and get it DONE?
- Thought download: write down all the noise in your head and get it on paper. Look at what you’re writing, challenge it with “Is that true?” and “So what?”
- Take a stubborn thought and work it through the model so you can see what exactly will result from that thinking.
- Do a NEW model where you put in your desired results and work backward.
Desired model example:
Thought download: I can’t get to the store today, I’m too tired, it’s too overwhelming. I will just eat pizza. My weight isn’t going to change. It doesn’t matter anyway.
Circumstance: Go to the grocery store
Thought: It’s too overwhelming, it doesn’t matter anyway
Action: Stay home
Result: No groceries, eat pizza, derail diet
Circumstance: Go to the grocery store
Thought: If I go to the grocery store I will have healthy food that supports my goals.
Feeling: Focused and determined
Action: Go to the grocery store
Result: I have groceries in my house that support my goals
It is amazing what I’ve been able to overcome and redirect in my life as a result of the model. It’s helped me in so many ways. The biggest change has been taking action towards my desired results by consciously engineering my thinking. Reframing our circumstances can really help us pivot to a place of empowered action.
If you would like to watch the video by Brooke Castillo on the model you can watch it here.
If you are interested in working on this further with me through some one on one coaching, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free mini-session. In the mini session, we will figure out how to apply this model to whatever you have going on. This 15-minute session will bring you instant results.