Lifeblocking behaviors are time-wasting activities we choose to participate in that add virtually no value to our lives and interfere with pursuing our true goals and desires. Examples are spending too much time watching television, playing online games, shopping (online or off) and constantly checking our ‘likes’ on social media platforms. Identify and eliminate your lifeblockers using the following five steps:
1. Identify Your Lifeblockers: Chances are you already know what they are, but just to make sure, it is worth doing an “Activity Diary” for one week, write down what you are spending time on and for how long. Next, separate what you have to do from what you choose to do. Now target the behaviors that are preventing you from pursuing your goals or taking up too much time.
2. Do Some Soul-Searching: We almost always have a reason for doing something. It is important to figure out what it is before you attempt to change your behavior. Ask yourself what needs your lifeblockers are fulfilling. Are they ways to avoid, procrastinate, relax, distract, relieve anxiety, or have they just become habits that are difficult to break?
3. Ascertain your values and goals: Think about what you want to do with your life and how you want to live it. Ask yourself the following questions:
“What drives me?”
“What makes me excited to get out of bed?”
“What do I keep saying I don’t have time for?”
“What do I keep wishing I could do?”
“What would I like to achieve?”
Use your answers to make a list of your short-term and long-term dreams, goals and desires.
4. Make a Decision: Now you can make an informed choice to keep doing what you are doing, or to make some changes in your life. You may find that you don’t need to eliminate your lifeblockers entirely, but to limit the amount of time you are spending on them. Make a list of pros and cons for eliminating or reducing your lifeblockers. More pros than cons are a sign that you are more likely to make a change successfully. Write your decision down and make a commitment to change by setting a date and telling someone important to you about your plans.
5. Take Action: Eliminate (or reduce) the behavior but make sure that you have another behavior to replace it with, preferably one that is working toward your goals. Remember that changing any behavior is a challenge and there will be setbacks. Take them in stride as part of the pathway to change and re-commit to eliminating your lifeblockers again and again.