25 Quotes and Affirmations to Finally Defeat Procrastination


Procrastination is a major obstacle to productivity that we all face. Armed with a booklet of 25 quotes and affirmations based on Alex Vermeer’s strategies for motivation (plus 10 more to overcome fear!) you will have powerful ammunition to finally defeat procrastination.  This handy booklet outlines the 25 strategies for overcoming procrastination and adds inspiration. Fear is a common cause of procrastination: Fear of failure, success, vulnerability, rejection, the unknown, change, problems, and hard work. 10 bonus quotes and affirmations to conquer your fears and get stuff done are included too.

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Give and Take (Book Review)

In the book “Give and Take,” author Adam Grant outlines different reciprocity styles, including: givers, matchers, and takers. He then poses a question: which style would you guess is most likely at the bottom of the success ladder? While givers can be at the bottom, organizational psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant’s research reveals they are also at the top. Why the difference? He found that successful givers have an otherish outlook, seeking to benefit both others and themselves for a win/win outcome. Successful givers avoid burnout by learning to identify takers and adjusting style accordingly, setting boundaries and priorities, and choosing to give in ways that are meaningful and where feedback on results is visible.

The author backs up his points with many examples of successful givers. Adding value for others can be as simple as a five minute favor, an idea outlined in chapter two: The Peacock and the Panda. Look for ways to help someone with an introduction, information, feedback, or recognition. Adopting a more giving style can be as easy as deciding to be more intentional and proactive at seeking out opportunities to do a five minute favor.

Giving often adds value on both sides, as demonstrated in this Friends episode when Phoebe seeks a selfless good deed.

I’ll be watching for his next book which is due out in February 2016, written with Sheryl Sandburg, called “Originals: how non-conformists rule the world.”

Articles about “Give and Take”

The Art of the Five Minute Favor at Big Think

Why Givers (often) Succeed at Dan Pink

Adam Grant: Give and Take at Business Insider

Be a Giver Not a Taker to Succeed at Work at Forbes

How to Build a Culture of Givers at Inc.

Givers and Takers: The Surprising Truth About Who Gets Ahead at Wharton

25 Quotes to Defeat Procrastination

Alex Vermeer has identified strategies to get motivated in four categories: increase expectancy, increase value, decrease impulsiveness, or decrease delay. These quotes will inspire you to implement these tactics for defeating procrastination.

Choose a Growth Mindset
“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
-Carol Dweck

“People that are successful are able to see what success is. They are able to define it in their mind’s eye.” -Dr. Phil

Track It
“The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.”

Have a Plan B
“If ‘Plan A’ didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters! Stay cool.”

Celebrate Progress
“Even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction.”

Get Inspired
“Inspiration is everywhere, and often in unexpected places: you just have to keep your eyes open.”

Take Action
“The best way to get things done is to simply begin.”

Connect with Passion
“Follow your passion. It will lead you to your purpose.” -Oprah Winfrey

This quote courtesy of @Pinstamatic (http://pinstamatic.com)

Add sweet to the bitter
“There is no sweeter reward than crossing off an unpleasant task. If you do the worst first, reward yourself with the best next.” -dailyplanit.com

Add Accountability
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

Procrastinate Productively
“There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you are supposed to be doing something else.”
Tip: at least work on something else that needs to be done.

Find Meaning
“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”

Create Competition
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo

Take a break
“If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.” -Oprah Winfrey

Find Flow
“Look for the perfect balance of challenge and skill where time stands still.” -dailyplanit.com

Use negative pairing
“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.”
Tip: imagine something negative connected with whatever is tempting you.

Make Progress Visual
“Don’t break the chain.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Clear Thoughts
“Keep your head clear. It doesn’t matter how bright the path is if your head is always cloudy.”
Tip: write down distracting thoughts

Use goal reminders
“The difference between where you are and where you will be in a week is what you do for the next seven days.”

Create a Habit
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – John Dryden

Reduce distractions
“Life is too full of distractions nowadays. When I was a kid we had a little Emerson radio and that was it. We were more dedicated. We didn’t have a choice.” – Stan Getz
Tip: if you can’t eliminate a distraction, at least make it harder to get to.

Make failure painful
“After awhile you realize that putting your actions where your mouth is makes you less likely to have to put your money where your mouth is.” -Criss Jami
Tip: put some money on the line and pay if you fail.

Run a “dash”
“Make the most of the dash.”
Tip: commit to just 5 minutes on a task and you just might keep going.

Set a Goal
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln
Tip: make goals SMART

Set a deadline
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

Quotes for Overcoming Procrastination on the Daily PlanIt Pinterest board.

Get your free copy of 25 Quotes and Affirmations to Finally Defeat Procrastination (plus 10 more to Overcome Fear!)

Free Resources for Learning How to Read

If you’re reading this, you know how important reading is in today’s world. Imagine trying to apply for a job, fill out a form or follow written instructions if this skill is difficult for you. What a difference you can make in someone’s life if you can help them increase their ability to read! I began tutoring reading as a volunteer with the organization literacykc.org this summer. It’s been a great fit with my passion for inspiring education for essential life skills and my belief in the importance of reading for learning.

I’m still learning about what is involved, and have gathered links to some great free resources on a Pinterest board, as well as a playlist of videos on Youtube. If you are interested in helping someone with reading skills, there are lots of activities to begin.  Here I share printable activities, online games, and videos to make learning fun for students of any age, organized by the concept being learned. These are for the English language, which can be challenging to master.


Reading Resources


Watch: KidsTV123 videos at the Youtube playlist.

Print ABC cards at http://www.mamamiss.com/2013/01/13/abc-alphabet-cards-free-printable/

Put ABC cards into name tag holders on a ring: see http://craftifyit.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-gift-idea-numero-dos.html

Online Games:

CONCEPT: Phonics, the sounds that letters make

Watch: Hooked on Phonics TV at the Youtube playlist.

Listen: at http://www.abcfastphonics.com/

Print: Letter sounds alphabet game at http://mominspiredlife.com/letter-sounds-alphabet-game/#_a5y_p=3394953

Online Games:

CONCEPT: Sight words are high frequency words that appear most often in written materials.

Print: Sight Word Bingo at http://www.sightwordsgame.com/sightwordgames/bingo/

Online Games:

Apps: Sight Word Apps at http://www.whilehewasnapping.com/2014/08/five-sight-word-apps-to-help-your-kids-learn-to-read/

Practice reading sight words:

CONCEPT: Making words

Print: Making words folder at http://teacherbitsandbobs.blogspot.com/2011/03/making-words.html

Online Games:

CONCEPT: Word families-same endings

Print: Make a flipper to change first letters from spiral bound index cards cut in sections, or use paint chips, see http://teachbesideme.com/paint-chip-word-families/

Online game at http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/wordfamily/

CONCEPT: Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings, like ate and eight.

Print: worksheets at http://www.k12reader.com/term/homophones/

Meaning Match: definitions at http://www.eduplace.com/parents/resources/homework/la/homophone.html

Online games:

CONCEPT: Grammar, parts of speech

Watch: Schoolhouse Rock videos at the Youtube playlist.

Print: Parts of Speech at layers-of-learning.com, Poem: The Nine Parts of Speech by David B Tower & Benjamin F Tweed.

Online game: Grammar Gorilla at http://www.funbrain.com/brain/ReadingBrain/ReadingBrain.html

CONCEPT: Sentence building

Online game at http://www.softschools.com/language_arts/games/sentence_structure/form_a_sentence/

I’ve been working on creating some prototypes for literacy activities: 1) a hybrid of the index card flipper and paint chips for word families, 2) roll a silly sentence cubes for sentence building, and 3) meaning match for homophones.


Choose the Door of Love: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Speech

Commencement Address by Jim Carrey, Maharishi University of Management, May 24th, 2014

Jim Carrey may be best known as a comedian, but his commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management on May 24th 2014 provides much to think about.

Yes, there are some laughs along the way. But it was lines like the following that I found moving.

“Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.”

After sharing that he discovered his purpose was to free people from concern, he says, “the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, and all that will be left of you is what was in your heart.”

Here are a few more highlights from the speech:

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

I’ve often said that I wished people could realize all their dreams of wealth and fame so they could see that it’s not where you’ll find your sense of completion. No matter what you gain, ego will not let you rest. It will tell you that you cannot stop until you’ve left an indelible mark on the earth, until you’ve achieved immortality. How tricky is the ego that it would tempt us with the promise of something we already possess.”

“Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head and when the doors open in real life, just walk through it. Don’t worry if you miss your cue. There will always be another door opening. They keep opening. You are ready and able to do beautiful things in this world and after you walk through those doors today, you will only ever have two choices: love or fear. Choose love, and don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

You can find the full speech and transcript here. For a video of the highlights, see here. I recommend watching the full version.

This week I also heard a song by musician Bradley Joseph. Here is “Feel” to inspire you to greet life with arms wide open this day, and every day.

Conquer Your Fears and Get Stuff Done

It’s easy to identify what it is that you are avoiding right this minute, but do you know why you are avoiding it? The key to changing resistance into motivation may be contained within the answer to that question. We all have times when we just can’t seem to get anything done. Often if you feel stuck and unmotivated, there is an underlying reason why. Understanding the reason is important if you want to overcome it. I like to think of this study of the causes and cures for procrastination as Procrastinology.

Avoiding Discomfort + Fear = Procrastination

Avoiding discomfort is one of the causes of procrastination, and many of the techniques for motivation are about overcoming this issue. (See the post Alex Vermeer on How to Get Motivated). While I’ve read a lot about procrastination, only recently have I begun thinking about fear as a root cause of procrastination, and how to deal with it.

What are you afraid of, and how can you overcome the fears that are stopping you?

There are many different fears that can cause procrastination:


  • failure
  • success
  • vulnerability
  • rejection
  • the unknown
  • change
  • problems
  • hard work

Are you afraid to fail? ASK: “What’s the worst that could happen?” REMEMBER: Failure is a part of success. SAY: “I will experiment until I succeed.”

Are you afraid to succeed? ASK: “What am I afraid of losing if I succeed?” REMEMBER: your why, the reason you believe what you want to do is important. Think of times when you were independent and strong. SAY: “I believe in what I do.”

Are you afraid to be vulnerable? ASK: “Do you want to live whole-heartedly?” REMEMBER: being vulnerable is necessary to live whole-heartedly. WATCH: Brene Brown’s TED Talk on vulnerability. SAY: “I choose to show up and be seen.”

Are you afraid of rejection, or what others might think? ASK: “Do  you care more about your own opinion or the opinion of others?” REMEMBER: Your worth is not based on your skill level or what others think of you. SAY: “What other people think of me is none of my business!

Are you afraid of the unknown or change? ASK: “How could this be fun?”  THINK: New experiences can be a fun adventure. REMEMBER: exploring as a kid, times when you were pleasantly surprised by trying something new. SAY: “New experiences are an adventure.”

Are you afraid of problems? ASK: “What is a creative way to solve this?” THINK: Problems are challenges, like puzzles to be solved. REMEMBER: times you successfully solved a problem. SAY: “This is a challenge and I accept it.”

Are you afraid of hard work? ASK: “Are the results worth the hard work required?” THINK: Hard work is a necessary part of growth and learning. REMEMBER: times you worked hard to accomplish something, and how good it felt. SAY: “I choose to do the work because it is worth it.”

In Mark Manson’s article (*@# language warning) “Everything You Wanted to Know About Procrastination But Were Too Lazy to Figure Out,” he says we avoid doing anything that threatens our view of ourself.

What’s Stopping You? Is It You?

What are your beliefs about yourself? How does what you are avoiding threaten your self-concept?

THINK – Are the things you are telling yourself: True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind? These guidelines work for ourselves as well as others.

THINK - True. Helpful. Inspiring. Necessary. Kind

CHOOSE: Rational thoughts, positive thoughts and affirmations, a Growth Mindset, a can-do attitude, Grit, confident posture and body language.

SAY: “I think rationally and positively. I choose a growth mindset. I can do it. I am strong and will persevere with determination.”

Affirmations must be believable. Affirmations are positive statements of a desired outcome or goal-See 7 Steps to Positive Self Talk at pickthebrain.com.

See also The Economy of Goals at the Daily PlanIt, and A Guide to Beating the Fears That Are Holding You Back at Zenhabits.

Get your free copy of 25 Quotes and Affirmations to Finally Defeat Procrastination (plus 10 more to Overcome Fear!)

How to Be Awesome in 10 Steps

I joined a great Meetup group that gets together to talk about the ideas in non-fiction books. It is so inspiring to meet others interested in personal development and working toward goals.

At the last meeting we discussed “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters” by Jon Acuff. Here are some things I learned from reading the book about how to…


Step One: The first step to being awesome is to follow Jon on Facebook. His posts are often seriously fun, like the one about the three person hot tub with a window in it next to the bed in his hotel room. Or thought-provoking, like this one: “If you could tell the 18 year old you, one piece of advice, what would you say?” I decided this would be my advice to me: “Be willing to step out of your comfort zone a little and try new things.” 

Rosemary Rice's photo.
Step Two: Do Summer. To promote his new book, “Do Over,” Jon offers a free worksheet for an email sign-up.

Illustrating his points with humor and stories, Jon describes five stages to awesome: Learning, Editing, Mastering, Harvesting, and Guiding in the book “Start.”
More Steps to Be Awesome:
  • Step Three: Remember that you already know how to be awesome! When we are kids, we’re awesome. We just forget that.
  • Step Four: Experiment! Blow things up, burn things down. Tinker, smash, mix. Scientists learn from their experiments, they don’t call them failures. (Learning)
  • Step Five: Ask yourself what brings you joy. (Editing)
  • Step Six: Get experience, do the work. (Mastering)
  • Step Seven: Don’t be a jerk, don’t get complacent. (Harvesting)
  • Step Eight: Use your strengths to help others and share what you’ve learned. Start again! It’s never too late. (Guiding)
  • Step Nine: Punch fear in the face. Question your self-talk, use positive affirmations.
  • Step Ten: Keep learning! Go read “Start.”
Are your goals awesome or are they average? How can you Be Awesome today?
Want to follow along online with the books we’re reading? The next book we will be discussing is “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant.

Smart Strategies You Can Use to Tackle the Tasks You Hate


Divide the Tasks You Hate Into Compartments

I hate crushing cans. I would rather exercise, mow the lawn, scrub the toilet, pretty much anything other than crush cans. On the list of things I have to do, it would definitely rank on the bottom. It’s a task I would put off forever if I could, so I made it so I CAN’t avoid it. I added a constraint: we toss them into this bin, and when it won’t hold anymore, I’m forced to tackle the job. (As you can see, we are big fans of caffeine free Coke Zero!) I dread the day when the bin won’t hold any more cans, but then I grit my teeth and just do it.


Create a Rhythm

I won’t lie to you, I hate this task no matter what, and always will. But I’ve found it helps me get through it if I break it down. Sometimes this is called chunking. I line up six cans to crush at a time, before sweeping them off the counter into the bin that we keep the crushed cans in. With this system, I develop a rhythm that gets me through it. Listening to music while I do this task helps a bit too.

Reward Yourself When You’re Done

After I get the task done, I treat myself to a piece of candy for a reward. Luckily, my husband takes them to be recycled, so I don’t have to do that part! I’m reminded of the quote from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you CAN or you Can’t, you’re right.”

Is there a task you hate that you can compartmentalize? I’m never going to enjoy crushing cans, but these techniques help me to get it done.



The Wimpy Person’s Guide to Grit

Studies show that the ability to persevere in the face of challenges is pretty important to accomplish goals. External distractions are difficult enough to deal with, but mastering internal distractions may be even more challenging. Managing our own endless ability to distract ourselves is a key part of increasing productivity. As James Shelley says, “very often when we talk about the skill of “productivity” what we are really talking about is “self-control” — the disciplined ability to choose to do one thing at the cost of not doing another (perhaps more tempting thing).”

Grit Is More Important Than Talent from 99u describes The Marshmallow Test study on self control, and results from Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth, who defines grit as “the perseverance and passion for a long-term goal.”

Angela Duckworth has developed a grit scale to test this ability. I’m afraid to take it. Personally, I can really identify with Greg Haffley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies and books. If you’re wimpy like me, grit can definitely be a problem. So I was glad to see this is an ability that can be developed.

Transcript of Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk, “The Key to Success: Grit”

Things to Do to Develop Grit

It’s time now for me to Grit going!

Plant Where You Grow Best

In the spring, I always plant petunias in front of our house. It’s a sunny spot, and they thrive there and produce colorful blooms. This year I bought a few too many petunia plants, so I tried to plant some under a big tree on the side of the house. But it’s too shady, and the petunias aren’t happy there. Those petunias aren’t growing well, and rarely flower. The hosta and ferns growing under the big tree love shade, and they are flourishing there. But petunias love sun, and I’ve learned that it is important to plant things where they will grow best.

It’s the same with people-we flourish and grow the most when allowed to use the strengths that are natural for us. Sure, we can tackle other projects and ideas that don’t play to our strengths, but it will be a much harder struggle for us. The more we play to our strengths, the easier it is to grow. It’s just good sense to keep your strengths in mind when choosing the best ideas and projects to work on, when you’re looking for the sweet spot.