"I'll Do It Later" Is Putting Yourself on Course for a Life Unfulfilled

"I'll Do It Later" Is Putting Yourself on Course for a Life Unfulfilled

Do you know what you want to do and then, um, not get around to it? If so, you’re like millions of others who are suffering from “I’ll Do It Later” Syndrome. 

Ok, so I made up that it’s a syndrome, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. It is.  

“I’ll Do It Later” is putting yourself on course for a life unfulfilled.

Yes, that’s a tough statement, but it’s what happens when you choose to defer to tomorrow what will make your life better today.  

I could write this post and act as if I know better than you because I’m an expert who puts every piece of advice to work in my own perfectly put-together life. Me? I never put off for tomorrow what I could do today. (If only you could hear me laughing).  

We all do it.  

I’ve been half way through writing a book for ages.  

Bought a gym membership that I used almost daily until I got sick and… Well, you know the rest of the story. 

My closets are overflowing because I still have clothes in there that I should have given away five years ago. 

Emails from old friends go unreturned because, well, “I’ll do it later.” 

Maybe you have something else in common with me which is going crazy over all the other “I’ll Do It Later” sufferers in your life. It’s the age old “I’m not perfect, but I expect you to be” dilemma.  

My daughter never hangs up her school uniforms after school despite my begging and pleading. No worries, she assures me she’ll do it later (which apparently is some time in 2018) 

I give my husband important dates and to-dos and tell him to write it on his calendar NOW. He will; don’t worry… later.  

We let our lives pass us by and try to control the minutiae in the lives of others both at work and at home. What are we thinking? Talk about a losing proposition.  

Let’s stop here.  

First, let’s acknowledge that some things do get done later. Maybe you do get back to the gym, update your resume or website or whatever it is you’ve been putting off. Thank goodness. 

However, other things grow in magnitude and become less and less likely you’ll ever do it. Why? You talk yourself out of it. 

Book? Eh. Whatever. You’re a crappy writer.  

Start a blog? Too much work. Nobody will read it anyway. 

Take a long vacation? I can’t afford to be out of the office for two weeks. Things would fall apart.  

It’s ugly. Dreams shattered and we justify giving up on ourselves through our well-cultivated arguments. We put ourselves down, push ourselves into a corner and voilà. No need to ever get around to doing it later. It was a dumb idea to start.

Enough. You deserve better.

Related: Can You Be More Successful by Simply Being Happier?

3 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Beat “I’ll Do It Later” Syndrome 

Start With One

It’s not realistic that you’ll do everything you’ve been putting off right this second so pick one and make progress. It feels great to get into the groove. You can feel habits forming and positive about sustaining your effort.  

If you tried to get into motion on four things at once, let’s be honest, at least two, if not three, would be on the “I’ll do it Later” pile by the end of the week. 

Start Small

Yup, it feels great to be back in the gym, and it’s tempting to get on the treadmill for an hour followed by a weight circuit. We both know what’s likely to happen. You won’t be able to walk tomorrow and the likelihood you’ll get back to the gym in a day or two is slim to none.  

Telling yourself you want to dedicate an hour a day is great, the harder part is doing it consistently. When you start small, you start with what’s do-able. Maybe it’s thirty minutes or even twenty. Don’t talk yourself out of it because it’s less than your vision of what you should be doing in a perfect world. It’s still a change; it’s still positive motion. It’s better to build a habit of small actions than wait for later to take one giant leap.  

Get a Partner 

Left alone, most of us will do nothing today especially given the choice of doing it later. We let ourselves off the hook when we need to stay on it.  

Partners can pester you, hold you accountable for check-ins or motivate, encourage, and support you. You have to decide what you need from your partnership and ask for it. Make it formal and regular. Casual accountability is simply feeding your “Ill Do It Later” syndrome. 

If there are things in your life, at work or home, that you’re putting off, again and again, a partner can help to propel you forward. You may choose to work with a coach to figure out what’s holding you back, a friend who’s willing to give you a loving push or mastermind where you report on goals and progress. Whatever works for you, decide, and get a partner.  

Change is never easy. It’s uncomfortable but even worse than the discomfort of action that takes you into the unknown, is looking back on your life and thinking “I wish I did.”

Alli Polin
Personal Development
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Alli Polin, CPCC, ACC, is a former senior executive with deep experience in leadership, change management, and organization development. Now a writer, coach, and speaker, she ... Click for full bio

Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

Here’s Why Bitcoin Won’t Replace Gold So Easily

What a week it was.

First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history. On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I extend my sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.

The memory of the shooting was still fresh in people’s minds during last Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of Blade Runner 2049, which nixed the usual red carpet and other glitz in light of the tragedy. Before the film, producers shared poignant words, saying that in times such as these, the arts are crucial now more than ever.

I had the distinct privilege to attend the premiere. My good friend Frank Giustra, whose production company Thunderbird Entertainment owns a stake in the Blade Runner franchise, was kind enough to invite me along. Despite the somber mood—a pivotal scene in the film even takes place in an irradiated Las Vegas—I thought Blade Runner 2049 was spectacular. Even if you’re not a fan of the original 1982 film, it’s still worth experiencing in theaters. Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s synth-heavy score is especially haunting.

CNET recently published an interesting piece examining the accuracy of future tech as depicted in the original Blade Runner, from androids to flying cars to off-world travel read the article here.

Still in the Early Innings of Cryptocurrencies

Speaking of the future, I spoke on the topic of the blockchain last week at the Subscriber Investment Summit in Vancouver. My presentation focused on the future of mining—not just of gold and precious metals but also cryptocurrencies.

Believe it or not, there are upwards of 2,100 digital currencies being traded in the world right now, with a combined market cap of nearly $150 billion, according to Coinranking.com.

Obviously not all of these cryptos will survive. We’re still in the early innings. Last month I compared this exciting new digital world to the earliest days of the dotcom era, and just as there were winners and losers then, so too will there be winners and losers today. Although bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be the frontrunners right now, recall that only 20 years ago AOL and Yahoo! were poised to dominate the internet. How times have changed!

It will be interesting to see which coins emerge as the “Amazon” and “Google” of cryptocurrencies.

For now, Ethereum has some huge backers. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), according to its website, seeks to “learn from and build upon the only smart contract supporting blockchain currently running in real-world production—Ethereum.” The EEA includes several big-name financial and tech firms such as Credit Suisse, Intel, Microsoft and JPMorgan Chase, whose own CEO, Jamie Dimon, knocked cryptos a couple of weeks ago.

To learn more about the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, watch this engaging two-minute video.

Understanding blockchain in two minutes

Will Bitcoin Replace Gold?

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more headlines asking whether cryptos are “killing” gold. Would the gold price be higher today if massive amounts of money weren’t flowing into bitcoin? Both assets, after all, are sometimes favored as safe havens. They’re decentralized and accepted all over the world, 24 hours a day. Transactions are anonymous. Supply is limited.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

But I don’t think for a second that cryptocurrencies will ever replace gold, for a number of reasons. For one, cryptos are strictly forms of currency, whereas gold has many other time-tested applications, from jewelry to dentistry to electronics.

Unlike cryptos, gold doesn’t require electricity to trade. This makes it especially useful in situations such as hurricane-ravished Puerto Rico, where 95 percent of people are reportedly still without power. Right now the island’s economy is cash-only. If you have gold jewelry or coins, they can be converted into cash—all without electricity or WiFi.

Finally, gold remains one of the most liquid assets, traded daily in well-established exchanges all around the globe. Every day, some £13.8 billion, or $18 billion, worth of physical gold are traded in London alone, according to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). The cryptocurrency market, although expanding rapidly, is not quite there yet.

I will admit, though, that bitcoin is energizing some investors, especially millennials, in ways that gold might have a hard time doing. The proof is all over the internet. You can find a number of TED Talks on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, but to my knowledge, none is available on gold investing. YouTube is likewise bursting at the seams with videos on cryptos.

Bitcoin is up 350 percent for the year, Ethereum an unbelievable 3,600 percent. Gold, meanwhile, is up around 10 percent. Producers, as measured by the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, have gained 11.5 percent in 2017, 23 percent since its 52-week low in December 2016.

Related: Gold and Bitcoin Surge on North Korea Fears

Look Past the Negativity to Find the Good News

The news is filled with negative headlines, and sometimes it’s challenging to stay positive. Take Friday’s jobs report. It showed that the U.S. lost 33,000 jobs in September, the first month in seven years that this happened. A weak report was expected because of Hurricane Irma, but no one could have guessed the losses would be this deep.

The jobs report wasn’t all bad news, however. For one, the decline is very likely temporary. Beyond that, a record 4.88 million Americans who were previously sitting out of the labor force found work last month. This helped the unemployment rate fall to 4.2 percent, a 16-year low.

Have gold and bitcoin peaked for 2017

There’s more that supports a stronger U.S. economy. As I shared with you last week, the Manufacturing ISM Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 13-year high in September, indicating rapid expansion in the manufacturing industry. Factory orders were up during the month. Auto sales were up. Oil has stayed in the relatively low $50-a-barrel range, which is good for transportation and industrials, especially airlines. Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, continue to climb above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages as excitement over tax reform intensifies.

These are among the reasons why I remain bullish.

One final note: Speaking on tax reform, Warren Buffett told CNBC last week that he’s waiting to sell assets until he knows the plan will go through. “I would feel kind of silly if I realized $1 billion worth of gains and paid $350 million in tax on it if I just waited a few months and would have paid $250 million,” he said.

It’s a fair comment, and I imagine other like-minded, forward-thinking investors, buyers and sellers will also wait to make huge transactions if they can help it. Tax reform isn’t a done deal, but I think it has a much better chance of being signed into law than a health care overhaul.

Frank Holmes
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Frank Holmes is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes purchased a controlling interest in U.S. Global Investors in 1989 and became the firm ... Click for full bio