Shake off your winter dilly dallies

Casey Onder, PhD
2 min readFeb 6, 2023
Photo by 汤 泽坤 on Unsplash

Got a case of winter dilly dallies?

(Procrastination, nebulous or non-committal goals, “quiet quitting” and dips in motivation… starting in February after the new year rush, or continuing from before)

Your instinct that you need “more discipline?”

That everyone’s going better faster harder?

That you’re being “lazy and unfocused?”

That you need to “get it together” and “do it for the team/company?”

These things can be true on one level. On another not empowering.

It’s not that you need kid gloves. It’s that you need to take them off already.

Your Inner Critic And You

Your inner critic thinks you’re not inherently motivated or self-responsible.

That you require either mouth watering Pavlovian reinforcement or wrist slaps to get you going and rein you in.

That you need to be managed, rewarded or punished.

That otherwise, you won’t “do your best” or “do the right thing.”

That you can’t be trusted.

That you’re selfish, not self-motivated.

That you are a kid ( a lazy one at that).

Upgrading Your Motivational OS

Occasional wrist slaps can be helpful and powerful in some contexts and stages of personal development, especially when they come from a skillful someone who understands and is genuinely trying to help.

Slapping yourself around? It will limit you.

In any case as an entrepreneur or a leader, time to upgrade your motivational OS: To one that has you so connected with your vision, purpose and future self in the making that not doing it creates cognitive dissonance. Any alternatives to success, while clearly possible, run counter to your beliefs and image of the future.

If you’ve got a case of the winter dilly dallies (or dilly dallies in any season), come back to yourself and what matters to you, why you’re doing it, what you’re driving at.

Of course you’ll also need to be confident, competent, resilient in the face of challenges, focused in the face of distraction. These are skills.

At your best your work’s an act of self actualization and self expression, and it’s not about you. You are the channel, the artist, the instrument.

There’s nobody who can make you do what you want, at least not long-term. Including your inner critic.

Finger wagging and wrist slaps work only to a limited extent.

You are raw power, raw energy.

A force to be used intentionally.

If you’re stopped or stalled, start. If you’re going, keep going!

Keep your batteries charged and make the most of your batteries.

Minimize or circumvent tension or resistance.

Focus and refocus on your vision, as many times as necessary.

Dilly dallying? What’s that and who would want to?

Upgrade your motivational OS.

That’s “all” you need to do.

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Casey Onder, PhD

Executive Coach | Psychologist | PhD. Follow me on LinkedIn or sign up for my newsletter @