How to Defeat Laziness
Ironically, laziness is at work all the time, creeping, planning, plotting, rationalizing, even taking advantage of moods or thoughts. It gets in the way of our goals and plans, springing when we're vulnerable and easily persuading us to not get up and push onward.
"Not today, I'll do it tomorrow."
"Not right now, I'm tired/busy/hungry. I'll do it later."
"I just want to relax right now. I deserve a break."
"I just don't want to."
Laziness takes all sorts of forms. Think for a moment though. If it were really important, would you be doing whatever you're putting off?
You don't put off things that are truly important like taking care of your physical needs or that of your significant other, maybe you have kids or pets that need attention. Maybe you need to see the next episode of your favorite TV Show so you block out time for that.
My point is this: Laziness doesn't hold a candle to the things you truly care about accomplishing.
But if you're still struggling with laziness, here are some ways to defeat it.
Set goals and create habits.
Setting goals makes us feel productive. It makes us feel organized and like we're already taking the necessary steps. The tricky part is sticking with those goals when the enthusiasm wears off and we're discouraged/tired/don't want to do it anymore.
This is why it's important to hold onto your "Why?" (Which we'll talk about.)
If you set goals, really go after them. Make an honest effort daily to create the habit or routine that will build overtime and get you where you want to be. Do the work you know you need to do, and forgive yourself when you don't hit the mark.
Even just little habits that set you up to accomplish your goals are great starters. Make it easy to keep going by doing the prep work before hand.
For example, I find it easier to eat healthy when I've pre-made healthy meals or the healthy snacks are easier to reach than the sugary ones.
Creating productive habits helps you move forward.
Sometimes just beginning helps you to keep going.
Just the act has a positive impact on your psyche, just because you've begun, and you know that it's propelling you toward your goal. When we get going, it gets easier to build on what we've already accomplished. Starting the momentum, getting the ball rolling.
Example: every time I start a new workout, I keep going because I think it would be a waste to go through all that work just to quit. I hate working out. I hate being sore and how hard it is, so I push myself, because I don't want to start again.
Give yourself a little win right out the gate, something easily accomplished but meaningful so that you've actually taken a step toward your goals. It feels good to celebrate even the little things.
Give yourself a pat on the back when you complete your daily task. Positively affirming your actions will help you create the habit and will make you feel good about the progress.
It's like training an animal. They get a treat and/affection when they do something right. You should get that feeling of accomplishment too. Knowing you get to celebrate each little accomplishment makes laziness easier to defeat.
You want to define your "Why" early on, so you understand whether or not it's powerful enough to motivate you.
What do you want to accomplish? Really want to accomplish?
What motivates you to accomplish this task? What does it do for you? For others? What makes it so important?
Answer these questions directly and honestly so you understand what motivates you and how to capitalize on that.
For instance, I write because I love telling stories, but I love telling stories because they entertain and connect people. I remember when I was a kid and moved to a new place. I understood that in order to make new friends, we needed to share experiences together that we could look back on.
Your Why is important to your work. It's the basis of your motivation, and if strong enough, won't give laziness a chance to intervene.
Focus on your dreams and what you want to accomplish.
Picture yourself in a future where you've accomplished your goal. What does it look like? Feel like? Are their physical attributes to the goal? Is it just an amazing, overwhelming feeling?
Get up close and personal with this future. The feelings you get even from picturing it are mere echoes in comparison to how it'll really feel. Knowing this, doesn't that want to make you work harder now to accomplish your goals?
Understand that laziness will rob you of the future you want, then kick it to the curb by giving yourself the future you want.
I wanted to put this one separate because it's important to not get caught in our own web of self-doubt. The worse thing laziness does to us is hold us back from reaching our potential by telling us we don't have any, that our ambitions won't make an impact, that we aren't important.
This is utter hogwash.
Psych yourself up with positive thoughts, positive reinforcement, and by keeping your sights on the future you want to create. You are good enough. Don't let laziness tell you otherwise. Don't let it steal your thunder.
I believe that you have the power to defeat laziness. I just believe that sometimes we need a little help overcoming it, and that's ok. Just remember when it gets tough, that you have something worth accomplishing to you. Give it the honest effort that it and you deserve.