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This Word Makes it Impossible to Stop Being Lazy

This Word Makes it Impossible to Stop Being Lazy

“My big problem is that I’m SO lazy.”

How many times have you heard someone say that? How many times have you said it? I know I’ve gone through phases of my life where I just couldn’t seem to get off my butt to get stuff done, and I’m definitely guilty of calling myself lazy.

But eventually, I stopped. Because labels like “I’m so lazy” are incredibly negative and become part of your identity. Worse, they hide the real problems preventing you from achieving what you really want. Changing the way you talk about yourself is an important self for both self-love and personal achievement.

When you use a label like “I’m so lazy,” you’re taking a specific thing that you’re struggling with—be it your work, a side project, getting fit, or just doing your laundry—and applying it to your entire identity as a person. It’s tempting to think of this as just a thing people say. It’s easy to write off our problems as a personality trait, and for some reason, that’s made calling ourselves lazy (or “a disaster” or “such a klutz”) socially acceptable.

But the words you use to describe yourself matter. They change the way you think about yourself and the things you do.

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3 Reasons to Stop Saying You’re Lazy

1) Labeling makes your problem part of who you are

Making “laziness” or any other negative trait a part of your identity means that you have to fight yourself anytime you want to do anything!

If you define yourself as lazy, you have to confront that fact every day, with every action. The label you’ve given yourself based on a small number of experiences becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s hard to stop being lazy.

2) You need to change your identity to change

If being lazy is part of your identity, you need to change who you are as a person in order to change anything.

That’s so intimidating! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to change who I am every time I set out to accomplish something new. It’s much harder to do that than it is to change the little actions that are causing my problems.

3) It’s wrong!

Ask yourself: are you really lazy?

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I told myself I was lazy when I was struggling to keep up with my writing. But at the same time, I was working out 4-6 times a week and cooking healthy meals every night.

The last person I heard call themselves lazy (because she put off doing chores around the house) was a solid 50 pages of script into writing her first solo screenplay. Does that sound lazy?

There are probably plenty of times where you’re a motivated, driven person! Figuring out what makes those times different can help you stop being “lazy.”

2 Steps to Stop Being Lazy

Defeating your laziness label and taking action isn’t always easy, but it can be done by interrogating the label and taking a small action.

Step 1: Interrogate the Label

First, attack the label itself. For laziness, find areas of your life where you aren’t lazy. If you’re “such a disaster,” when are you NOT a disaster? Your labels probably aren’t as universal as you thought.

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Then, look at the specific action you’re having trouble with and ask: “why?” What makes this different? Keep asking that question until you get to the real answer.

In my writing, for example, every time I procrastinated was really because I wasn’t sure what to say. If I didn’t have a good grasp on the subject or didn’t have a subject at all, the task of writing a whole article was incredibly daunting. My problem wasn’t laziness; it was uncertainty.

Have you ever put off going to the doctor or calling for test results? For me, I tend to delay because I’m worried about the results that will come back. I have stuff to do! I don’t want to be told that I need some expensive treatment or need to take time off the activities I enjoy. Again, the problem wasn’t laziness; it was fear.

Step 2: Take a Small, Immediate Action

Once you know the real problem, it’s so much easier to solve!

If your problem is uncertainty, how can you make your task less uncertain? If your problem is fear, how can you make the task less daunting? If your problem is self-confidence, what can you do to convince yourself that you’re capable of this task?

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In my writing example, I set a smaller goal than “write my article on this topic.” Instead, I focused on finding one good source on the subject. Once I did that and had a better understanding of the topic in general, I would make a detailed outline. Turns out, having an outline is enough to make me stop procrastinating and write.

When I was new to fitness, I was both scared and lacking self-confidence. So instead of saying “I’m going to get super fit and have abs,” which I didn’t believe I could do, I asked “what are the programs that people like me have success with?” By reading online success stories, I was able to convince myself that it actually is possible to get fit. That I wasn’t an exception to the rules of human biology. With that knowledge, I focused on starting smaller, being consistent while slowly scaling up, and staying motivated over the long haul (and finding ways to do that).

Instead of saying that your problem is a result of who you are, know that it’s a result of what you do. Suddenly it becomes much easier to change. Understand your labels and the problems almost solve themselves.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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