Advertising
Advertising

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Gradual Self-Improvement

Did you know laziness has roots in our survival instincts?

A long, long time ago, our ancestors didn’t have to think long term. They had to stay focused on the here and now, so they could react and survive in case they were attacked by enemies, animals and, well, nature.

Yet, in the modern age, when survival is not our top priority, this instinct prevents some of us to engage in projects that don’t offer immediate results.

The reason for a man being lazy, carved deep into the structures of our brain, is not the only one. Sometimes, people are lazy because they didn’t find their true path and they just don’t know what they would actually like to do.

In case you think of yourself as a lazy person, and you managed to go this far through the article, there might be good news for you. Let’s quickly go through some ideas for improvements that could help you stay consistent.

Advertising

Start Working Out

I know, you don’t have time, right? Well, let me tell you something. You do. You need 20 minutes, three times a week, to get some results. “But that’s not enough training time to reap the benefits”, you might think. Well, I don’t want to be rude, but how do you know? Did you try it?

As you can see, it is important to catch that little self-sabotaging part of your ego that says a big NO to any thought that considers taking action. Maybe you have your reasons why you don’t want to work out. Is it that you have to go all the way to the gym, workout, then come back home? Don’t worry, there are workouts you can do at home or outside, so you can get it over with quickly and get good results.

Why am I emphasizing workouts from the start? Because some psychologists say that the reason people are lazy is because there are no immediate results after taking action. Bear with me, it is a fact that exercise floods your blood with endorphins, hormones that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. You will have immediate results after your activity; you will be happy and high on endorphins. Go for it, you can do it!

Increase Confidence

Lack of confidence is often the underlying issue of laziness. Some people are simply born or nurtured to develop good confidence levels. Other have to put some effort into building their own.

It’s not complicated. Some of the handy things that are really helpful are already available, right this very moment. Think about all the things that you have accomplished so far. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. They are still accomplishments.

Advertising

This can point out the fields you are good at. If you were trying to overpass your weaknesses, no wonder you had little success. Build on your strengths!

Sometimes it is best to make some goals that can be checked off a list, and boost your self-confidence that way. Start with something small, like go out with friends, read an article online or make cookies.

Stay Motivated and Focused

Don’t get fooled. Even people that are not lazy are having problems staying consistent for a long period of time.

The key lies in understanding passion and boredom. I’ve heard many times that people quit doing something or don’t even want to engage in something due to a lack of focus and motivation. They adopt the lazy mindset just because they think successful people with immaculate work ethics have incredible passion and willpower.

This might sound like news to you, but successful people sometimes feel boredom and a lack of motivation. Still, they somehow manage to go through it without going into lazy mode. What makes them different? They don’t let their emotions determine their actions and stray their course towards planned goals.

Advertising

You have to think. Gradually, you will become more introspective and you will be able to tell the exact moment when the emotional drop spills the cup, and all the focus and motivation fades to black. Use that moment to work on yourself. If you find it too difficult, you can always ask for professional help.

Spark your Creative Genius

Start by pronouncing yourself as someone creative. It might sound silly, but believing that you are a creative person will actually help you become one.

There are dozens of methods that can help you spark creativity without breaking a sweat. Write a list of “Must do things this week” or keep and Idea Book.

Becoming more creative is very important if you want to gradually self-improve. It provides a powerful incentive and the energy needed to follow up on your ideas.

Put on the wings of Social Butterfly

Advertising

If you start to mingle, you will meet new people with whom you will be able to share your thoughts, worries and ideas. Never underestimate the power of the feedback people give you. Keep your ears open and listen to every word.

Testing your plans and even asking others to help you with something that is bothering you is such a stress reliever. It is important to understand that you want to change your personality, and that takes time.

Hang out with motivated people in real life, let the enthusiasm, energy and motivation of others in. Everything you let into your mind will influence you. Try feeding your mind with positive and motivating things.

Look at all these ideas as a sort of “cheat sheet” on tricking yourself into achieving great things. The only obstacle that stands on your way is you.

This whole transformation is a process, and it is important to take small steps and take time to enjoy small victories. All the rewards that await you on this road will make sure that you get that great sense of achievement. In the end, Rome wasn’t built in a day – as long as you are consistent, even a bit of effort here and there can add up and help you make huge leaps within a few years.

More by this author

Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

10 Things To Remember If You Love A Sociopath The Smart Ways to Save Money Fast (Even If You’re a Big Spender) 5 Secrets to Being Confident and Earning People’s Respect How To Get a Killer Gym Body Without Going to the Gym 10 Sustainable Health And Fitness Habits Everyone Can Adopt

Trending in Productivity

1 How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology) 2 How to Change Habits When You Feel Stuck in a Rut 3 Need Journal Inspiration? 15 Journal Ideas to Kickstart 4 How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams 5 How to Take Notes: 3 Effective Note-Taking Techniques

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

Advertising

Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

Advertising

Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

Advertising

2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

Advertising

6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next