Small steps to overcome laziness
Dear Amy: How do you help a lazy person become more healthily active, when the lazy person is yourself ?
I’ve dealt with depression all my life and think I’ve made a lot of headway (with the help of therapy) over the years.
I’ve reached the point where there are things I can imagine doing and enjoying that will require some self-discipline and energy to achieve, such as saving money or keeping my home cleaner and prettier.
But inertia and daydreaming take over, and another day goes by, and another and another.
At work, by the way, I’m a great employee. I’m diligent and hardworking; I enjoy making my bosses happy with my efforts. I suspect that part of my problem is that I still lack motivation to make myself happy.
Maybe my situation is a bit extreme, but I’m sure many of your readers struggle with finding the energy or the motivation to overcome one’s own laziness. I’d appreciate any suggestions you have!
Trying to Be My Own Magic Wand Trying to Be My Own Magic Wand: I give you major props for figuring out and describing your challenge, and for understanding that you hold the key to positive change.
I’ve dealt with depression and inertia, too. In my new book, I describe my own efforts to recover and change.
Here are some ideas for small things you can determine to do, which will lead you in a positive direction:
Break down your desired efforts into very small and achievable components, such as “open and categorize today’s mail,” “clean the inside of the car” or (on a weekend) “pack up one box for donation.” Make a list and check off each item after completion.
Flylady.net is a favorite starting point for many people seeking transformation through baby steps. Flylady says to start by cleaning and shining your kitchen sink.
Make your bed. Even if your bedroom is a mess, and even if you don’t achieve much else, your bed will be a pristine and clean space each day.
You are very good at working hard to please others. So plan to have company over for coffee or a meal. Knowing that someone will be in your home will inspire (force) you to tidy and prepare.
Join a group. For me, singing with a local choir once a week helped to shake loose the inertia in the rest of my life.
Use a “buddy” to inspire and hold you accountable. Walking with a friend right after work a few times a week will give you more energy to face the challenge at home.
There’s an app for that: A fitness wristband and/or fitness app will help you to see your progress in real terms. I’m sure readers will want to help.