We can all feel low on energy and lose motivation at times. It’s expected that this happens to everyone sometimes, but when this feeling increases or continues for a longer period, our life will change. Our goals become less important to us, we find it difficult to develop new ideas, and we may doubt our abilities. In this situation, we may call ourselves lazy. In this article, we will tell you what laziness is and what we can do to avoid a lack of motivation in life.
Our ideal self.
We all know who we want to be, how we want to behave, what goals we want to achieve, and what role we want to play in this world. The concept of “ideal self” in psychology refers to the image of our best self in our minds. Our ideal self often reflects our productivity and achievement of certain goals, healthy behaviors, and so on. Unfortunately, our busy lives often don’t allow us to think much about our ideals. So it seems that this ideal self, along with our childhood answers to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, is lost somewhere around the hands.
You are not alone.
You’re not alone if you feel lazy or think you’re not using your time correctly. Research has shown that only 8% of people who set a goal for the new year succeed in reaching their desired goal. In fact, 1 in 4 people can’t even make it through a week before admitting failure. But what really makes it so difficult for us to stick to a plan, stay active and productive, and move toward goals?
Many things can block our productivity and achieving our goals and make us find ourselves “lazy.” Sometimes these obstacles relate to certain conditions and situations, and sometimes we create them with the type of approach, mindset, and methods we choose.
Old habits are hard to break.
To make real progress and break out of our old “lazy” patterns, we need to recognize the factors contributing to our failure to achieve our goals or allow us to feel as productive as we’d like. So maybe getting rid of “laziness” requires changing your approach and letting go of old useless habits that have kept you from achieving your goals and feeling productive.
In the following, we mention some common wrong habits that keep people away from good performance and achieving their life goals. If you have some patterns on this list, don’t worry, many other people are like you.
- Make your goals too big and complicated.
We all want to reach the top, but we may underestimate the time and effort required to get the highest point. If we give up after a few hours, it’s not because of laziness, but we may have realized that we made a mistake calculating the time and effort required.
- Expect to be perfect.
When we strive to achieve a goal, we expect a smooth and uniform path in front of us, but in reality, the path to reach the goal is full of twists and turns.
- Listen to your inner critic.
Suppose the word “lazy” is part of your internal dialogue. In that case, there are likely to be more negative and critical comments coming from your inner critic regularly. You may even activate your inner critic to motivate yourself. What happens in this case? Instead of focusing on the strengths and useful qualities that can help you move forward, your inner critic focuses on your flaws and shortcomings.
- Listen to the criticisms of others.
Just as we know ourselves through our personal experiences and our surroundings, the opinions of others help us to know ourselves better. If someone we care about has called us lazy in the past, this can affect how we look at ourselves, even in adulthood. In adulthood, people around us may criticize our efforts and make us feel discouraged and doubt ourselves.
- You do not prepare an action plan.
Sometimes when we get inspired and excited about a new goal, we forget how important it is to have a plan of action. A lot of excitement to reach a goal may make us move very fast and with a lot of motivation, but then this enthusiasm turns into a feeling of aimlessness and pressure.
How to start?
Fortunately, you can take many steps to improve and stay on track.
- Make small and reasonable goals.
You can still reach the top, but it’s better to break a big goal down into smaller goals that give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going. When visualizing an end goal, the key is to identify the main steps to reach it, write them down, and break them down into smaller goals if needed.
- Take time to plan.
Take time alone and think about your interests and goals. Find the small, achievable steps you need to take to reach your ultimate goal. Be realistic about the time, effort, cost, help of others, and other factors you need to achieve this goal. Starting a task with prior planning will help you feel more confident and relaxed. You’ll also have a plan to fall back on when you run into trouble and get frustrated.
- Focus on your strengths.
Instead of engaging in self-criticism, try to look at your strengths. If it is difficult to find your strengths, look at your challenges to see which powers of your character you overcame. If you still find this difficult, ask your friends and family to describe your greatest strengths. You can discover your personality strengths online through the Values In Action inventory website with the address ‘viacharacter.org’
- Celebrate the small victories.
Celebrating success for reaching small goals or overcoming setbacks can help you keep moving forward. The sense of pride we get from achieving our goals can help us speak more positively to ourselves. Completing any task increases our sense of self-satisfaction, and this feeling helps us succeed in the future.
- Find new sponsors.
There is nothing wrong with getting help from others along the way to reach our goal. Positive and healthy communication with valuable people makes us grow. Let these supportive and helpful people be with you. Sometimes you may want to share your happiness with them or go to them when you face an obstacle or failure. Getting reassurance and encouragement from people who matter to us can help us increase our capacity to deal with problems.
How we take care of ourselves physically can also affect how lazy we feel. We can learn new goal-setting habits and work on challenging our negative thought patterns, but we also need to pay attention to what we’re doing to our bodies. Paying attention to physical health can help increase energy levels, and you can use this more energy for positive changes in life.
What we eat has an effective role in how we feel. Suppose we don’t have food to plan and prepare. In that case, we usually go for options that are prepared faster and have low nutritional value. For example, high-protein foods can help keep our blood sugar levels stable, fresh, and energized throughout the day.
Examples of foods and drinks that help maintain energy throughout the day:
- Salmon fish
- Dark leafy vegetables
Some foods and drinks that you should avoid to have high energy levels:
- Sweet drinks
Sweet foods temporarily give us a lot of energy, but this energy lasts very little, and after a while, we may feel like our energy has run out. The timing of our meals and snacks throughout the day can also affect our energy levels. Small meals throughout the day can help maintain our energy; big and heavy meals can make you feel tired and heavy.
It is very difficult to exercise despite feeling tired and lazy. But being active can increase our energy level and make us feel productive. Research has shown that exercising, even at a moderate level, can have a significant impact on energy levels by reducing feelings of fatigue.
Some ways to add exercise to your lifestyle:
- Walking with a friend
- Group climbing
- Sign up for a group exercise class
- Go to yoga class
Our sleep patterns have a significant impact on our energy levels. When you feel lazy, you probably want to sleep more at night or take a long nap in the middle of the day. But it is creating a routine pattern for sleep that will help you to have normal sleep. With this, you feel balanced and have more energy to do things during the day. Those used to waking up at night or napping in the middle of the day may need more time to adjust their sleep pattern. However, starting the day with extra energy and maintaining energy throughout the day is worth the effort to set up a good sleep habit.
Tips that you should pay attention to have healthy sleep habits:
- Go to bed at a specific time every night.
- Make it your goal to sleep 8 hours a night.
- Do not use electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers for at least one hour before bed.
- Limit caffeine consumption after lunch.
Being involved with a large amount of work and multiple tasks continuously can drain our mental and physical energy. In this situation, due to the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion, it may become tough to make decisions and move. Tiredness can make us feel lazy when in fact, we are stressed. Some useful ways to manage stress:
- Including exercise and movement in the daily schedule
- Find a reason to smile or laugh
- Increasing the number of social supporters
- Practicing meditation or daily prayer
One of the most essential elements in managing stress is making sure we use our time wisely. It is very easy to give a positive answer to the requests of colleagues, spouse, children, and friends; So simple that you may end up unable to keep all your promises. Be careful how you spend your time, and make a list of your unfinished tasks. Sometimes you can politely say “no” to others and spend that time on things that need your attention and energy.
If “setting boundaries” is new to you, the first step is to give yourself a chance to start small. At first, you may worry about the reactions and judgments of others; But remember that your goal is to progress, increase energy and feel empowered to achieve important goals in your life. Making time for yourself is vital, and setting small boundaries around your time will help you with this.
Don’t get distracted by comparing.
The last point is that when we feel lazy, it is natural to look around and think that everyone else is doing well but us. Refrain from comparing yourself to others and remember that your inner critic is a barrier to increasing productivity and holding you back. Allow yourself to experience life differently, and remember that your chosen path is unique.
Taking small steps to take better care of yourself, increase your energy levels, set better goals, and set the proper boundaries can help you stop feeling lazy. Prioritizing and taking steady steps is the key to significant changes, and there is no better time than now to take the first step.
What is the “ideal self” in psychology?
The “ideal self” in psychology refers to the image of our best self in our minds. It often reflects our productivity and achievement of certain goals, healthy behaviors, and so on.
What percentage of people succeed in reaching their New Year’s resolution goals?
Research has shown that only 8% of people who set a goal for the new year succeed in reaching their desired goal.
What are some common habits that keep people from achieving their life goals?
Some common habits include making goals too big and complicated, expecting to be perfect, listening to your inner critic, listening to the criticisms of others, and not preparing an action plan.
What are some steps to improve and stay on track with goals?
Some steps include making small and reasonable goals, taking time to plan, focusing on your strengths, celebrating small victories, and finding new supporters.
How does physical health affect feelings of laziness?
How we take care of ourselves physically can affect how lazy we feel. Paying attention to physical health can help increase energy levels, which can be used for positive changes in life.
What are some foods and drinks that help maintain energy throughout the day?
Some examples include almonds, salmon, bananas, yogurt, oats, dark leafy vegetables, chicken, and water.
How can exercise affect feelings of laziness?
Being active can increase our energy level and make us feel productive. Research has shown that exercising, even at a moderate level, can have a significant impact on energy levels by reducing feelings of fatigue.
How can sleep patterns affect our energy levels?
Our sleep patterns have a significant impact on our energy levels. Creating a routine pattern for sleep can help you feel balanced and have more energy to do things during the day.
What are some useful ways to manage stress?
Some useful ways to manage stress include including exercise and movement in the daily schedule, finding a reason to smile or laugh, increasing the number of social supporters, and practicing meditation or daily prayer.
How can setting boundaries help manage stress?
One of the most essential elements in managing stress is making sure we use our time wisely. Setting boundaries around your time can help you manage stress and make time for yourself.
Why should we avoid comparing ourselves to others?
Comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and can act as a barrier to increasing productivity. It’s important to remember that everyone’s path is unique.