What If Lazy Doesn’t Exist?

What if Lazy Doesn't Exist

One of the most common reasons I hear for people not making the changes they would like to make, from eating more healthy to losing weight, is ‘Oh, it’s because I’m so LAZY.’

I always felt this excuse wasn’t the whole story, so when I came across this quote by personal trainer Jillian Michaels, it really spoke to me:

“Lazy doesn’t exist. Lazy is a symptom of something else…it’s usually a lack of self-worth or a feeling of helplessness.”

– Jillian Michaels

What if you are not actually lazy but there was something else going on instead, which leads to a lack of self-worth or feeling of helplessness?

Below are what I see as the most common reasons we fall into the ‘I’m so lazy’ trap with a question each time to help you out.

1. Being overly ambitious

Its great to have lofty ambitions in life, but when it comes to making healthy change, this can easily lead to overwhelm. And when we are overwhelmed, most of us tend to avoid taking action and simply feel helpless.

Question to ask yourself:
What is the first small step I need to take towards what I want to achieve? 

For example, if you want to start eating more healthy, you could break this down into a more manageable and tangible step such as cooking more healthy meals at home. From there, your first small step could be simply finding one recipe that inspires you and setting a goal to make that once a week. This will motivate you far more than deciding to completely revamp your diet and is a much more realistic goal you can then build on.

2. Thinking in black and white 

This goes something like this: Either I have been ‘good’ in my eating or I have been ‘bad’. Either I am on the wagon or I have fallen off.
This type of thinking tends to extremes that are not healthy or sustainable in the long-term.

Question to ask yourself: 
Would I keep eating or living this way long-term?

If the answer is no, then don’t do it because you won’t keep it up. Find a more moderate way you can live with.

For example, deciding to completely stop eating sugar is an unrealistic goal that you are unlikely to want to keep up for life. Deciding to reduce the amount of sugar you eat or making it only an occasional treat is a much more realistic way of approaching this.

Making healthy change is about a culmination of small choices and habits you do every day, not a grand diet or one-off effort. It has to fit into your life and be something that is pleasurable enough for you to want to keep doing in the long-term. There is no ‘end’ to being healthy once you achieve a goal so be gentle and kind to yourself.

3. Underestimating your own resistance to change

As humans we all tend to resist change until NOT changing becomes more painful than changing. This is thanks to our subconscious mind which acts as an overprotective friend who wants to keep us safe. And for the subconscious mind, change = unknown = unsafe.

So when we sabotage our own efforts, this is often our subconscious mind panicking and trying to keep us in our comfort zone.

Question to ask yourself:
What is the upside of NOT achieving what I want to achieve? 

For example, what would be the advantage of NOT losing weight? This can seem like a very strange question initially, but really be honest and try to examine where you might have some ambiguity about what you want to achieve. For example, you may desperately want to lose weight but on a deep subconscious level, you are also afraid of all the attention you might get if you lose weight. Or you might realise that the extra weight is actually a convenient excuse for not moving forward in life. Or that fixating on your weight is actually a convenient distraction to something else in your life you are not dealing with.

Once you have identified your blocks to change, you are much more able to work around them.

I would love to hear from you – do you recognize yourself in any of these points? What is one thing you could do to make change more smooth?

 

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One Comment

  • Faris on Jun 16, 2014 Reply

    Great article Hiba – I love how concrete the 3 steps you share are. I will try to implement them in my life in the coming weeks.

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