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art of goal achieving

How to Overcome Laziness & Procrastination to Achieve Your Goals

Before we can get to the “how” of overcoming laziness and procrastination, we must first define each one as they are a little different from each other. Laziness is a state of mind where the individual just doesn’t care. Yes, there are things that s/he could do that need getting done, but the person lacks the focus and desire to accomplish these things.

Procrastination on the other hand is a reluctant behavior to do something. It differs from laziness in that it isn’t that the procrastinator doesn’t care, it is that something is mentally holding him or her back from doing it. It could be fear of failure, criticism, repercussions from suffering a past setback – something in their mind is telling them not to do it … at least for now. The other big difference between the two is that when we procrastinate, we end up feeling guilty about not doing whatever it is that we are avoiding doing. Not doing something do to laziness does not come with the guilt … because they just don’t care!

Now that we know the difference between laziness and procrastination, let’s look at a process to eliminate them. As we saw, they are inherently different, yet the same process can be used to eliminate both of them. It actually consists of four steps.

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Step 1 – Identify the reason behind why you don’t want to do something.

Are you bored or are you using either as an avoidance mechanism, If so, why are you avoiding doing it, With laziness you could be bored and choose to spend your time doing something else. You could be avoiding doing something just because you don’t see the value of accomplishing that task.

With procrastination, you are most likely using it as an avoidance mechanism. The difference is you see the value of accomplishing the task at hand, but choose to accomplish it at a later time. You might feel the task is too large to accomplish right now. If that is the case, break it down into smaller and more manageable chunks. Remember the old adage “How do you eat an elephant, One bite at a time!” That is how to approach what seems to be unmanageable projects too. Whatever it is that is preventing you from accomplishing that task now needs to be identified before it can be overcome.

Step 2 – Identify the long-term consequences.

In this step, the procrastinator takes a look at what will happen if the task being delayed doesn’t get done, The lazy person should also look at long-term consequences, but not the result of not doing the task at hand so much as what laziness is doing to them in general. What opportunities are they missing out on in their life because of their laziness,

Step 3 – Set realistic and achievable goals.

With the procrastinator, the goal may be too lofty and because of the fear or failing, the person decides to avoid doing the task. In this case, the goal should be broken down into milestones or smaller goals and when one is achieved, s/he strives to continue with the next one eventually accomplishing the initial lofty goal in the process.

With laziness, it can be caused because the person is not challenged enough to want to do the task, so they just don’t do it. Setting a goal worth achieving in their eyes – something that challenges their talents – can be the catalyst to get them moving and working toward the goal.

Step 4 – Take immediate action.

Once the goal is set, work must start immediately without fail or delay. With either laziness or procrastination, doing something immediately is better than doing nothing. Slow and steady wins the race every time! In either case, once forward motion starts, inertia will tend to carry a person to accomplish more and more. As long as the focus and reward along the way and at the end is great enough to warrant the effort, laziness and procrastination can be overcome. If either laziness or procrastination plague you, use these four steps to help overcome it.

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Why Is It So Hard to Build Healthy Habits?

As a species, humans are resistant to change by nature. Because of that resistance, it takes us a while to break a bad habit or implement a new one – up to as long as a month. During this transition period, it is easy to fall back into our old ways, unless we consciously keep ourselves on track until our new change has taken hold as a habit.

In the case of healthy habits, not only can introducing them increase our resistance to disease now, but they also improve life later down the road. That means taking fewer prescribed drugs in the future, maintaining independent living longer and more longevity as we age. But the road to change can be bumpy if not done correctly.

Healthy Eating

Do you like food that is not good for you, Food that is high in calories and fat, If so, you are not alone… and it is not your fault! We are genetically engineered to gravitate toward that kind of food from our ancestral days. Hunting, gathering and exploring the surrounding area took a lot of energy and so food with a lot of calories and fat provided the energy.

But the food today is different than it was eons ago. Today processed and fast food lurks around on every corner, inviting you to come in … and while you are there, super-size everything making for even more fat and calories. But that isn’t the end of the story. Food is addictive. So, if you succumb to eating a lot of processed and fast food, that is what your body becomes accustomed to eating, what it prefers, and in fact, what it craves.

However, the opposite side of the coin is also true. If you start eating healthy, it too over time will become addictive also. The trick is to make small incremental changes over time and not a big change all at once. That way your body will slowly change and adapt to your new way of eating. What gets people into trouble and they fail is they try to make too much of a change in too short a time. Don’t quit eating bad food cold turkey – slowly start eating less bad food and more good food over the course of say a month.

Healthy Fitness

The same rationale of change also applies to exercising. At the start of each New Year, people make all-or-nothing commitments in the form resolutions where they are going to conquer the world fitness-wise – exercise five days a week, run a marathon in a month, etc. But after the first time or two in the gym, they are so sore they can hardly move. They take a few days to heal up and never return to the gym again.

Instead, they should have started slowly by doing some short easy workouts a day or two the first week and gradually increase the frequency, workout time and type of workout over the course of the first month.

Building healthy habits is a process of setting an attainable and realistic end goal with several milestones of mini-goals along the way. Be sure to reward yourself in a positive way after reaching each milestone as it provides the mental boost to continue forging ahead to the next one.

Posted in Expert advice, Personal Development, Self-help, Success, TrainingComments (0)

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