How to Stop Being Lazy

– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound

lazy manIf you’re anything like me, you go out of your way to avoid doing the things you know you’ve got to do. While your conscious mind is telling you to “Git ‘er done,” your unconscious is more like, “Squirrel!”

Sometimes laziness is a good thing, your mind and body’s way of telling you it needs to rest and recharge to prevent burnout. But all too often it’s just a refusal to get your shit together and it’s the main obstacle keeping you from the life you want.

The first step is asking yourself if you’re lazy. If you’re not, you probably wouldn’t have clicked on this article. So now you’ve acknowledged you are (see what I did there?), you need to decide if you really want to change. Maybe you’re fine with it and are okay with the self-imposed limitations. If so, enjoy the couch time. But if you truly are committed to working on this part of yourself, the good news is you’re already halfway there!

Welcome to Lazy-Ass Anonymous. “Hi, I’m Wes and I’m lazy.” The first order of business is to drop to the ground and do a single pushup. Seriously, do it. I’ll wait…


Did you do the pushup?

If so, congrats! You’re not actually lazy and don’t need to read any further. Get back to whatever it was you were doing and keep kicking butt! But before you go, tell us your secret in the comments!

For the ninety-percent of you who didn’t do the pushup, chances are you had a “good excuse” not to. Maybe you’re at work, or in class, or on the bus. Could be the floor is dirty or your arm hurts. Possibly, you just worked out or are planning to do so later.

Here’s the thing: Most of those are good excuses. And I’ll be the first to acknowledge that just because some random guy on the internet tells you to do something doesn’t mean it’s worth doing.

But none of that matters. See, I knew most of you wouldn’t do the pushup. The point was to get you to see your own process of rationalizing, avoiding, and making excuses for not doing something—even if, as in this case, it was a stupid something.

But here’s the other thing: Did you consider doing it at all? If not, why not? A single pushup is easy enough and exercise is good for you.

I’ll venture the reason had nothing to do with the pushup. It was because your mind’s default setting is “idle.” Don’t feel bad, it’s completely natural. In our evolution as a species, we had to avoid pointless activity that could burn up our precious energy derived from limited food sources. Of course, in this modern day, none of that applies anymore. But you still have to make the conscious effort to change your default setting from “idle” to “action.”

It’s much easier to be open to doing things and then think better of it than automatically dismissing everything and later trying to convince yourself it’s actually a good idea.

Obviously, there’s no actual switch in your head. The only real way to change your setting is the next time a (safe and worthwhile) action pops into your head, do it. Then the next time. And the next time. And the time after that.

If you do this long enough, eventually you’ll reset your system, kick your laziness, and start taking massive strides towards unlocking your potential.

Wes Colton is a lazy S.O.B. who accepted this about himself enough to change. Talk to him about it by emailing him at

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