I'm not going to lie... I'm lazy by nature. Left unchecked, I would never get anything done. I always had trouble handing in assignments at school, and I always look for corners to cut.
In recent years I have become very ambitious, which mixes with my lazy attitude like oil and water. I've learned that most people are lazy to some extent. It is human nature to want to experience the most amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain.
I have often created vast plans for achieving my goals, but they would only work in a fantasy reality. I imagine myself turning into some sort of robot overnight that can work twenty-four hours a day without eating, sleeping, or needing to relax. But these plans never stand the test of time.
Eventually I give up, and feel ashamed.
Does the progression towards your goals have to be this hard all the time? No, and I think I've figured it out.
Daily Automatic Developmental Habits
This is something that fellow HelpfulGuy Leroy Milton and I discuss quite a lot with each other and with the new year starting, we want to really delve into how to internalize these habits and which habits to pursue.
A daily automatic developmental habit is something you do every day that guarantees you will get closer to your dreams.
Unlike baseline habits—sleep, diet and exercise—these automatic developmental habits focus more on accomplishing repetitive tasks that support you in accomplishing your goals.
I'll use myself as an example.
My dream is to become an expert in the field of personal development. I want to write books, engage in the self help community, coach people one-on-one, give speeches and learn as much as I can in my field.
The daily automatic developmental habits that I enact to support this vision are:
- Writing one page of content
- Reading for a minimum of thirty minutes while taking notes
- Engaging with someone in the community
- Sharing a 2HelpfulGuys article
- Coming up with ten ideas
Now, unless you have the memory of a goldfish you will be thinking to yourself "Wait, I thought he said he was lazy and took the easy way. That doesn't sound easy to me."
Well it can be, if you have the right approach.
Making Your Habits Automatic
In recent years the scientific community has discovered that your willpower is like a muscle, and you can only exert it so much before it needs time to recover.
When you first start trying to incorporate a new habit into your routine, it takes up a lot of your willpower.
After daily practice of your new habit for a period of time—some say twenty-one days, but I've also heard up to forty-five—your habit will cease to take up nearly as much willpower. This means that you won't have to convince yourself to do it, it will just be natural.
This is where I always went wrong. This is why I found it so hard to get anything done.
I tried to incorporate too many habits at a time and didn't internalize any of them.
Setting up your daily automatic developmental habits will be a long process, but I prefer long and stable over frustrating and short-lived.
No matter what you want to do with your life pick three daily habits that would guarantee you'd inch closer to your goals, and give yourself a month and a half to internalize each individually before incorporating the next.
After internalizing each habit they will become second nature to you, and you will be automatically progressing towards your goal every single day.
Live Like The Tortoise, Not The Hare
It is important that you become completely content with the idea of the long term, and taking it one step at a time. This is the only way to end up with automatic habits that transform your productivity.
Remember, I promised you automatic, not quick.
I love experimenting with different daily habits and seeing how they can improve my life.
It has taken me almost two years to get my habits in place and I'm still working on them, which is fine. Maybe I wouldn't become a robot even if I could, because then I would cease to improve.
I'd rather be slow and stable, than to go Gung-ho and burn out before I get anywhere.
But this could all just be an excuse to take the long way around because, well...
I am lazy.