Laziness begets laziness; familiar with this adage? Every time we procrastinate doing our homework or even delay tidying our messy rooms, our parents and elders wise us up with this saying. Laziness can affect all aspects of life. It prevents you from reaching your personal & professional peak and to have an active lifestyle.
Laziness and procrastination are vicious cycles that need to be broken early on to help prevent further damage to the mind and body. For example, are you somebody who has never fully utilised your gym subscription or keeps falling off the bandwagon while taking care of your health? A lot of us do go through these periods of low energy or low self-motivation. And we can rectify it with simple life hacks and the ability to start afresh. What sets the achievers or the fitness gurus, or even our favourite influence, is the ability to bounce back.
So here are seven simple ways to start having an active lifestyle and stop being lazy.
How to have an Active lifestyle?
1. Set Realistic Timelines
The first way to overcome this is to break down your long-term goal into short-term goals with realistic timelines. You need not have to be too harsh on yourself and expect yourself to be perfect all the time. Self-criticism is great for self-learning and also for improvement. Still, if you’ve been feeling low on motivation, it is essential to focus on your strengths rather than your shortcomings. So avoid seeking validation from others and focus on having a plan of action to take you closer to your goals. Having this shift holds good in all aspects of having excellent physical and mental health.
2. Sleep Better
Prioritising sleep duration and timing both have an impact on your energy levels. If you want to invest in an active lifestyle, it’s essential to focus on getting the right amount of sleep and consistently maintaining your sleep and waking up on time. Now, what duration of sleep is considered reasonable can vary from one individual to another. However, about six to eight hours of sleep is sufficient for most of us.
Prioritising sleep is essential if you want to stay energetic throughout the day and play a massive role in your food choices and cravings. Insufficient sleep can create havoc on your hormones, which controls your hunger and satiety. Break the cycle by fixing your sleep pattern, duration and by limiting the damage. Avoid screen time 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime if you have issues with falling asleep. Restrict coffee and tea intake post-lunch. Most importantly, try to go to bed at the same time every week.
If you want to know how irregular sleep can lead to weight gain and how to fix your sleeping pattern? You can check out why sleep is an important factor for weight loss.
3. Focus on the present
Do little things right and do it every single day to see the impact it has on your overall lifestyle: Having a morning routine would help to start your day right. Now, what do we mean by that? Avoid looking at your phone or social media or even checking your emails as soon as you wake up. It could completely distract you from starting your day on a very productive note. So start the day with a meditation routine or with some positive affirmations or even gratitude. You could even begin the day by going out in the sun, especially within the first hour of sunrise, so choose whatever works for you. It helps improve your mental health, energises you and improves your overall well-being. Then, if you have the time, go for a quick run or a long walk.
When it comes to food, we mostly wake up to a cup of coffee or tea. But, unfortunately, caffeinated beverages do not help in kick-starting your metabolism. Instead, what you could do is try having a bowl of fresh fruits or a glass of fresh lemonade. You could even see some significant differences in your energy levels, gut health, and overall eating choices throughout the day.
4. Reboot with micro-breaks
Taking short, frequent breaks from work helps to lighten up your day. We have been hearing for quite some time now that sitting is the new smoking. With the current work-from-home scenario, we hardly get to move. We are sitting during the day for work or at night watching our favourite series. So overall, our activity levels have significantly reduced because of the pandemic, affecting having an active lifestyle. It can be reason enough for us to feel drained and have low energy levels. So take those breaks, which can improve your productivity by breaking the monotony. Instead of having a bottle of water right next to you on your work desk, probably fetch it from the kitchen.
The same holds good even when you would like to have your favourite beverage or even munch on some quick bites. Be mindful of the number of cups of coffee or tea or even the portion of snacks you have in a day. Most importantly, stretching and moving every 45 to 60 minutes is great to keep your metabolism high. It also helps you manage your body weight and also prevents body aches and pain. Long sitting hours can result in wrong postures, and moving and correcting the posture may further boost our energy level.
5. Eat Clean
We all already know by now that we are what we eat. If we eat the wrong food, it does not just put us at a higher risk for lifestyle diseases. It can also affect our daily productivity, energy levels and fitness, even sleep. Does that mean one has to eat boring, bland foods? Of course not. All you have to do is pay attention to what you eat; that sounds simple, right? It means that you keep your phone aside or turn off your television or laptop every time you sit and eat. The focus when you’re in front of the food has to be only on eating.
When you eat, paying attention, you will like the food better. You will be able to appreciate every course, every smell and every bit of love that has gone into cooking this food. Mindful eating leads to automatically choosing the right kind of food. Mindfulness and clean eating are interrelated. Food can nourish you, improve your energy levels, and not make you lazy or sleepy when you eat with focus. Also, eating slowly and mindfully will help one not to overeat, as it takes about 20 minutes for our brain to receive the signal that we are full.
6. Self- Rewards
The little rewards trick is like how rewards and recognition are essential to keep us motivated at work; They are equally crucial for us to propel in our personal daily life. So these little timely rewards can be a great way to say goodbye to laziness and stay focused. Apply it to every aspect of your personal life. It can be a weekly or fortnightly reward or even a cheat meal. Reward yourself when you eat clean or give yourself a rest day from your daily exercise routine. It could be buying yourself your favourite gadget, going on a holiday, or even the little black dress you have always wanted.
So rewards can help you stay focused, motivated and give you reasons to enjoy the process. Stop feeling guilty when you eat your favourite dessert on a Saturday night. Remember to err is human, and one wrong meal or missed workout does not define you.
7. Keep it Simple
The seventh and final tip, which is to keep it simple and realistic. Let’s say you would like to shed a few kilos and try to get on a diet. Then ask yourself this question before you begin one, which is ‘is it simple for me to stick to it for the next couple of years?’ and ‘does this goal sound realistic and achievable?’ If your answer is yes for both the questions, you are highly likely to succeed in your weight loss goal. On the other hand, if it is too complex for you to sustain, then remember it was not you who failed, but the goal was incorrect. The same holds when you’re probably starting a new exercise regimen.
Remember that every goal, habit, and change should leave you energetic and not add to your stress. It is okay to fail. It’s not the end of the road, and you always have an option to look out for more awareness. However, it is essential to be willing to change, which is the willingness to start new habits. Or even the desire to commit to the possible minor actions, avoid breaking the chain and bear in mind consistency is the key.
In these challenging times of the pandemic and the mix of a work-from-home lifestyle, these tips are sure to come in handy to get fit and active again and stop being lazy.
We hope these seven simple tips, from maintaining sleep timings to small changes like switching to fresh fruits from tea or coffee, bring tremendous and positive changes in your lifestyle.