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Self-Discipline Changed My Life: How To Stop Being Lazy

It was easy to be lazy. In fact, a little too easy.
It was comfortable. It was what I desired.

But I didn't realize my desire for comfort was actually considered laziness - I just thought I wanted to relax, unwind, and "take care of it later" or "when I feel like it."

However, I felt that way most of the time. And that was the problem.

In negative ways, I saw this laziness play out in my relationship with my husband. I saw it play out at work. I saw it play out in my community connections, my relationships with friends and family, my health and physical fitness.

I was being lazy about a lot of things in life.

Photo of two attendees at neighborhood Halloween party - enjoying being lazy!

I didn't want to go grocery shopping or run "necessary evil" errands (as I call them) because for some reason shopping in general stresses me out. I'm convinced it's the crowds (social anxiety maybe?) or all the countless options to choose from that make it feel so stressful. And if I had already arrived home after work, there was NO way I wanted to leave the house again... that is, unless it was to do something fun or go out to eat. I didn't even want to stop at the grocery store on the way home after work because I just wanted to be home, even though the grocery store was less than 2 miles away from our house.

...I'm already starting to sound pretty pathetic.

I didn't want to work out early in the morning because I enjoyed my sleep, and it was "too dark outside" to wake up before 7am. But then again, I didn't want to exercise after work either, because it was "a long day" and the first thing I normally do when I get home is start preparing dinner. After eating dinner, the only thing I want to do is chill and relax on the couch until it was time to get ready for bed.

I didn't want to clean or do the dishes because as soon as I got the kitchen clean and looking sharp, it seemed like after preparing a single meal for dinner, the kitchen went back to square one and needed to be cleaned again with dishes piled up in the sink and counters and floors a mess. But I didn't want to clean in general because my attitude was, "It's just going to get dirty again as soon as I clean it up," or, "Nobody is really going to notice." My husband had to be the one to initiate cleaning things up together and wanting to "deep clean" (THE MOST UN-FUN THING EVER) every once in awhile. Although he is much more of a clean freak than I am, if it was left up to me, things would just get the basic wipe down and basic tidy-up. Not ever truly clean. We both grew up doing chores every weekend and cleaning the house for our parents, but I was the one who kept a sorry attitude about it.

And the scenarios continue...

Day after day. Week after week. Being lazy became a lifestyle. It became the story of my life. The lazy wife.

But then something changed.

After complaining to my husband about how annoyed I was that the kitchen kept getting dirty after cooking a single meal and the sink was piled with dishes just hours after I had cleaned it, my husband sweetly said, "Well, that's not a good attitude to have about it." Usually I would get defensive about being called out for "having a bad attitude" because I tend to take things personally. But as simple of a statement it was, it was the first time I realized that I was a lazy person and had a bad attitude about having to do anything I didn't enjoy doing.

Woe is me...

But I wanted to be a wife who served her husband well and who would be a great homemaker (even with a full-time day job) like our mothers were. During this lazy phase of mine, I'm pretty sure my husband was better at being a "homemaker" than I was. And he was happy to clean, to cook, to run errands, etc....but I felt it was something that I should be doing, and needed to do it with a good attitude...with a servants heart...with a cheerful heart. Don't be fooled - having a good attitude about doing things I didnt feel like doing sure wasn't easy for me starting out, but over time, it got easier.

My husband's words hit me hard because I immediately started thinking about both of our mothers, who always cooked and always cleaned and did so much for us with a good attitude, a servant's heart, and a cheerful heart. They served us well out of love, not out of command or expectation or need. They cleaned up after every meal. They did the dishes. They even deep cleaned with a good attitude. They ran errands anytime when needed without complaining. They went out of their way to help or get things done. They would even drive 10 minutes into town just to get a bag of chips - and I live 2 miles away from 5 grocery stores and would have rather done without than having to leave the house.

Needless to say, this blog is about how I changed (or attempt every day to change) my lazy attitude and turn it into self-discipline with a cheerful heart.

And here's what I started doing...

I started waking up at 6am in the morning to go to the gym - a time that made most sense for me to exercise instead of going after work when I would be busy cooking and getting ready for the day ahead. I didn't even require my husband to join me or to keep me accountable in order to actually go to the gym, even when I wanted to sleep in. And guess what... after waking up early and getting a good workout for the day, I realized it was worth it, every single time.

I went to the grocery store early in the morning (if I had a short workout) or later in the evening when there were less people shopping to help with my shopping-anxiety. But when neither of those times weren't be an option, I chose to have a good attitude and go to the grocery store during peak hours (during lunch or right after work) and tried my hardest not to let it stress me out.  I chose to take my time going through the isles and didn't allow myself to avoid crowded isles. I chose to smile at those I passed, and didn't allow myself to get impatient when I couldn't get through an isle or when someone was walking slow in front of me. I was mindful about the items I wanted to buy and what all was available on the shelf. I even branched out and bought a few different brands or flavors than normal, making it a little more fun to shop for groceries.

Instead of wasting time in front of the TV after dinner, I started reading a book instead of waiting for a "book club" or someone to read it along with, while taking a relaxing bubble bath. I started doing my Bible study more often. And I started doing crafts and scrapbooking again (one of my favorite hobbies). What I consider "mindless" activities and time-wasters (i.e. watching TV, browsing social media on my phone, etc), I chose to spend that time doing things that I wanted to accomplish or exercising my brain with enjoyable tasks that are more beneficial for me personally. 

I stopped having an attitude or getting annoyed when my husband would ask me to do something for him, especially when we were already comfortably sitting on the couch or when "I just sat down."

I cleaned out the cat litter box often (two cats make a huge difference in how often you need to clean out the box!). Took out the trash. Did the dishes. Cleaned the countertops. Watered the grass. Got the mail. Ran errands. Refilled the coffee canister. Made the bed.....

Without an attitude!

It's a miracle!

It doesn't sound like much, but let me tell you how it changed my life.

  1. It helped me boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
  2. It made me more active and desire to be active.
  3. It made me want to take better care of my body, with both fitness and diet. 
  4. It improved my overall self-discipline in many other areas of life.
  5. It helped me get back into enjoying hobbies (instead of spending my evenings watching TV or chilling out on the couch).
  6. It helped me make more connections and meet new people, instead of always being an introverted homebody.
  7. It helped me maintain or build relationships with old friends, distant family members, and more. Including a better relationship with my husband. 
  8. It helped me get involved in my community to make a difference and serve a greater good.


If you are struggling with laziness or even enjoying "relaxing" a bit too much like I did, I encourage you to challenge yourself to 3 weeks of self-discipline and see how it impacts your life.


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