Why you need The Lazy Man's Guides to get your shit together
So, why do you need The Lazy Man's Guides? Because you've tried everything else by yourself and nothing is working.
You need a little help.
Arrogant? Maybe, but true.
- Looked on the internet for ideas or inspiration but only found motivational quotes and crap from internet 'gurus'?
- Felt you had little idea of what you wanted and struggled to focus on what to do first?
- Got started on turning your life around but ran out of steam and reverted to your old ways?
- Wanted to begin but didn't because you knew without support you'd fail?
Becoming who you want to be and turning your life around is a big thing, a huge endeavour.
You need reliable trustworthy information, a plan and accountability. Even then it takes work and determination; without these basics it is really hard.
First, let me tell you about how I got to where I am and how The Lazy Man's Guides began.
The mirror never lies
I looked in the mirror and winced, looked away and then back again.
Wow… actually, urghh.
That shattered the mental vision I had of myself in one careless glance over the top of the rose-coloured spectacles.
In my head, I wasn’t a super-fit, bulging muscled action hero, I was more average.
You know, average height, average weight, average looks, average intelligence. Just average. Vanilla, a bit bland and ordinary.
The shock was real and painful.
How had I had fallen that far short of an already low bar.
Shit, how had it happened?
Realisation is the hardest part...
Uncomfortable questions are not my forte, so I reverted to type and watched some Netflix's. Eighty-eight episodes of Netflix's.
Come on, if you start a boxset you are honour bound to complete it, aren’t you?
I didn’t enjoy the final ten episodes as much as I normally would, I was plagued by ‘the uncomfortable question’.
So, ‘how had it happened’, turned out to be the wrong question.
The right question was: 'where had my life and my waistline gone?'
The answer was more complicated than I expected and involved, too many boxsets, too little movement, very little effort and a burning desire to do the bare minimum while making up more and more outlandish reasons to rationalise why nothing changed.
So, what had changed?
Having a serious heart attack at forty-fours years old should have been a wakeup call.
Worrying about money, all of the time, should definitely have been a wakeup call.
A sense of failing as I watched my peers, family and others many years younger succeed while I bumbled along, should have gotten me off the sofa.
So, what prompted a change when even heart attacks weren’t enough to kick start my get up and go? The mirror, or more accurately, how what I saw in the mirror made me feel.
I was embarrassed, ashamed, disgusted but I think more than anything I was confused.
Confused might sound like an odd thing to say but what I was seeing in the mirror didn’t match my mental image of me, Mr Average.
How on earth had I let myself, become this?
It wasn't just the physical deterioration that I was ashamed of but the empty stare from dead eyes.
I looked like an old zombie. A fat, unhealthy, old zombie
That was my wakeup call.
So, what had changed?
I was suddenly viewing myself as other people did and not through my 'rose tinted spectacles'.
Was this how my wife saw me?
How my family saw me?
What people saw as I walked down the street?
That was my problem… So, what’s the solution?
This realisation and acceptance was harsh, painful and necessary if I wanted to get out from under the rock. It was time to face so uncomfortable truths.
- I had grown lazy.
- Procrastination isn’t a normal, sensible life choice.
- The ‘McDonald’s’ years hadn’t been kind. Neither for that matter had the red wine years or the over-indulgence decade…
- Box sets are awesome but moderation is required. Anything over one episode at a time is not moderation.
- Satisfaction and happiness come from doing and living not watching and rotting. This one's going to need some work...
Knowing all of this and accepting these harsh truths is fine but what happens next?
I didn't have a clue. I searched the internet and found motivational quotes and generic waffle from internet 'gurus' telling me 'I was worth it'.
Thanks, no help at all.
The only way I could think around this problem was to attack it one step at a time and actually do something.
Step one: identify the problem.
Step two: accept that it is a problem.
Step three: propose a solution.
Step four: follow the solution until the problem disappears.
Step five: rinse and repeat.
In my case it looked a bit like this.
Step one: I'm fat and unhealthy with a bad heart.
Step two: being fat and unhealthy with bad heart is stupid and dangerous, especially if you want to live beyond the end of next week.
Step three: lose weight, get fitter and remember to take the tablets regularly.
Step four: join a gym and set a reminder each day to take tablets.
Step five: look at what else needs addressing and do something about it.
I have to be honest, I very nearly became unstuck at step four. I mean, join a gym, exercise, get sweaty, ache and then do it again? I don't think so.
Really? That's all I had to offer myself?
I have had an aversion to structured exercise since I was at school and we were forced to do cross-country runs in the pouring rain and freezing cold while being followed by a PE teacher happily bellowing encouragement to the athletic types and ridiculing everyone else.
Exercise and me
The gym, I have since discovered, is nothing like my experience of exercise at school. It's full of modern equipment, helpful coaches and lots of other people who were there to do what I needed to do; lose weight and get fit.
Remarkably, I enjoyed it.
Yes, actually enjoyed it. I look forward to going, enjoy the time I'm there – even the sweaty, achey, exercise bit — and I'm starting to see a difference in how I look and more importantly how I feel.
This getting up and doing seems to have benefits I hadn't expected.
The get thinner and healthier was only one area of my life I had woefully ignored.
Could this work for other bits?
I hope so. I can't go to the gym for eight hours a day to stop the procrastination.
Accountability makes it work...
My epiphany, as well as prompting some action on my part, got me thinking about my own laziness, procrastination, lack of motivation and worrying box set addiction.
It seemed unlikely that I was going to be the only person in the entire world who struggled with the nuts and bolts of getting things done, seeing things through and achieving more than the absolute basics.
Could my efforts, and everything I'm learning be useful and interesting to anyone else?
Would anybody give a shit?
I decided they might.
The Lazy Man's Guides 1.0 was originally going to be, in part, a type of humorous journal for me to share my successes and failures, then perhaps a book, and possibly one or more courses to help the similarly afflicted achieve their undoubted potential.
Then the procrastination kicked in.
I have discovered that for me to do what I have to do, I need a good reason to do it.
I need accountability
The ‘reason’ that takes the decision out of my hands and prompts an action that under normal circumstances I would avoid.
An example would be going to the gym.
My accountability was a combination of my wife, the mirror, and the disappointment of my Apple watch if I didn't hit the targets it had thoughtfully provided.
Similarly, for The Lazy Man's Guides, to succeed I will need accountability.
I couldn’t expect my wife to spend her days kicking my arse to write articles, outlines and chapters of a book. The Apple watch encourages me to stand up, breathe occasionally and move more than I was used to but wouldn’t notice the odd boxset.
I need something else that would give a reason to do what I actually want to do.
What I needed was people. People who I would be accountable to and, turn could use The Lazy Man's Guides as their accountability.
People who mutter ‘okay just one more episode then I’ll cut the grass’ or ‘I’m bored, broke, and unfit, I should do something about this. Hmmm, maybe later, first, one more cat video’.
I want to help.
And this is a big but, I can’t help anybody who isn’t interested in helping themselves.
If you don’t want to help yourself by putting in the effort, maybe now isn't the right time.
However, if you've lost your get up and go, there rarely is a 'right time'.
When you’re ready, I’ll be waiting for you. Check out the articles and read for The Procrastinator, they’ll help you realise you can be more than you imagined.
If you feel you’re not ready to commit to making changes, I understand.
However, overcoming inertia is the hardest part. Once you're moving, everything gets easier.
Keep reading the articles as they appear and read The Procrastinator and let me know what you'd like to change and how I can help.
If box sets and procrastination still look more appealing than stopping dreaming and getting going, I’ve been there.
However, they will always have an appeal.
What's important is that the appeal of living, doing and being gets stronger, getting going becomes easier and your previous life loses its appeal.
Check in regularly, and let me know how I can help.
As I mentioned earlier, The Lazy Man’s Guides 1.0 was going to be a book, maybe a course or two and a collection of articles.
The Lazy Man’s Guides 2.0 will be all of that and a club of sorts – The LMG club a place where we can learn, improve, exchange ideas through commenting on articles and products and become who we want to be.
Get involved, make me accountable and we can live the lives we deserve.
Why Personal Responsibility is Important for Life Success
https://www.livestrong.com/article/14698-accepting-personal-responsibility/ (Accessed 17 August 2018)
There is no recommended order to read the articles on the site. However, if you'd like to follow a structured path that will get you to where you want to be, a good article to read next would be -
What's your why and why it matters