The greatest successes are people who can see some lesson or benefit in absolutely everything. As an example there is the joke of the man who goes to the doctor, lifts his arm, and says; “My arm hurts when I do this.” The doctor replies; “So don’t do that.”
The basis of your spiritual growth is just like that. Basically, see whatever you may be doing which is against your own benefit and stop doing it. That is the simplest way. There are of course things you can do to gain benefit and growth, but one method is in the subtraction of hindrances rather than the addition of new traits. This is the path of not wasting energy so you have more energy, and that comes from not doing things that waste your energy.
It is important to add beneficial characteristics to your personality, and you should strive to do that, however, if you feel that it may be too difficult for you to force yourself to add things to your life, then you are offered a way out. Just eliminate those things that hurt you and others.
A good path is a path that allows each person to find their own exercises, and has something for everyone. In a practical path, you will never be left with a valid excuse for not working on your growth. If you could see yourself doing wasteful things and stop yourself from doing them, that would be enough. The ability to stop yourself comes from having self control and that is what all these exercises are there to give you.
Self control, or will power, is the only fuel that the engine of change can run on, and if you do not have it, you will find change difficult to achieve, or at least very limited. On the other hand, if all you do is develop will power, you may automatically also get good manners, a controlled tongue that does not bite off anyone’s head, which is better for them and you, a heightened sense of awareness of your environment, and a strong intuition.
If you will not do the work to develop self will, then ask yourself why you will not. Make that question something to contemplate for days or weeks, and you will find that as you just think about that question, without any other practices, just contemplating that one single question of why you are not doing these things, then you will find that the strength to do them slowly builds.
It is like saying a mantra. First it is the mantra of the mouth, you only say the words. Then after time it becomes the mantra of the mind, where it is constantly repeating without your trying to say it, but is always in your mind. Then it develops into the mantra of the heart, where it is intermingled with your being and becomes part of your center, and in so doing, gives great strength to your spirit.
In case you think you are doing the exercises, the way to test if you are doing them with enough effort is to look at the results.