I'm currently learning scales and 4 note chords, but I'm not really sure what I'm aiming for. When practising chords, I think they're slowly being cemented into my brain, through muscle memory mainly - I'm guessing this is the best way to memorize them. But when practising scales (which I've been doing for longer than chords, and they're just not sticking), I'm having to think about the interval pattern (e.g. W W h W W W h for major scale) every single note, to figure out what to play next. I've also tried memorising the circle of fifths - before I play the scale, I think about what notes are sharped/flatted and then play them. As you can imagine both of these 'methods' are taking me ages, so I feel like I'm going completely the wrong way about it.
Is there a 'proper'/conventional way to learn scales? I understand that this is slightly opinion based, but surely there's a generally accepted way to memorize these things... Unless I'm doing it correctly and it is literally just a matter of practising them over and over until they stick in my head through muscle memory or something?