Face it, your brain is lazy.  It’s not you, it’s your brain. 

Among its many strengths, one of the most primal is the ability to conserve energy.  While not as critical today, this survival instinct prevented our hunter/gatherer ancestors from running out of energy on a hunt and becoming the prey. 

When faced with cleaning the room or sitting on the couch, the brain will vote couch every time.  So, if you’ve decided to begin a new habit or routine, your brain needs help.

Consider creating an easy “on ramp” to the highway of habit.  This would require identifying a “tiny trigger” that is a remarkably small action that directs the brain’s focus to a new habit or behavior.  While it is insignificant by itself, it triggers a domino effect of actions needed to engage in a new routine.

When I decided (the easy part) to build more core upper body strength, I set a “tiny trigger” which would be super easy for my brain to agree with: “Do at least one sit up daily.”  (Nothing scary, nothing hard.)

So that’s my trigger, “If I have finished running, then I will do at least one sit up.”

While one sit up seems insignificant (and it is), this is our ‘edge on evolution’ that our hunter/gather ancesters didn’t have, our ‘foot in the door’ technique. Starting with one makes it easy to trigger more by tapping into something similar to Newton’s First Law, an object in motion stays in motion. It’s almost easier to keep going than it is to stop.

One sit up turns into five, six or seven.  Before you know it you can crank out seventy.  Before you know it, you can add just one push up…and just one pull up.

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