Closed September 2017

Just Do It! Change Your To-Do’s into To-DONEs

Here’s the setting: you have a goal in mind and you have a strong desire to succeed- but somehow you miss the target. What happened? Watch this video for insights and help to discover what is motivation.

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Hi. I’m organizing and lifestyle expert Lorie Marrero. I was looking in my bookshelf today and I pulled down one of my favorite books. This is by Chip and Dan Heath called “Switch – How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.” It is full of amazing information and stories and I wanted to share one with you today about what they call “action triggers.”

There was a study done where college students could earn extra credit in class by writing an essay about what they did on Christmas Eve, but they had to turn it in by December 26th if they were going to get credit for it. And what they found is the students had a good intention of writing the paper, but only 33% of them got around to actually doing that. Other students though in the studies were required to set what we call “action triggers.” So they were supposed to note in advance exactly when and where they intended to write this essay. So, for example, “I’ll write this report in my dad’s office on Christmas morning before everyone gets up.” And a whopping 75% of those students wrote the report. Why? It’s because they imagined a time and a place where they were actually going to do it and the environment set the stage and reminded them. So imagine you’re getting up on Christmas morning, you’ve just experienced Christmas Eve you’re supposed to write about, you’ve got a buffet of choices in front of you of beautiful holiday food and playing with the dog and new Christmas toys and all kinds of things. But if you have realized that no one’s up yet and you remember that you promised yourself you were going to do that, you’re way more likely to stop and make time for that activity.

In the content that I’ve created over the years we call that a “habit hook.” So we tell people to clean out the refrigerator the night before the garbage is going to be collected. For example, we also tell people to hook the habit of cleaning out the trash in their car to a time when they are filling up their car with gasoline. The trash cans are right there and they’re just sitting around waiting for the tank to fill anyway, so it’s an action trigger or again, what we call, a habit hook.

So if you’re trying to create a new habit, what action trigger could you create today? If you want to go to the gym, why don’t you say to yourself, “I’m going to go to the gym at this certain time?” And maybe put on your running clothes first thing so you’re already even dressed for the occasion so it makes it even easier. What can you do in your environment to make the changes easier that you want to make? Think about it.

We’ll see you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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