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At least…

At least…
February 5, 2019 Dan Raimondi

I like minimums:

  • I’ll read at least 20 pages per day.
  • I’ll do at least 10 push ups per day.
  • I’ll do 1 barbell lift per day.
  • I’ll eat a serving of protein with each meal.

Minimums give you a low barrier to entry. They make forming habits easier because they’re easier to start, easy to maintain, and give you wins along the way. It’s hard to avoid them because I know the minimum. When I meet the “at least”, I feel good about my day. When I go beyond, I feel even better. Maybe I’ll read 30 pages today. Maybe I’ll do a little extra conditioning or a few extra push-ups. I did the minimum, but you know, I want to go further today.

Here are a few extra, random tips that are in my head right now:

Cues: I got this, no surprise, from James Clear. When forming a new habit (or replacing an old one), look for the cue. Do you always reach for the bag of chips when it’s 3 pm at your desk? Replace it with an apple. The cue now (3 pm, feeling tired, stressed) is still to grab something to snack on, but the response and reward are much healthier in the long run.

Replace: In keeping with the above tip, try replacing other habits with better ones that align with your goals. If you want to be in better shape, replace the elevator by taking the stairs. Replace a full-calorie soda with its diet version. Swap some of your endless cardio with 20-30 minutes of weight training.