Lowering my ‘activation threshold’ for doing things I don’t want to do

My doctor says I should be eating more oatmeal. But I don’t want to…I’m lazy, and instant oatmeal wouldn’t really help (I need the whole grain/fiber from old fashioned oatmeal). High cholesterol is no fun.

There’s a lot of other things like that in my life, like going to the gym or getting up at a normal hour – stuff I know I should be doing, like logically I REALLY know the ROI of doing these things. And yet, I find myself not doing them as often as I should.

One thing I’ve been trying recently is to lower my ‘activation threshold’ of getting myself to just take the first step. Historically, if a random thought crossed my mind about how I should be eating oatmeal or going to the gym, I would just start making all sorts of excuses of why I shouldn’t do those things, right at this moment.

What I’m been trying to do is immediately reminding myself that I don’t really need to have an internal debate about whether I should do these things. Instead, without really thinking, I’ve been trying to just immediately get up and take the first step. So for oatmeal, getting out a bowl. For the gym, putting on shorts.

It’s a process, but so far it’s been helpful I think. Probably 90% of the time, I do make that bowl of oatmeal, given that I get out that bowl. And for the gym, I legit can’t recall a time when I put on my shorts and DIDN’T end up at the gym.

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