Brain Hack How to Start Something New

Appears in the Adulting Planner on:

Here’s a scenario:

You decide you want to start eating a healthy breakfast. Your excited about how this is going to make you feel, but when you wake up, you go through the old motions. You do what you’ve always done and grab some mini donuts from the bag in the kitchen before heading out the door. Midway through your morning, it hits you — UGH, you wanted to make a different choice and didn’t remember.

Does that seem familiar? Do find yourself wanting to start a new habit or routine, but in the moment you keep forgetting to do the thing?

Make a plan

Sometimes succeeding in a new routine is about planning in advance. What can you do now to help yourself remember that you want to do it differently when the moment comes later? In the example above, you could set out breakfast options the night before so you see them on the counter, and trigger your brain to remember. You could also move the bag of donuts and when you go to grab one, it won’t be where you expect, and it will jog your memory. You might even need to set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier so you have time to eat before running out the door.

Here are ways you can jumpstart your memory with a small action now:

  • Move the location of an item so it’s different when you are in default mode
  • Put an item needed for tomorrow by the door, so you don’t forget it
  • Write a note on your hand, or put a Post-it note on a mirror or steering wheel
  • Set an alarm
  • Set a timer
  • Put a reminder note in your calendar


3 easy steps:

1) plan now

2) pick a memory trigger for later 

3) act immediately when reminder alerts you


Take Action Now

Can you do anything right now to succeed in a new routine? (Get up and go do it!)

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