I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferris t’other day.


And he mentioned a goal his friend Ramit Sethi, the money expert and author, had set.


He felt he should be flossing his teeth every day.


And had just ‘tried to do it’ several times.


But, invariably, missed a few times as he was short on time.


And ended up stopping the habit completely.


A little but like when people start out with the intention of exercising 3+ times a week.


Miss a couple as they are short on time.


Then stop going completely.


So, Ramit decided to set a goal of flossing at least one tooth a day.


Once you’ve done one, chances are you’ll finish off the rest.


But, the worst case scenario is that the mouth will be fully flossed once a month.


Or, every 24 days in my case.


Yes, I’m missing 6 teeth!


It’s an example of setting a Minimal Achievable Goal.


A target that, no matter what happens, you can definitely achieve.


There’s literally no valid reason you can’t floss one tooth each day.


You can do the same with your health and fitness goals.


Set a goal that there is literally no excuse not to achieve.


Rather than saying you’re going to exercise X amount of times per week, you might set one or more of the following:


– Take workout gear with you to work everyday, whether you plan to use it or not (chances are you will some days and you’re prepared when it’s needed)


– Walk through the front door of RISE / your gym / your class X times per week (you can turn straight round if you like, but chances are you’ll do something while you’re there)


– Turn left instead of right when you leave work (you may loop round to home, but chances are that you’ll keep going to wherever you work out at least some days)


Instead of saying you’re going to eat healthily all the time, you might set one or more of the following:


– Do an online shop on a Sunday night in which you will order sufficient healthy food for the week


– Spend 5 minutes thinking about the days ahead, where you’ll be eating and what other food options are available, other than the most obvious ones


– When you walk out of work at lunchtime, turn towards the healthy option (again you may end up elsewhere, but make that turn)



There is, literally, zero reason you can’t achieve any of the above goals.


They require next to no effort.


But they set you up for success.


They are the triggers for the behaviours further down the line.


So, try setting yourself some of those Minimal Achievable Goals.


Stuff you can’t fail to do.


That you have no excuse for not doing.


Some days you may do just that.


But we’re sure that some days you’ll over achieve.


And hit a bigger goal.


And, overall, you’ll get more done 🙂



Much love,


Jon ‘Does at least 30 seconds of learning every day’ Hall and Matt ‘Full set of teeth’ Nicholson

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at myrise.co.uk - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.