I mentioned yesterday about my challenges in getting my middle son to do his SATs revision.

The deal we have is we do at least one minute every day.

“What’s the point in doing that?” you might ask.

As he sometimes does.

“The point” I tell him “is that you can always do that”.

“No matter what’s going on, we can always do a minute”.

“Chances are we’ll over achieve on that and do 10, 20 or 30 minutes”

“But we can always do a minute no matter how busy we are or how we feel”

“Not doing a minute is just a choice”

“It’s a gateway habit though”

“Doing that is likely to lead to more”

“And, ultimately, that’s what you’ve promised to do. You gave your word. And whilst it might feel like that doesn’t matter so much, how you do anything is how you do everything”.

And it’s the same with any process we might be struggling with.

If our sole intention is to “do four workouts” this week……….

Then as soon as we don’t feel that’s going to happen, we feel we’ve failed.

And don’t do any.

“Leave it till next week”.

Same with if we’re going for “no snacks”, “no alcohol”, “no carbs” or any other ‘all or nothing’ type goal.

All fine if ‘all’ is what usually happens.

But if it often turns to ‘nothing’ then probably not the best goal to set.

What gateway habit could we set?

Something we can always, always do.

No matter what.

That’s likely to lead to other better choices.

Could we just book our workouts on a Sunday night?

Put them in the diary and treat them with a similar level of protection to any other appointment.

They might need to change and we might not make any in the end.

But we can always, always do that booking.

And I’d be willing to bet anything that doing that means we ended up doing more workouts than “I’ll just fit them in” ever does.

Could we just track our food?

Doesn’t matter what we have, just track it?

Our tracking challenge on our app goes one step back from that.

It’s just to submit a screen grab of our food tracking app each day.

Even if it’s blank.

“What’s the point in that?” people have said to me after they’ve not submitted for a few days.

“I didn’t eat well and hadn’t tracked so didn’t see the point in submitting a blank screen grab”.

“The point is that if you submit the screen grab, you’re more likely to track. And if you track, you’re more likely to make better food choices. But you can always, always submit a screen grab. No matter what’s happened. And you can just have the integrity to do the thing that you’d promised that you’d do.”

Big goals and intentions can be great.

But they can also set us up to feel like we’re constantly failing.

What’s the small first step you can always do?

That’s just a choice.

Irrespective of anything that’s going on.

That increases the chances of knock-on better choices.

But that we can just have the integrity to do even if it feels pointless, because we know, deep down, it will help over all.

What’s your ‘gateway habit’?

Much love,

Jon ‘Alexander Armstrong’ Hall

P.S. Apply now at www.myrise.co.uk/apply if you’re tired of setting big plans and them not happening and you’re ready for smaller plans that actually lead to much bigger results (what we’re known for).


RISE in Macclesfield was established in 2012 and specialise in Group Personal Training weight loss programmes for those that don’t like the gym and find diets boring and restrictive!

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.