Awhile back I listened to a podcast which featured Andy Stanley discussing what he called: “Keystone Habits.” I felt it was a fresh take on reaching goals and staying committed to something when you feel like giving up. 

Michael Hyatt has a different term for it but the same concept: “Activation Triggers.” The idea is that you set yourself up for success by intentionally doing something easy which increases the likelihood you will follow through with your goal.   Hyatt says:

These are simple statements or actions that streamline the process of reaching our goals. How? By anticipating whatever contingencies or obstacles we might face, we can cue a desired response. Instead of relying on our decision making in the moment (when our willpower might be at its lowest), Activation Triggers lock in our decisions in advance.

Because they address contingencies, we can think of them as simple if/then or when/then statements. They work, says Heidi Grant,

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