Setting Yourself Up for Success

Setting Yourself Up for Success

We don’t rise to the level of our challenges; we fall to the level of our preparation.

“Commitment devices” set us up for long-term success: using our bodies and brains in the way they’ve evolved to be used.

Our bodies are optimized to save energy. We’ve evolved for thousands of years, our brains and bodies seek the path of least friction. AKA, we take the easiest route. We’re pretty good at it.

Scrolling through Facebook is easier than getting out of bed. We put off our lunch because it’s cold outside … and then grab the kiddos cookies off the counter because it’s convenient.

Making good habits is not simply overcoming bad ones or continually creating lots of effort to keep up our motivation. That kind of effort is not sustainable. Instead, we need to leverage our natural defaults to succeed.

Setting defaults is a choice you make NOW that will control your actions in the future. For example, if you make an appointment with your personal trainer, you’ll show up at the gym. If you join a soccer team, you’ll show up for the games. And if you prepare your lunches in advance for the week, you’ll eat them.

Here are two very simple defaults you can set up right now:

  1. Book your appointments for the week (this has been a secret benefit of the COVID regulations!)
  2. Write down what your lunches will be for the week.

To make it easy, either eat the same thing every day OR plan your dinners for the week and carry the leftovers over to the next day’s lunches.

  1. Write up your grocery list.
  2. Go to the store.
  3. Buy the groceries you’ll need for all of your lunches.
  4. Set aside one hour for food prep TONIGHT.
  5. Chop up your vegetables, proteins, nuts and seeds.
  6. Put them into separate containers.
  7. Make enough for the full week.

What’s it look like? Here’s Cherie and Matt Chan doing meal prep.

You don’t need to get fancy:

Most of us already have defaults… we eat the same thing most of the time, and that’s just fine. Save your variety for dinner.

Having defaults removes friction and the burden of choice. Do your future self a favor: Make positive defaults in advance!

Make CFJG your default…

If you’re not a current member, that means you don’t already know about how a coach dedicated to your success is the ultimate positive default… so book your Free Intro Session here to find out why!

Brian Zimmerman

Owner- CrossFit Jungle Gym

Inspiration provided by Chris Cooper at


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