There are so many opportunities to use the low-hanging fruit principle. Start with the easy stuff and ride the momentum. Here are some real-life examples.
10 ways to enjoy low-hanging fruit:
At the gym: 4 sets seems daunting. Doing just one does not.
Around the house: Cleaning the house is a huge chore. Starting with the dishes is not.
At high school: 20 page papers are scary. Creating an outline is not.
At grad school: Dissertations are intense. Fact gathering with note cards is not.
In competition: Overcoming a 30 point deficit may seem impossible. Getting one basket is just one basket.
In the kitchen: Having an awe-inspiring kitchen is a dream. Starting with a Vitamix 7500 is realistic.
In policy: Making high fructose corn syrup illegal may take a lifetime. Raising awareness takes a couple minutes.
In education: Learning to read can be frustrating. Learning a couple words is delightful.
In dating: Finding your soul mate might be the goal. But, going on one date is step one.
In your career: Quitting your job and working for yourself is not realistic. That is, unless you’ve begun to build your email list.
Go one tree at a time
Grabbing the low-hanging fruit will get you started. And it will get you the momentum you need. Soon, all that’s left will be the fruit at the top.
But, just because picking the low-hanging fruit is good, doesn’t mean it’s all you should do. Because if you go from tree to tree without finishing, you’ll be left with a bunch of trees with a little fruit on top. And that’s not why you started.
The student’s paper is nothing without diction, voice and tone. The traveler’s suitcase is worthless without her toiletries. The weight-loss seeker’s Vitamix is just an expensive decoration if it sits idle.
It’s easy to forget the reason you started. And it’s easy to be satisfied with simply having started. Or being almost done. That’s sort of reverse-low hanging fruit. And now your brain is really messing with you.
Remember, it often takes the most strategy to finish the job.
And, the fruit at the top is high. You really have to push. But getting it all is the reason you started.
When the low-hanging fruit is gone, what’s left? You’re 50% done, so doing another 25% should seem easy. It’s only half of what you’ve already done. And, it will get you to 75% complete.
The student fills in the outline with sentences. The traveler chooses outfits. The weight loss-seeker goes to the grocery store.
When the low-hanging fruit is gone, and the relatively low-hanging fruit is gone, the next step is bring the project to life. It’s sometimes the toughest step. But, knowing that afterwards you’ll be 75% finished makes it easier. And seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (or in this case, the fruit on top of the tree) makes it worth it.
What kind of pal makes you count your calories? Or tells you you’re not allowed to have that banana. Or makes you feel cranky cause you’re always hungry.
My fitness pals make me happy. My girl, my dog and my Vitamix. Together, we eat a lot, eat often and eat well.
Moral of the story: Find some pals to help you with your goals. I know that a pal is a pal and will make you 10x more likely to succeed. But, you might find the best ones aren’t a-holes.
P.S. If you’re currently using the My Fitness Pal app, you’re personally invited to be my pal. Instead of putting you through the PAIN of entering your meals to count calories, I take a different approach. Snap a pic of your food and email it to me. You’ll get motivation and lots of positive reinforcement from me. Like a good pal. (Read more details…)