Treat Your Health Like TPS Reports

I just finished reading Switch which I highly recommend to anyone who is trying to make some self-improvements or is responsible for motivating a team. It teaches you how to “change things when change is hard” and it’s awesome.

One of the main points it drives home is something I’ve been talking about a lot lately: self-control is an exhaustible resource. In other words, relying on willpower is draining just like doing bench press reps. So you need energy to work on a big project all night? Don’t waste it on avoiding the bon bons on the countertop (just throw the shit out!).

That’s why forming habits is so important: they put you on behavioral autopilot. No need for draining willpower!

According to Switch, one of the best ways to build habits and avoid pitfalls is a checklist.

I know, I know, so nerdy. But it works! When I have a checklist on my fridge with a big blank box next to “take supplements” staring at me, I’ll actually take them! Otherwise, fuggedaboutit.

I bet you already do this for critical activities in your business. So treat the tasks related to your health goals the same way you would treat the procedures for your TPS Report: put them in a checklist!

(Note to husband: if you want me to remember to water the plants, might want to slap that on a checklist too.)

Do you use checklists? Are you trying to motivate yourself to do something that might be more effective with a checklist? What is it?


  • Anna Shakun says:

    Having sex with my husband every Tuesday and Thursday…check

  • jean says:

    Oh Heather! You hit on one of my weak points! I’m so bad at checklists~while my husband is so into them. Hummm…should take a cue from him, yes??

    That book is on hold for me at the library, btw.

    Oh, and, I love the movie, ‘office Space’. Lumbergh!!!


  • AMJ says:

    OMG that is soooo true. I’m heading to Aruba in 33 days. “How do I know the exact # of days” you may ask? because it’s on a whiteboard on my fridge…along with the workouts I vow to do every day until Aruba (with a sprinkling of days off in between). Wouldn’t you know that just the act of crossing those days off is the biggest motivation ever?! I’ve been needing to catch up on 2 days I missed and just looking at those uncrossed boxes is driving me nuts! guess what I’m doing after work…

  • Karie says:

    Checklists = CYP

    With my constant need to feel like I’ve accomplished something means checklists get me EXCITED! Thanks to you, Mrs. Wellness (kidding), I’m going to add workout to my checklist (not kidding). Thanks for all the great tips and keep them coming. xoxo

  • Heather-

    I love me a checklist! I have a little whipe board that I visit everyday. Great post and I need to read SWITCH, thanks for the rec!!


    Shakin’ In My Boots: Best Way to Deal W. FEAR!

  • Great post heather and gotta love Office Space. I’m still working on writing things down. I can be quite the spazz trying to manage everything in my head- finances, taking supplements, changing diapers, finding inspiration, writing, etc- but I’ve got post it notes that I now use and post to a board as a fun visual checklist. I still need to work on being more consistent at it, though. It happens to the best of us. Alright, I enjoyed this moment and now I’ll sign off to de-stress for the day…heading out to some remote field to bust up a malfunctioning copy machine to some hardcore gangster rap.

    • Heather says:

      Haha! Thanks Cheryl – I like the idea of using post-its as a visual checklist. Post-it’s make me cringe (weird pet-peeve), so I would work hard to get things done so I can get rid of as many post-it’s as possible. Maybe I’ll give it a shot!

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