The Art Of The Start – Talk Notes

First, Make Your Habit Obvious

A small change in what you see can lead to a big shift in what you do. 1

“You don’t have to be the victim of your environment. You
can also be the architect of it.”
-James Clear

Example: 1

Craig Groeschel prioritizes taking his daily supplements. He takes them first thing in the morning. He believes his supplements provide him with a mental edge. To ensure he takes them first thing, he puts them on the counter where he cannot miss them.

Behavioral scientists in Great Britain did a study involving a couple hundred people who wanted to start exercising.

The people were divided into three groups.

1 – Committed to exercising.
2 – Committed to exercising and reading lots of material on the benefits of exercising.
3 – Committed to exercising and chose the day, time, and place to exercise.

Who kept their commitment?

1 + 2 – Only 36 percent of the first two groups kept their commitment.
3 – 91 percent kept their commitment.

Barely a third of the people in the first two groups succeeded, but more than nine of ten who committed to a time and place met their goals!1


They made their goals obvious by preloading their decisions.

You can make it even more obvious by tying your new habit into something you already do.

I will _ after I __.

Habitologists call connecting a new habit to a current habit
“habit stacking.”1

This is how our brain works.

Your brain builds up connections between neurons that are used frequently. Your brain removes connections between neurons that are not used. (That process is sometimes called “synaptic pruning.”)1

Those removed or “pruned” connections are why it’s so difficult to remember something you rarely do and so challenging to start doing it. 1

Morning Routines

Example: 1

Craig Groeschel’s Morning Routine

  1. My alarm goes off, waking me up.
  2. 18o to the bathroom. (Not a chosen habit, but you gotta do
    what you gotta do.)
  3. After going to the bathroom, I do my Bible plan.
  4. After doing my Bible plan, I pray.
  5. After praying, I read my daily declarations.
  6. After reading my daily declarations, I make my oatmeal and put twelve berries in it. (Some days I go crazy and do up to fifteen!)
  7. After eating my oatmeal (and berries), I take my supplements.
  8. After the supplements, I take a shower.
  9. After my shower, I shave.
  10. After I shave, I get dressed.
  11. After I get dressed, I pray with Amy.
  12. After I pray with Amy, I leave for work

Second, Make Your Habit Attractive

The reason you do most of what you do is because it feels good. The behavior makes your brain release dopamine- the “feel good” hormone. 1

You are more likely to do your habit if you don’t hate doing your habit. 1


If you want to establish a daily habit of praying and reading your Bible. 1

You will:

  • Make it obvious
  • Set a visual action trigger
  • Decide when
  • Stack the new habit with an established habit.
  • Decide where you are going to pray and read.
  • Make your habit attractive

Third, Make Your Habit Easy

As we have discussed in previous episodes, our brains are wired to conserve energy. This is the reason for habits. If the brain perceives something will be overly difficult, it might choose to avoid it.1

This is often referred to as the “path to least resistance,” or when discussing behavior, it is frequently called the “law of least effort.”1

Habits expert James Clear says that when starting a habit, make your habit take less than two minutes.2

Why does this matter?
One minute of daily reading is better than no daily reading.
A single push-up a day outweighs never exercising.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

Fourth, Make Your habit Communal

Don’t go at your new habit alone. Find a group of people who already do what you want to do.

Addiction recovery – 12-step programs

Essentially these steps are habits.
By joining a twelve-step program, a person is surrounding themselves with people who have the same goal. 1

“Living the right life is almost impossible if you have the wrong friends.” -Craig Groeschel

Fifth, Make Your Habit Repetitious

I have learned that one of the best ways I learn just about anything is through repetition.

**Learning New Material For The Power To Change
**1 – I first listen to a chapter or section of the audiobook.
2 – I pick out the highlights, outlining the section by looking in the physical book.
3 – I will reread the section using the physical book.
4 – I will listen to the same section of the audiobook to reinforce what I have learned.

When I start a new habit, I try to get the basics down. I am not looking to be fancy—just the basics. I am content with doing the habit poorly as long as I am doing it.

The longer I do a new habit, the easier it tends to get.

Eventually, I will start improving my habit by making small changes.

Why do I take this approach?

I know that the more I do something, the easier it is for me to do it. Eventually, I will get bored with the habit and want to do more. I don’t go overboard, I make small improvements that are sustainable.

When I feel comfortable doing the improved habit, I look for ways to make more improvements.

Hebb’s rule – neurons that fire together wire together.

Make your habit.

  1. Obvious
  2. Attractive
  3. Easy
  4. Communal
  5. Repetitious

“With repetition, that new habit will go from being hard to start to hard to stop.” -Craig Groeschel


What is one habit you need to start?1

For any change you desire to make, any habit you want to form, any win you want to achieve, personalize the five guides. \

To help make my habit more obvious, I will _ after l _.

To make my habit attractive, I can:
To make my habit easy, I can begin by doing _ for two minutes:

To make my habit communal, I can invite, involve, or join:
To make my habit repetitious, I can:


Make your habit: 1

  1. Obvious
  2. Attractive
  3. Easy
  4. Communal
  5. Repetitious

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10 NLT


[1] Groeschel, C. (2023). The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most. Zondervan.

Craig Booker

Craig Booker

I'm the founder of Overflow. Through its newsletter, podcast, community group, and YouTube channel, Overflow helps you improve your well-being.


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