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November 20, 2018

Overcome Activation Energy

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In a chemical reaction, certain molecules, the reactants, change their bonds to form new molecules, the products. This process also involves an exchange of energy. If you remember what an endothermic reaction is, it means that energy must be put into the system to turn reactants into products. This means that a certain threshold of energy needs to be added to the system to induce the change, and that amount of energy is called “activation energy”.

Well, activation energy doesn’t just exist in chemistry. It exists within each of us and our own actions. We all know that feeling of “I just can’t get up” or “I just don’t have the energy right now”. That is activation energy holding us back! We also know, that once we get up and get going, our minds change and the task becomes way easier.  This is all possible by overcoming that initial activation energy, and using momentum to drive us forward.

There are few really good ways to get yourself to invest that initial activation energy to get moving. First, is to use a starting ritual, which is a mental shortcut to action.  My favorite is Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule, count down from 5 and act on 0. Another great technique is taking a “Just show up” mentality. Let’s say you want to workout in the morning, a full training regimen might seem daunting. But, by telling yourself you’ll “just show up” to the gym, you dilute the commitment required to take action, and more easily beat the activation energy barrier.

It is important to know how our bodies work so that we can have more control over them, and do more of the things we want to do!

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