Friday, March 12, 2021

Low Hanging Fruit

 Why not start with the easy stuff?

Intro – The focus of this activity is for people who are just getting started making changes toward substance use and mental health treatment goals. Start by discussing the following points about low hanging fruit

Low hanging fruit is a common metaphor that refers to doing the simplest or easiest work first. Just like the phrase sounds, fruit that hangs low on a tree is the easiest to grab with the least effort.


Especially with more difficult tasks or dealing with a long-term process, it makes sense to start going after low hanging fruit first. Why not try to go after and get what is within reach early on?


Successfully going after low hanging fruit can bring some quick results that can fuel motivation to keep going

Discuss and make personal application: In your personal situation, how can going after low hanging fruit help you personally to start to achieve all of these things?

Kickstarting motivation

Build up and increase early momentum

Fuels and stimulates important feelings of encouragement and inspiration

Empowering (Yes - I can do it!)

Decreases discouragement (Helps avoid the feeling of wanting to give up)

Identifying Low Hanging Fruit for Your Goals

Directions: Start by identifying two or three (or more) areas where you have goals for positive change (Substance Use, Mental Health, Relationship, Social, Employment/Education, Financial, Family, Health, Other)

Under each life area are some examples of low hanging fruit: (Things you can reach for early in the change process to start making progress). Discuss any that you may have already achieved and then choose a few more that you can strive for soon, from the examples provided or come up with your own ideas.

Substance Use 

  • Clear home of booze/drugs/paraphernalia
  • Delete dealers contact info from phone
  • Sober support- Try to go to a meeting or schedule time with someone who is doing well
  • Find and try a sober hobby
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (Suboxone, Methadone, Vivitrol etc.)
  • Other?

Mental Health

  • See a counselor for individual therapy
  • See a prescriber (APN/psychiatrist)
  • Practice a basic coping skill every day – Relaxation skills – Self-care – Stress management
  • Other?

Close Relationships

  • Basic conflict resolution skills
  • Assertiveness/boundaries (learn to say no)
  • Couples/family counseling
  • Other?

Social Functioning

  • Therapy to learn about self, manage anxiety, increase self esteem
  • Prescriber – medicine for social anxiety?
  • Learn and start to practice basic social skills


  • Schedule family therapy session
  • Increase daily effort to openly communicate your feelings with family peacefully
  • Other?


  • Go online and look at application process for school or training program
  • Research a course of study that interests you
  • Other? 


  • Work on a budget
  • Other? 


  • Start a job search
  • Fill out some applications
  • Other? 


  • Exercise
  • Join a gym
  • Research and start a healthy hobby
  • Plan a diet
  • Other? 

Basic life improvement – Other easy life improvement ideas?

  • Organize daily structure – Use a daily planner
  • Organize home environment and chore schedule
  • Other? 

Closing Discussion – Summarize your goals and go for it

Evaluate your successes: What are some examples of low hanging fruit that you are already doing well with?


Overcome obstacles: Be honest: What are some examples of low hanging fruit that you know that you really should be going after but for some reason you are not?


Consider and discuss some possible causes of not going after low hanging fruit. Do any of these apply in your situation?


Procrastination- (I’ll do it tomorrow)

Just not ready (hesitant, anxious or afraid of change?)

Headstrong/Unmotivated (I just don’t want to)

Denial/Lack of insight (Deep down I still don’t believe that I need to change)


Go for it: What are one or two (or three?) low hanging fruit goals that were discussed in this group you can commit to trying to start today?





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