Reader Dave is working his way through the One Hundred Push-Ups program, but found himself stopping after hitting a "magic number." To spur himself onward, he uses guilt psychology, random numbers — and a video recording.
We definitely get Dave's point about hitting the "magic number", a somehow preset point at which your lazy brain tells your body that, hey, it's okay, 25 or whatever is perfectly fine. Dave fights against it by using the self-consciousness of being on camera, and also defeating his brain's internal counting ticker:
... To combat this mental block, I started placing a camera next to me and recording myself doing pushups. To keep myself from inadvertently counting, I'll count random numbers. Afterwards, I play the video to count the reps, and sure enough, I almost always do more reps than the minimum for the last set.
Dave adds that he doesn't actually watch the video playbacks in real time, but uses his video player's speed controls to count the reps and track his progress.
Got your own means for defeating your brain's lazy tendencies? Do tell in the comments.