Setting triggers that start habits that get you to your goals
Do you have some goals that you want to achieve but just can’t seem to make any consistent progress. Breaking your goals down into habits you can form might help you gain some momentum. I wrote about the benefit of setting habits instead of goals in an earlier post that you can check out here.
Habits can be a more manageable way to get to the overall goals that you want to achieve. But what if you’re having trouble setting habits and keeping them on a consistent basis. Because habits, as we all know, are hard to start and once started are hard to keep doing consistently.
In this post, I want to share with you something I’ve tried that has helped me start new habits and makes them almost effortless to keep.
So what are triggers?
A “Trigger” according to Merriam Webster is something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction.
When you begin to set habits you willpower will not cut it most days. You need something that gets that ball rolling so to speak.
I’ll give you two examples where I’ve used this and it worked for me.
I’ve never been the flossing type. If anything I always dread going to the dentist because as always they’re going to through around hints about needing to floss. So after years, I decided I needed to floss.
So I knew that I would need to do something to help me do this on a regular basis because otherwise, this would just be another short-lived goal.
I need easy and practical.
So for ease, I bought floss picks. Having to pull out floss out of those tiny boxes and wrap it around your finger is just to much work.
For practicality, I lay my little bag of floss picks on my bathroom counter so I see every morning right before I brush my teeth.
This pretty much leaves me without any excuse.
Reading my Bible daily
Again, I’m all about easy and practical.
I like reading my Bible. But I know myself. If there’s too much that gets in the way or distracts me there’s a greater chance that I won’t do it.
So for ease, I lay my bible, right next to my favorite sitting place. This way I don’t have to make too many decisions before I can get started reading. It also reduces that amount of things I come in contact with that could distract me….squirrel.
For practicality, I have my pencil, highlighter, and laptop right there as well. This allows me to not waste any mental energy looking for something to take notes with and allows me to write down any thoughts that come to mind before I lose them.
The big return on this small step is that my mind begins to forms habits. When I go to brush my teeth I see the floss picks and when I sit down I see my Bible. This triggers me to floss and read my Bible.
These are just some examples but I can see where this could help you out in some many different areas.
Put healthy snacks close to the fridge or in really visible areas so when you start getting those cravings you can easily grab a banana instead of the bag of chips.
Stop biting nails
Have fingernail clippers close by or easily accessible so when you feel like biting your nails you can quickly reach for the Clippers.
Small intentional steps
All of it is about being intentional to know yourself and then set up reminders or triggers as I call them the help you make small steps toward that bigger goal.