There have been many times in my life when I’ve wanted to implement change but lacked the secret sauce to create the change. But now, I think I’ve found the secret to making lasting change in my life.
Every day we do simple things that could remind us to take the step towards change. I like to call these actions a mental trigger.
What Is A Mental Trigger?
Mental triggers are anything you use to signal your brain to take action. Anything you do on a frequent enough basis that could help you form a habit.
Personally, I have a couple of mental triggers I’ve used to create focused change in my life. Anything from walking through a doorway to going to the bathroom.
The mental trigger goes off and I know I have a task to do.
Using A Mental Trigger
Let me share with you a couple of mental triggers I’ve created in my life.
- Walking through my kitchen doorway: This may sound silly but it’s helped me improve my upper body strength. We installed an Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar in the walkway. Now, every time I walk through the doorway, I see the Iron Gym and do 5-10 pull-ups. Throughout a day this can add up to quite a few pull-ups.
- Going to the bathroom: This will probably sound even sillier but going to the bathroom helped me develop the habit of push-ups. Thanks to the wonderful article at Art Of Manliness, I’ve made the decision to do push-ups every time I have to use the restroom. The act of getting up and heading towards the bathroom tells me it’s time to do a bit of physical exercise so I drop and give myself 10 push-ups.
- Leaving for lunch: While I’ve always loved to read, it was difficult finding time to open a book and devote time to reading. I’ve used leaving for my lunch break as a mental trigger to open up a book and read. The trigger is leaving my workplace and getting in the truck. My mind begins to process and knows that it’s time to grab a good book and put down a few pages.
As you can see, there’s many different activities you can use as a mental trigger. Some are silly, some are benign. But once you’ve associated as a trigger it is effective.
Create a list of goals you’d like to accomplish this year. If there’s physical fitness goals, search for triggers like my bathroom break or doorway to spur you to take a few minutes to creep towards the goal. If it’s reading more, find something that will excite your mind to read. If it’s loving your spouse more, find a trigger to make you think on the things you love about her.
Question: Do you have any mental triggers in your life? What do they trigger? If not, what could a mental trigger help you take action on? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.