This week I want to talk about the positive side -Motivational triggers. Things that will have the opposite effect and instead help with weight loss, assist you in keeping your good eating habits and encourage exercise.
If you took a few minutes to track or recognize your negative triggers, you can see how the connection is made. Repeated behaviors, things you do over and over, create a trigger, a sub-conscious 'on' button that will elicit a specific behavior. Cool, huh?
So how can you use this? Create pre-meditated triggers.
Ask yourself what you want to trigger. Lets use eating breakfast as an example. Say you know that eating breakfast would be a healthy choice. You know all the smart reasons. But you don't 'like' breakfast. Or you don't have time. Or you just aren't hungry. In other words, you have plenty of excuses.
The first step is to set the excuses aside and plan to do it anyway. Look at them realistically and find answers to them.
Figure out what you like to eat and a way to make it available. It could be making something the night before, or earlier in the week, like an egg bake, that you can have individual servings ready to go (takes care of that time issue, since it's a grab and go). It could be pre-cutting up fruit into sealable packages, or buying (healthy, please) toaster waffles.
Then find the trigger that will work for you. It might take a few until one clicks.
- Set the table with a pretty place setting the night before.
- Get up an hour earlier, eat breakfast at your laptop while reviewing the previous day's writing.
- Move your exercise to morning, eating something light before and a protein-rich meal after your workout.
I created a trigger for exercise by doing a short, 15 minute Bosu step workout in the morning as soon as I get up -before I eat. Its not too long a workout to be difficult on an empty stomach, it burns more fat than if I workout after eating and it sets a signal. If I do this morning workout, I always follow up with my afternoon run. Always. I've told my body that I'm going to exercise today and my body knows that this beginning will be followed by the running ending.
It keeps me motivated to exercise, I don't even have to think about it, just get up, brush my teeth, throw on the exercise clothes that are waiting in the bathroom, strap on my heart rate monitor and plug in my headphones. It took me three weeks to create this trigger.
What about you? What is a healthy habit you'd like to create and what kind of triggers can you think of to anchor it? Can you think of at least three possibilities for each habit, just in case the first doesn't work?
Tawny Weber writes hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze. In January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, was out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology and her next full length Blaze,, RIDING THE WAVES, will be out in September 2010. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com