Day 10: Let's Talk Triggers Pt. 1
Contrary to what you might think, Damn Early Days is designed to make your life easier, not harder.
But if you keep reading, it will all start to make sense.
Getting Started With "TRIGGERS"
Triggers are the little-known secret to forming new habits (or breaking old ones) and whether you’ve consciously heard of them before, they’ve helped run a majority of your life.
A trigger is an event that automatically kicks off the urge to start a habit.
It may be waking up in the morning, your first cup of coffee, climbing into bed at night, or getting a notification on your phone – there are literally thousands.
Each one of these (and the thousands of others) can, if designed right, start a cascade of other behaviours – some good, some bad.
But just know that used properly, they are your best friend.
SOME TRIGGERS YOU ALREADY KNOW
To give you a better idea of what constitutes a trigger, we’ve listed some below. Take a read through and think about your day-to-day life and you’ll realize they are everywhere.
Trigger: wake-up in the morning
Action: crave a coffee, have a shower, brush your teeth, kiss your significant other
Trigger: smell McDonald's fries as you drive by their restaurant.
Action: desire to want french fries
Trigger: get a notification on your phone
Action: check phone, open a certain app
Trigger: hear knock at the door
Action: get up, walk over, answer it
Trigger: get in your car and start driving
Action: turn on music, put your phone in the GPS holder, put on your seat belt
I could go on...
What makes triggers so powerful is that they move from trigger to action more-or-less unconsciously.
Designed and implemented right, you don't have to put much conscious thought into brushing your teeth each day, responding to notifications, or driving your car.
And that’s the point.
The power of triggers lies in the fact that they start a more-or-less unconscious habitual behaviour.
USING TRIGGERS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
Now here in lies some of the magic of Damn Early Days – waking up damn early can be one of the most powerful triggers there is.
Not only is it done at a time of day when you’re fresh and have a clear mind, but it’s also a time of day when you have nothing in front of you. You are free to focus on whatever you want to focus on.
That's a powerful combination.
Designed properly, triggers can be powerful tools that will keep you focused day-after-day and help you chip away at your goals without nearly as much effort as we’re used to putting into them.
They are something that pushes us to have an automatic response that leads us where we want to go.
Habits will become automatic after we’ve created a bond between the trigger and the habit and the stronger the bond, the more ingrained the habit.
How To Use Them
The key to triggers is to slowly build the habitual behaviour you want right behind a trigger that you know happens often. We want to put our new habits on autopilot, right after a trigger.
With Damn Early Days the trigger should be waking up damn early and the action should be whatever you have defined as the actions that will get you to your SUMMIT.
Then, what you want to do is create a strong bond between the trigger and the new habit. In the beginning, each time the trigger happens, you will need to consciously perform the new habit. It will likely be very conscious and deliberate at first, but over time it will get easier and the new habit becomes almost automatic.
Once it becomes automatic, life becomes a lot easier.
Knowing that, you can start to look at so many other areas of your life and notice where triggers play a roll, as well as areas you can identify triggers you can use.
This morning, I want you to identify at least 5 existing triggers and the corresponding action that exists in your life, as well as 5 existing behaviours you have right now that could act as triggers for something good.
I got some jams for you while you do.
We'll leave it at that for the morning and tomorrow, we will dive a deeper into what the different kinds of triggers are.