What Triggers Habits?


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All habits have triggers. A habit trigger is something that sets a habit in motion. According to my research, there are six common habit triggers:


Hunger pains are a trigger that tell us it is time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Feeling groggy is a trigger that tells us it is bedtime.


We have morning habits, afternoon habits and nighttime habits. The alarm clock or the sun peeking through the blinds in the morning are time-driven triggers that tell us it is time to wake up in the morning. January 1st triggers us that it’s time to start losing weight.


We have habits that are triggered when we enter the kitchen (I’m hungry), the bathroom (brush teeth), the family room (watch TV), our workplace (drink coffee) or drive along some street (McDonalds arches – time for a hamburger).


Cell phone sounds tell us its time to check our messages. Calendars alert us to begin certain habits – an upcoming half marathon triggers us to begin training. Black Friday triggers us to begin Christmas shopping.


Feeling sad triggers us to eat ice cream or candy. A stressful day at work triggers us to drink that glass of wine or have a beer. Falling in love triggers us that it’s time to settle down, get married and start a family.


Who we associate with can trigger certain habits. One friend might be a trigger to go to a bar and drink. Another person to gamble. Yet another to exercise.

Awareness is the key to habit change. Being aware of the triggers that set in motion certain habits, enable us to surround ourselves with those triggers or distance ourselves from them.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Thank you for sharing. I am a Yoga teacher and awareness is a subject of interest in all my work. How to teach awareness begins in the body with us. Gainning a rightful place inside so as to come outside.

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