In 2017 I signed up for a coaching program. On the call prior to me signing up, I told her about my patterns, the behavior that triggered me to “retreat”. When I wasn’t sure what I needed to do, or if I was stuck in my old patterns, I would shut down and avoid doing what I needed to do.
I only recently connected to this behavior of retreating when I started my coaching workbook. There was a point in writing the workbook that I got stuck and when I got stuck I would shut down. Literally unable to find any creative energy flowing in my on what to do next, so I cleaned my apartment or I did laundry. Habits that are necessary right? Like I needed to do this work so it was valid.
There were other times like when I was given a lot of work to do by my business coach that I would just disappear. Like literally I would just not do the work. Maybe I would do some but not all that I said I would do. Then I began to notice this pattern. This pattern was triggered by a few things:
- when I wasn’t sure what I needed to do
- when I was too overwhelmed so I just did nothing
- fear that if I did what I was supposed to do the outcome wouldn’t be what I expected it to be
Session #2 of my 10-week Wellness Coaching program ended up being about triggers because a trigger is what brings on the habit. And habits are meant to be broken. RIght? I mean we created the habit to be there so why can’t we just break? Well, I think you have to know that you are falling into a triggered habit then you need to want to break it. You need to trust that by changing this habit you will get an outcome better than the habit you currently have.
For instance, when I realized that I retreating because I wasn’t sure what the next chapter of my coaching program would be I forced myself to sit at my desk researching and writing. It took me 2 weeks of collecting information to see where I needed to go next in my workbook. By sitting at my desk and doing the work, I allowed the energy to flow of what needed to happen. This broke the habit of not doing the work caused by a trigger of not knowing what I needed to do.
The biology of what’s going on in our brain isn’t the pursuit of pleasure it’s the need to satisfy this itch of discomfort that drives us to action. We don’t want to want. I have found the secret to success is creating habits. If you want to lose weight, start a business, get stronger, learn a new skill, whatever it is you want to change you must create a habit to make it manifest. That means your thoughts and your actions must be aligned with what you want to achieve.
No matter what you learn about eating healthy or about exercising if you don’t learn what it is that triggered you to sit and watch TV when you know you should be going for a run. What is it that makes you eat sugary foods when you know you want to lose weight. The thing that makes these things happen is you. At some point, you have triggered your brain when you are bored to watch TV or scan through social media. You have allowed your brain to be affected by the chemistry of sugar which releases endorphins making you feel good immediately after it’s ingested. So if you are feeling bored, tired, or even extremely hungry you have taught yourself that sugar or processed foods will give you temporary relief.
Here are some trigger tracking tricks for you to learn so that you can begin creating new, healthier habits.
- Take time to journal your triggers. Sit down and write down what are some of the behaviors/reactions you notice about yourself that may not be in line with the lifestyle you want? Like for instance not prepping your foods so when you are hungry you don’t know what to eat so you just eat what’s available or drink something to make you feel more energy. These are some examples of triggers that cause a habitual eating habit. You can also journal about triggers that cause you to engage in low vibrational habits like watching too much TV or scrolling through social media or sleeping too many hours.
- After you have journaled, but before you decide to work on breaking the habit, track your behaviors that come after your trigger. Don’t make the changes right away, just notice how you feel how you react and what you do when this happens. I find that it’s important to go through the journey before you make any changes so that when the patterns come back you are able to say “oh right that’s not what I want to do.”
- After a week or two of tracking your triggers begin to change your habits. First, you need to know your longtime goal. Is it weight loss? Is it healthier eating? Is it exercising? Is it learning something? Is it finding a peaceful state of mind? and so on. Whatever it is you should be clear on what it is you want so that you don’t find yourself changing your habits with no real reason so likely you will fall back into your old patterns.
When I started my career in wellness, I helped clients get stronger, thinner and feel better about their bodies. I then went into nutrition and yoga which took the personal training to a whole other level. I began to learn more about the biochemistry of our bodies and mind and how what we eat impacts our gut, in turn, our mind. Just like what we think impacts our biochemistry, therefore if we want to make that future of wealth, happiness, health, and a peaceful state of mind we must learn what triggers us, why we want to change then what we can do to make the change.