Kick ass using Positive Triggers

Kick ass using Positive Triggers

Here are some of my not so favorite quotes I’ve said recently:

“The pills are on my table, guess I’ll take them in the morning. Gulp”

“My running shoes and are in the middle of my hall-way. Bleh”

"Argh. I have to go to the side room to work.”

“Damn that happy picture of me chest bumping Johnross I see as I leave my place.”

Fortunately whether I’m in a good mood or not I setup positive triggers to make myself take action or feel better. 

It’s a handy trick I encourage you to use.

What I do is place things annoyingly in my way or completely out of my way to encourage a positive behavior. Over time these triggers develop into the power of habit which makes it all the more easy.

Here’s a sampling of the ones I currently do:

  1. I put my running shoes in my hall way at night. FINE, I can’t get around them in the morning so I go running.
  2. There are happy posters by my door so I try to smile as I leave my place. This is one of the best ways to get in a good mood and generate positive thinking.
  3. I don’t bring a power cord with me to coffee shops so I am limited to how much time I can work and goof off less. (This is one of my tips & tricks for working alone.)
  4. At the office I put some of my important items in a side room where I’m more productive so I tend to go work in that room more often.
  5. Placing my scale at the end of my bed so I have to weigh myself each day.
  6. My pull-up bar is on my closet door so I tend to do pull-ups each time I get dressed.

Why does any of this matter?

It’s easy to skip over things but if you set them up to automatically to reduce your friction from doing it, you are WAY more likely to get the results you want. Make it easy  to say, "Yes" to yourself!

What’s 1 trigger you can setup today for yourself? Leave a comment then watch this video about Starting and KILLING habits on YouTube.

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154 responses to “Kick ass using Positive Triggers”

Milen
September 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I love the one with the power cord at cafés.... thinking of ways to cut down my goof-off time while working mainly from home (not yet at the point where I can afford office space)

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Kenji
September 3, 2017 at 6:41 am

I will leave a great book on my desk so I know I must write today. I must not only write but it has to be quality.
I always have a kettlebell in view so I know I will be working later.

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Robert Lehmann
August 13, 2017 at 11:03 am

Mindset is also a key to success. It is a good idea to eliminate the negative influences which invade our space every day and may not be recognized as such. It may be in the form of television news, stupid and repetitive commercials or negative people can emotionally drain you.

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Shelly
August 8, 2017 at 11:16 am

I do the power cord thing too! I usually do it to limit my time, so I'm not late to the next even on my calendar, but I really like the productivity way of thinking about it. I definitely need to stop getting distracted. Another trick I used to do, which I think I'll do right now, is close tabs that distract me, like FB, for some reason if I don't see the tab I'm too lazy to pull up the site. Why are we so weird!?

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Aleksandra
July 31, 2017 at 3:12 am

I put motivational quota on the chest next to my bed, so when I open my eyes the first thing I see is positive affirmation.

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Dave O'Rourke
July 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

HAHA yes I 100% agree with this tactic. I also find that when I tell myself how excited i'm am to tackle a new project or job, I get into the flow much quicker due to beginning with a positive mind frame.

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Beatrice
July 25, 2017 at 7:18 pm

I have my meditation / yoga session queued to play on my iPad which sits in my bedside table. So when I wake up in the morning I just roll over and press play. I also have my weights ready to go next to my computer so I can do an online barre class when I get home. I also write my gratitude book up at night with section headings, so in the morning I can just write down my goal /gratitude/intent etc as soon as I've finished yoga. And my ghee sits permanently next to my blender so I can make my bullet proof coffee in the morning. I think I'll put up a happy picture next to the front door - as they leaving/coming home happy is a really good idea !

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Amy Danielson
July 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

I'm leaving one to two sewing projects in a basket that I continually almost trip over (with EVERYTHING I need to complete the project also in the basket). I'm a costume designer.

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Polina
June 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Hey Noah! I think little changes lead to huge results. If we can hack things and make them easier to do, we will do them. How do you eat a huge elephant? One bite at a time:)

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Polina
June 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

My triggers; I listen to some positive guided meditation while brushing my teeth and do a 2 min plank routine to upbeat music. This gives me a morning rush with out the coffee:)

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Robyn
June 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

(Bear with me... I have to say this. It's very important to me and I say it with all the love in the world.) I am adamantly against weighing yourself every day--unless you are required to do so for medical reasons. Bad, bad, bad. It's just a number. It doesn't mean ANYTHING. Seriously. Throw that thing out or use it in your kitchen to, I don't know, weigh produce or something.

That said, I LOVE the idea of carefully placed triggers. LOVE IT! I've always had bad posture, so in the car, I set my rearview mirror so that I HAVE to sit up straight in order to see. Also, I made a promise to myself several years ago that whenever I see my favorite time (12:34) on the clock, I WILL smile--even if I'm having a bad day or whatever. It's a tiny little thing that makes me happy. 12:34. I don't go out of my way to see it--I don't wait by the clock. But I catch it quite a bit.

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Adi Starr
June 20, 2017 at 10:41 am

I leave one filled water bottle in each room that has a chair so I have no excuse not to hydrate.

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Heather Dunson
June 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

I woke up with a smile on my face. I got ready for the day and walked my son to his school to go to camp. I am positive that he will have a wonderful time. I am absolutely ready to tackle cleaning the house today.

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Sandra Binder
June 16, 2017 at 3:45 pm

One thing that is a fore sure is not having a scale at my bed to weigh myself every morning. Suicide has never been a factor in my family, I do not want to start it.

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Robyn
June 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

Agree!! Ha! I may have just posted a tiny rant about scales myself. Scales are for produce and packages, and infants maybe?

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Chris Blachut
June 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Super happy custom ringtones (e.g. for my gf it's Barney's "I love you") to always put me in the right mood before answering the phone. You never know who'll be calling!

And ditched the toilet to practice squatting!

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Noah Kagan
June 10, 2017 at 6:45 am

Good call on the ringtones!

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John Doherty
June 9, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I put my pants, a tshirt, and my house shoes (flip flops) in the same place every evening so that I can stumble out of bed early and not have to think about where they are. Makes getting out of bed a ton easier.

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Michael Johnston
May 30, 2017 at 9:37 am

Leave your meditation pillow next to your bedroom door, so you have no choice but to pick it up and sit down with your thoughts.

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Gabe N.
May 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

This one is awesome! Going to try it out, thanks Noah "I don’t bring a power cord with me to coffee shops so I am limited to how much time I can work and goof off less"

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Gemma Ewing
May 19, 2017 at 10:36 am

To never give up on selling my books ... there are readers out there some where

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Mark
April 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

My trigger is to read, book next my bed and no phone or iPad in the room.

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Nikhil
April 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

I put floss next to my toothbrush rather than in the cupboard underneath so that I don't forget to floss

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Nick
April 5, 2017 at 7:32 am

I have a framed picture in my room of Muhammad Ali being knocked down by Joe Frazier. Every time I look at the picture it reminds me that even the greats in life get knocked down and what is important is how we take those knockdowns and come back stronger and better. Seeing that picture always puts me in a better mindset to approach the day.

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teresa cherry
March 30, 2017 at 6:40 pm

so needed as i am trying to make some changes. this will unstick me. thank you.

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Lachlan
March 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Ok. One positive reinforcement I can do is print my morning routine out and pin it to my wall so it's the first thing I see, to guide my mornings in a positive manner.

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Todd Averyhart
March 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm

I leave a picture as a screen saver on my phone, of a place i intend to visit. In December, it was a picture of Amsterdam and London. DONE. Now it's a picture of Cuba!

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Hicham
March 16, 2017 at 3:57 am

Set a trigger for reading. But I don't know how. Do you have one? I've always been struggling to allocate 30 min reading each day for myself.

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Mason Ziedonis
March 7, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you can't just hit snooze and fall back asleep. If you have to get up to turn off the alarm, you will have no excuse to get back under the covers to relax.

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Jesscy Z
February 23, 2017 at 8:47 pm

Place the tacos on the counter/in the shower/car/bed so I have to eat them all the time.

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Paul Bunkham
February 17, 2017 at 3:33 am

I'm so far on day five of getting up at 5am, and I learnt that drinking 500ml of water first thing in the morning is supposed to wake you up. It seems to work (don't know if it's a placebo effect or not) so I leave a pint of water by my bed and one on my desk at night, so there's no excuse not to drink it!

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Noah Kagan
February 17, 2017 at 8:50 am

Yea, I love doing ice cold water in mornings too!

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Gregory Hyde
January 26, 2017 at 4:19 am

Every time I check Facebook I do 10 pushups... healthy benefit to tame overuse. http://www.gregoryhyde.com

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Goncalo
January 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

I will for sure use it to start my coding online classes.

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Mary McDonald
January 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm

- leave my device charger plugged in next to my bed, so I don't forget to plug in my phone at night...
- keep my cosmetic bag packed for trips (have double of my faves - one for travel and one for home) so I never forget my stuff (restock it when I come home, not when I'm leaving, when I have more time)....
- keep a bathing suit (my preferred exercise method) in my suitcase so I always can exercise at the pool
- leave items going out the door, like library books, mail, or reusable grocery bags, hanging on the front door knob.

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Ryan
December 2, 2016 at 8:56 am

I like the “My running shoes and are in the middle of my hall-way. Bleh”. Aweosme stuff! I'm not sure if I have any triggers right now but I'll think of one today for finances for sure.

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Marina
November 12, 2016 at 12:00 am

Love the idea! And I love that the whole post came to me in e-mail (just signed up for this)

I have a whiteboard on my closet, right next to my bed. I write there one important thing I have to do during the day in huge letters. It's the first thing I see in the morning, and I know I have to do it, so it sticks in my head and follows me around until I get it done. Super annoying, but it works.

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Gavin Simpson
October 20, 2016 at 5:18 pm

Great idea.. I leave my cell in the boot every until Lunchtime at work

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David Love
October 31, 2016 at 11:22 am

I put my mobile phone on "Do Not Disturb" which allows me to focus for the morning session. I turn it off at lunch when and listen to all message or answer texts then. that helps me focus.

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Katya Seberson
October 11, 2016 at 5:23 pm

As a ;learning specialist, I realize that as soon as I finish learning, a new process begins. The process of forgetting. My job as a learner is to interrupt the process of forgetting. It's ideal to review right before falling asleep.

Because of that, I put my notes on my pillow as soon as I get home. When I get into my bed, I can't NOT notice them. They are always made in a form of a question, so I am testing my knowledge instead of mere refreshing of memory.

This method has done wonders for me and my students.

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Gareth
October 31, 2016 at 11:24 am

That is a clever way of staying focused. Do you read all the notes again at bedtime? I find I can't concentrate as well late at night.

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Marketing Ivan:)
September 2, 2016 at 12:54 am

I actually thought of adding a recurring task on reading a random article from your blog but that's done by your mailing system 🙂 Probably one of the 5 distribution lists I actually read - mail marketing done right 🙂 Thanks man 🙂

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Michelle
August 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Good ideas! I'm going to copy you Noah and leave my running shoes in the hall way and stick my favorite photo by the door! So no matter what I will always leave the house with a smile.

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Omane
July 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Makes perfect sense!!!

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melissa
June 14, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Love this. Anything that can help me to take positive steps, no matter how small is a good thing. Thanks for the reminder. I will give it a try

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Micah Liedeker
June 11, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Keep a liter water bottle at your desk and commit to finish it (one or more times) before the end of the day, providing mini work breaks and you stay hydrated.

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Melanie
June 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm

I left myself apost it note on my work computer screen that had a smiley face with happy Friday on it

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Tommy
June 6, 2016 at 9:08 am

I will definitely put some smiling people next to my door. I want to be smilier 🙂

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Dave Chakra
May 15, 2016 at 4:32 am

I get up just before my alarm goes off. Over time I have developed a mental technique where I program my mind to wake me up at a specific time in the morning and guess what I actually get up automatically just before the alarm goes off. Now a days I don't even need to set any alarm and in the past 1 year I have never overslept.
The might God has gifted us with the most powerful machine of all time. Our Brain.

Thanks,
Dave Chakra

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Sam
May 4, 2016 at 3:09 am

Yes Noah!

This has got James Clear written all of the the place!

I journal in the morning and evening, and pack my gym bag and put by the door before I go to bed.

Sam

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Michael Terwindt
April 18, 2016 at 5:18 am

Solid post Noah! I'm a big fan of 'setting yourself up for success'. I pre-pack my gym bag and a healthy lunch the night before. (although it's not exactly a positive trigger) I limit the amount of booze and fluffy carbs in the house. I've also kept Do Not Disturb on my phone activated until about 11am to get my most important tasks done in the morning, before I start reading email and responding to notifications.

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Roscoe
March 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

Good points, I am always counting my negative, sentences, I just wish I could catch em all. I appreciate you sharing this, I always keep my pull up bar 5 feet from my computer, and I am anti work at coffee shops but thanks for helping me connect some dots.

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Peggy
April 18, 2016 at 8:29 am

Umm, are you really just giving this info out for noginht?

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John Schuster
February 10, 2016 at 10:16 am

During my morning constitutional, I have a discussion with my cat about the 3 things I need to do, that I know I can do for the day. The cat provides feedback by purring confirming my plan fo rthe day.

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Benjamin Nguella
October 31, 2016 at 11:27 am

Excellent strategy John, I will look to buy a cat. Do you recomend a certain breed?

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Mark Tong
February 10, 2016 at 2:10 am

I have an ideas folder stuck in the middle of my desktop - Makes me jot down 2 ideas every day before I open any other file

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Amita singh
February 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

I put alarms in 5 phones in all different places .

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Dave Singh
May 15, 2016 at 4:26 am

what a great idea....ha ha ha....i put a mental alarm to get up at a particular time in the morning before going to bed and also put normal alarm on my cell and surprisingly I get up just before the alarm goes off.
I have consistently employing this and it works every time all the time.
Really our brain is an awesome powerful machinery created by the almighty.

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Rocky
February 7, 2016 at 10:28 pm

I've changed all of my reminders to frame into the positive. Like: you're awesome for writing in your 5 min journal!

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Matthew Pell
February 7, 2016 at 11:07 am

I'm new to your site (Thanks, Tim Ferris podcast) and love it. For years I've been trying to figure out systems for getting the most important things in my life done consistently. What I've ended up doing, and have almost a 3 year streak of using every day , is setting up daily/weekly systems for accomplishing those things -- with a very detailed to-do list for each...so that I get to check off the small things that get them done (not just "go running" but also "put out running shoes", "get exercise clothes ready" the night before, etc. - I've even included a recurring list on how to create and sustain love based on an interesting article in the NY Times)...I even built a free tool to help me (www.simplist.me)....as I've found if I'm relying on memory, I'm hosed. Thanks for what you're doing, really loving it.

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Jeanette Mundy
January 9, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Well Noah, I leave my yoga stretch strap on the side table in the lounge room. Every day I do a range of different yoga stretches and having the strap there ready is a great way not to avoid it! I also rinse my swimming togs out in the shower for a few days in a row and hang them right back up there so I can easily access them to swim first thing in the morning. I've put my Vital Greens, fish oil etc into a visual space in the pantry. I can't NOT see them there! Then I get them all out first thing so when I get around to having breakfast, there they are! Same with the book I'm reading...it has a place where I can sit and read for 1/2 hour every morning before going into the office. All this works so well for me. Today I'll put a journal out in the spot where I read so I make sure I write in it before going to work. A morning routine for myself is working a treat! Jeanette

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Brian Zuckerman
January 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm

As soon as I get home from work I pack my gym bag... along with any other items I'll need for the next day. I'm then on auto pilot in the morning in the event I might ponder email versus excercise.

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Adam
December 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

Not sure of the scale one. Is weighing yourself every day a positive thing?

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Rich Rabbit
December 19, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Awesome Noah. That is a clever way of keeping the necessary things top of mind. I think I may try that out.

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Yoshiki
November 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

I have a quote by Tim Ferriss that says 'focus on being productive instead of busy' on my laptop background

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Louisa Gray
November 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Hubs is my positive. He rolls outta bed every morning pretending to do ninja moves and usually falls flat on his butt because he's just woken up hahahahahahaha be positive start to my day!!

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Waqar Ahmed
November 3, 2015 at 10:02 pm

Dear Noah,
Thanks for sharing your tips for remaining productive all day long. 🙂
My positive trigger is seeing my son. I want to educate him well and want to see him as a person I can be proud of. My all dedication, my all work and my all effort are in line with my dream to make him the successful person that he really deserves to be. 🙂

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McLovin
October 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Good post, good ideas! Will keep it in mind and do something of it in my real life 🙂

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Garrett Dunham
October 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Love it man, triggers are HUGE for launching habits.

When I was trying to start a habit of getting to the gym every weekday I left my towels in my car. For me to shower (my coworkers approve) I had to go to the car, which felt halfway to the gym, so I'd work out and shower at the gym.

2 years later the habit stuck, after 7 years of trying to create it without triggers.

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Charles Bradley
October 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

...Hey Noah, I feel you... ...My thing is seeking wise words... ...Sometimes the words are hundreds of years old... ...Sometimes you only have to go back a few years (like 2013)...
...people think I'm weird for leaving comments on old posts...LoL...If they only knew...

Thank you for all you do...I swear you should be charging per word...
When you got it~you got it...Keep doing you brother...

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Nobantu Ngaloshe
October 15, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Super list. Thanks!
I used to have all my workout clothes & shoes waiting for me next to my bed which hasn't happened in a while. Right. Guess I know what to do..;-)

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Sharon Stark
September 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm

I follow an old habit with a new one to get it in the rhythm of doing it consistently.

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Nick
September 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

I love this. I leave my workout gear out in the evening for the next morning, and my pills. I also use Google reminders as much as possible, sometimes to "just be grateful".

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steven
August 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

I try to not bring my phone into the bedroom when I go to sleep. Helps me not to stare at the screen before bed and ruin a good nights sleeep.

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Mark
August 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm

Sick post, great tips! One of my personal favorites is writing down a goal and giving my friend $20..if I don't accomplish it, he keeps it.

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Martha Huntley
August 9, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Expressing gratitude is a great way to start and sprinkle positivity throughout the day. When we think positively we feel great and we are actually more productive. We all feel gratitude, we just don't always express it - we forget and we move on.

We created the free WeGush iOS app to make it convenient to send a brief yet meaningful message of gratitude to someone special right from the palm of your hand http://wegush.com/ - it's a great way to create a new habbit of positivity and intentional connection with others. I invite you to please try it out sending our a Gush before each daily meal (2-3x a day) or link it to another existing habbit, for 3 weeks - and see how that impacts you (and your relationships, and your work 🙂

Thank you for all the great ideas shared here and Noah, thanks for all you do and for putting this sharing in motion.
Martha Huntley, Founder & CEO, WeGush, Inc. Boston, MA

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Kelly Matoul
August 7, 2015 at 1:02 am

I bring my workout clothes to work and go to a gym nearby. Going home after work with a bag of clean gym clothes is defeating and carrying a bag of gym clothes to work for no reason is just annoying. So, I go to the gym. And then I go home with a bag of stinky sweaty clothes and a body full of endorphins 🙂

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Harry Jack Smith
August 5, 2015 at 2:09 am

I have an automatic trigger for exercise which is a reverse of your running shoes example...

Before I leave the house to go to work I put my training gear (clothes, shoes, water) in the hallway. I also place a a short training plan on top of the pile which I write before going to bed.

As soon as I get home, I put the training clothes on - right there and then in the hallway. Having the training plan instantly to hand means I know exactly what routine or exercises I need to do to meet my fitness goals, even if my brain is completely fried from a day at the office.

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Deb
July 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Like you I have my pull-up bar in a good spot; in the doorway to my kitchen. My new rule is that every time I go into the kitchen I have to do a set. It either gets me to do pull-ups or keeps me from going into the kitchen and away from the fridge. win-win.

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Valerie
June 30, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Your post struck a cord with me. I just wrote a post on my own blog about health and how time management helps freelancers manage stress and avoid mistakes.Your shoes-in -hallway maneuver is good. I hadn't thought of a positive message, but I think mine would be "the only failure is not trying", with the understanding that it may take a few days of constantly reminding myself for the message to have a noticeable effect.

Putting little sticky notes on my computer, the refrigerator door and bathroom mirror might speed things along, though. What a timely post!

- Valerie

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Steve English
June 23, 2015 at 11:21 pm

Hola Noah . . .

Yup, I'm inclined to agree with you Sir, a positive attitude will get one through ANYTHING.

For the longest, I've found, a good attitude along with a good sense of humor goes a long way.

Tango mike bravo for all you do. Keep up the good works, be safe, stay vigilant, and enjoy the many blessings my friend.

Here’s to making a difference . . .

Cheers

Respectively,
Steve English

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Sher
June 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Hi, I play my meditation music, first thing in the morning to get some good 30 minute session.

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Dave Smith
June 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Keep the emails coming!! Great stuff.

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Dominic Marella
May 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

I put my alarm clock (iPhone) in the bathroom. I have to get up and into another room before turning it off. Usually I have my workout gear in there as well.
This significantly cuts down on the snooze-ing!

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Christine Marsh
May 26, 2015 at 7:39 am

I made a poster with scrumptious images and words. I then proceeded to organize a bunch of my workspace. It feels a lot better here now. Thank you to all for the inspirations...

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Janet
May 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm

I keep condoms on top of the night stand. No excuses.

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Neil
May 24, 2015 at 6:07 am

These are clever ideas to forming a habit, but once the neural paths are formed, you will quickly realise how subconscious these actions become.

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Pamela
May 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Noah you are so awesome. I think the trigger I have come up with is making eye pleasing snacks and really good food in clear containers so when I go to the refrigerator for something to eat it looks good. Keeps me from reaching for bad snacks. I so appreciate everything you are doing to help people. It is such an inspiration. It does make a better business as well. I am using your validation cheat sheet and from that alone I am going to make enough money to take your $1000.00 a month course. Thanks again for all you do. Pamela

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Brad Dean
May 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm

I think I'm going to amend one of your original ideas and place my cell phone (alarm) under my running shoes on my night stand so that I have to physically pick up my running shoes in order to shut off my alarm.

Thanks for the positive interjection into the day. I love how consistently actionable your posts are. Looks like I'll be going for a run tomorrow morning.

Cheers,

Brad

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Lara
April 28, 2015 at 5:20 pm

One of my positive triggers is leaving my current business or personal development book by the light next to my bed. Doing so reminds me to read my 10 pages that day when I first get up and doing so sets my mood and mindset for the day!

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Chris Sabatino
February 11, 2015 at 6:48 pm

Dude, stuff that you come up with is so simple that it make me mad. But I think that is the genius of your newsletters. Kinda brings you down to that level where you aren't over analyzing things. I'm definitely gonna do that shoe trick...so damn simple ahah! Keep up the inspiration man!

Chris

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Chris Naughton
January 29, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Speaking of creating good habits...I have 60" x 60" shiny, steel magnetic boards to hold reminders rather than letting these notes and items pile up on my desk...getting lost in the usual shuffle.

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Rich Thayer
January 20, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Keep doing what you're doing Noah, you inspire a lot of people like myself.

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Rick Siderfin
December 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Excellent, Noah. Love this. Practical stuff anyone can do that will inevitably lead to greater success. I have considered placing the home router [located quite a way from my desk] on a time switch to encourage me to stop working earlier and get to bed in better time...apart from that I do the fairly commonplace trick of placing an alarm clock at the other side of the room to FORCE me out of bed in the mornings - as having 3 kids also awake at 5AM is not a desirable outcome...

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Jan Koch
December 24, 2014 at 3:05 am

Great stuff Noah!
I've set up a trigger that helps me get focused on my goals in the morning. When I get up, I take a look on a document that I created. That doc contains my goals for the next 3 months, principles I want to live by every day and positive affirmations.

Learned that hack from Chris Brogan and it truly shifted my life already.

Merry Christmas!

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Jason
December 20, 2014 at 12:09 am

My new habit is to plan a quarterly plan. Then break down to monthly plans to stick on the book shelf where I see everyday when I get out of the bed

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Wendy
December 12, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Wow! I really needed to read this today! My mind is constantly moving and I needed that extra boost! I am a walking inferno!!!!! This was fuel to my fire!!!

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Jay
December 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Leave an hour glass on a shelf next to the front door and flip it over every time I leave to remind myself that time is slipping by and it is important to take advantage of each and every day

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Chandler
December 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Two triggers I use every single day is to set my alarm across the room so that I have to get out of bed to turn it off. By that point I'm already awake so I don't hit the snooze. 🙂 I also preset Scrivener in the morning with an opening sentence so that when I get up it's not a blank screen with a blinking cursor.

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Amanda
November 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

ALARM CLOCK! I pick a kick ass alarm clock song (like Circle of Life -Lion King- best alarm clock song EVER), then I plug it in to charge across the room so when I wake up I have to get out of bed and walk across the room, limiting my need to want to hit the snooze button. Also, I know I've picked the right song when I'm compelled to DANCE my way to my alarm clock 😉 Thanks Noah this was a great reminder!

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Keith Shimon
November 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Lately, I have put a stack of obnoxiously colored post-it notes and a pen where I eat breakfast. This forces me to write two things that I have to accomplish for that day, and their color is as unavoidable as a poisonous dart tip frog.

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mickail
November 12, 2014 at 3:30 am

I put my alarm clock far away from my bed so that I can't reach it in the morning and go back to sleep

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Yulia Konovnitsyna
November 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Great advise here! I used to get so caught up in work and not make the time to grab or eat lunch. And if i did, i took out something quick and most likely packaged. This quickly grew into a bad habit with unwanted side effects. Then one day, i tried meal prepping and made it into a ritual at my place every Sunday evening. Now i have no excuse to skip lunch or eat packaged crap. It changed my life and improved my health and happiness drastically.

My current trigger is to always keep a bathing suit and sun-block in the car, so i have no excuse to make it to the beach at least once a week, even during the South Florida winter.

It's all about taking action (even the smallest of steps) to set yourself up for success.

Thanks for the wisdom, Noah.

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Erika
October 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I put all of my travel pictures in my hallway so no matter what I have to look at them multiple times a day. They usually make me smile as I think about a great memory.

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Kassandra
October 25, 2014 at 11:53 pm

My positive trigger: listening to my Personal Legend Playlist as I work out in the early am.

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Eric Daily
October 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I love this. I've recently had great success looking at disadvantages as advantages (for example, turning my lack of free time into a tool for staying focused and not wasting time), so I really loved your suggestion to not bring your powercord for your laptop!

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Kahsoon
October 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

Taking a cold shower in the morning.

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Corinna
October 18, 2014 at 1:45 am

There is a post-it on my desk which I reminds me that it is ok not to be perfect and all knowing.
My hiking boots stand on my doormat so by Friday I have stumbled over them so often that I go hiking on Saturday.
I use anti-social to block social media and other websites when working.
I have a yoga mat next to my desk.

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Sergie
October 12, 2014 at 5:39 am

A trigger: my only ways to the office are via the local school sports yard or an improvised pull-up bar (carpet drying rack) in the neighborhood. No way to avoid 40 to 60 smth pull-ups a day.

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Marina Darlow
September 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Awesome post.
I love this technique, and try to implement it in all kind of challenging areas of my life (hint: exercise...).
In general, I strongly believe in shaping behavior with *positive* triggers, and making your day happier as a whole.
That's the point, isn't it?

Btw, your post reminded me of a TED talk I just saw today about happiness bringing success and not the other way around, by Shawn Achor. Here: http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work

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Craig Robinson
September 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

I used to keep my alarm clock by my bed but when it went off I would just roll over, hit snooze and go back to sleep. Now I keep it as far away from my bed as possible so when it goes off I have to get out of bed to turn it off. By this time I am awake and now need a piss. The day begins!

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Nate
September 6, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I do two things:

Put books by my bed that allow me to read a bit everyday and fall asleep w positive things in my head. And I put my journal in the bathroom and write ea morning while doing my biz.

Works well.

Cheers!

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Yoni Levitan
September 2, 2014 at 8:35 am

When I get home today I will put a pen & stack of recipe cards on my night table. Before bed I will write down my priorities for the next day, and immediately after getting out of bed and standing in the morning I will write three things I'm grateful for on the back of the card.

I had a good routine for this in my last apartment, but it's fallen off since I recently moved. This was just the kick I needed to resume this habit. I will post a follow up comment in a few hours to show that I'm a man of my word 🙂

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Yoni Levitan
September 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Just wrote down tomorrow's priorities on a recipe card! I now have a stack of them on my night table. Thanks again for the nudge to resume this habit.

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nicole
August 27, 2014 at 6:36 am

I leave my pad next to the bed so the first thing I do when I wake up is write and I have to write my 10 ideas down (thank you James Altucher) and one page

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Robert
August 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm

I have setup many triggers in my office to help me keep going; here's one example. I have the words "i will win" in all caps on my wall. I put it on my wall so that I can see it everyday and internalize it. That way anytime my brain is feeling tempted to be negative, it stops and instead I repeat those words internally.

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Bradley Taylor
August 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Having to come up with a new meal option each night led to poor food choices. I now make a bulk set of meals on the weekend, and only have to take a prepared meal out of the freezer each week night. Variety of meals is overrated. Easy decisions about food is helping me stick to a healthy eating habit.

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Rachel
August 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

My favorite positive trigger has to be the positive passwords I set for my computercomputer etc eg: workouteachday or buildingasuccessfulbusiness

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Tony
August 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I needed to stop spending money. I had a routine of buying things online during my lunch hour at work. To stop myself from shopping and buying thing I really didn't need, I stopped bringing my wallet to work. No wallet = no spending. Simple.

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Greg Dyche
August 7, 2014 at 10:44 pm

calendar reminders that go out to a group of folks working on a project. if I don't update the status, people will get a week old reminder and I'll have to answer emails explaining why I didn't get to the update. keep me committed to communicating to the team.

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John Preston
August 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Put the alarm clock across the room.

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Lara
April 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm

I do this too, works a treat!

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Melanie
August 6, 2014 at 12:20 am

I have a bright green yoga mat on my way to the office & a candle on my desk. Can't miss being zen & cheery when it's right in your face!

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Konrad W. Gorak
August 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

I have to admit I've created a new habit recently. I read your blog every day right before i go to sleep. I call it "Noah's Ark" as it makes my life easier every single day ;D

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Mike Bracco
August 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

My favorite positive Trigger:

I have Sonos in my place. I set Sonos as my alarm and it automatically starts plays my "Happy Playlist". The Happy Playlist is a list of songs I've curated that make me happy and/or motivates me. I hear it first thing everyday as my alarm clock.

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Carlo Powe-Crawford
August 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Positive trigger: I smile everyday for my future. It looks much better than things do right now. Because I believe it, and because I said so (didn't we all hear that one when our parents said it to us... for YEARS?). Because in the natural, no - it's not visible. But, in the unseen world where things exist before they happen, supernaturally, it's as true as your running shoes are sitting at your front door.

Keep smiling. I am!

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Xavier Major
July 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm

I am working hard as a part of side hustle nation. I work a full time job from 11am to 8pm and consult for INC.500 companies on the side so I have to use triggers in order to trick my brain into getting shit done!

I put my computer in my kitchen before I go to bed so when I wake up it forces me to eat breakfast. I started putting my cellphone about 5 feet from my bed so I have to get up and turn off my alarm at 5:00am. Some things I use to help me get my day started correct!

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Emily Esposito
July 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm

I always make my lunch and pack healthy snacks at night, so I'm not tempted to go out to eat at work the next day.

Also -- there's a word missing in your intro and email: “My running shoes and (??) are in the middle of my hall-way. Bleh”

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Daud Zaidi
June 25, 2014 at 1:02 am

The power cord one, I do it usually and will continue doing it

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Cory Boatright
June 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Noah,

I dig it bro. I bought like 5 refrigerators and placed them all over my house and filled them with water. This is was due to the fact I was a convenient drinker. If the water was in the fridge where ever I happened to be int he house, I would be more likely to drink it.

I also play guitar so I put guitars in places like my bathroom, bedroom, office. Anytime I get inspired to play, it's very convenient to grab it and play.

I also have a professional cook that cooks meals for me on every Sunday and dropping them off at my house. I send her an excel spreadsheet and pay her $100 on top of the bill at Wholefoods.

Anyhoo... I tagged you on my Beef Jerkey post. I hope you chime in there on my FB. I heard lots of cool things about you bro and watched some videos you have on Youtube. I dig your style.

Remember... be a servant,

Cory

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Joy Laforme
June 14, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I also leave my sneakers in the hallway by the door so I have to go biking (always feel happy after that). Last year I ditched the automatic drip coffee maker for a chemex and it takes me twice as long to make my coffee but I enjoy it so much more because of the time and care I put into making it - so random, but it totally works for me. I never thought of these things as mechanisms for triggering positivity but now I'm going to think more about what else I can do! Found your blog via the Jess Lively interview you recently did and I can't tear myself away - great stuff you have here.

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Warren Endes
May 28, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I am newbie so I am still trying to learn all I can about affiliate marketing. I would say since I am trying to learn everyday my trigger would be to place my web marketing book right in front of my keyboard so I read at least 1 chapter a day.

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Jerred Morris
May 28, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I don't have a daily trigger for success but I do have a weekly trigger in place. I train at Atomic Athlete which is right down the street from your office on the east side. I've never been more motivated to accomplish tasks or goals in my life.

I really like the blog Noah! Keep it up.

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Joe
May 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

It is not really a trigger, but I have deliberately not complained about my router, located two floors down, which needs to be reset numerous times per day, as I use it as an exercise activity. Firstly, it prevents me from too much continuous sitting; I have made a commitment this year to always do a set of air squats while I am down there; and then, I run back up the stairs.

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Martin Capodici
May 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Yes I do this, although you have inspired me to do it more.

If I need to so something important after work, let's say I need to fill up with petrol for a trip the next day. As a creature of habit I usually will just drive straight home and forget. However I leave something on my seat that I need to move to start driving it triggers me to remember what I need to do.

Like the old tying a string around your finger idea. Although I have never done that. I don't want to advertise how forgetful I am !

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Sarah
May 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I take a jog every morning before I let myself open email or check reddit. I also have an alarm on my computer. Every 45 minutes I get up and stretch and walk around the house/office. It keeps me creative and engaged.

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Teresa Martini
April 30, 2014 at 6:34 am

Thanks for the idea, I have been finding ways to avoid exercising this inspires me.

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Gail Gates
April 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

I've got lots of triggers. When my husband kisses me goodbye in the morning I always ask, "What kind of day are you going to have?" He can't leave until he says, "I'm gonna have a GREAT day." Silly? MMMhmmm. Does it work? Mmmhmmm.
If I see an eagle soaring = great day.
If Aerosmith's Dream On comes on the radio = great day.
If the cat tells me I'm going to have a great day, I'd better danged well have a great day.
A friend recently told me that her grandmother would say,"Of course I'm going to have a great day. Anything less would be cheat'n myself."

🙂 Gail

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Greg Carbone
April 27, 2014 at 5:58 am

In the personal side, I leave out whatever exercise equiptment I need for the next day. Cycling shoes, gym clothes, or whatever else. I put them somewhere I can't miss. Sometimes I wear the gym clothes to bed. That way I'm primed to go.

Professionally, I have had good success with authorship by keeping favorite books, well written papers, or fantastic blog posts out where I can't miss them. Such triggers helped me finish my first book and also remind me to keep my website and blog content fresh.

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Kris
April 21, 2014 at 10:03 am

Smile. I tend to be a negative half-empty person, so just last night I was reading that smiling for 20-30 seconds can make you happier, Not just a little smile, but an ear to ear grin. So I tried it an slept better than I had in a long time. I'm going to do it at least once in the morning and once at night. Great post!

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Brian
May 14, 2015 at 9:08 pm

This is great! I dont know how I ended up doing this but I smile the second my eyes open every morning. I read it somewhere I think. Either way, its gets me in a great mood every morning.

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Nathan
April 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

The power cord trick is a great one! Use it often. Are you training for anything specific right now, or just run for fun?

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Rebekah Kennelly
April 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

I've been doing this for the last couple weeks to help with my workout program - the coffee pot kicks on 10 minutes before my alarm - my shoes, headphones and armband sit right next to the door - and lay out my workout clothes before I go to bed. It's hard to skip working out in the morning when I have everything laid out and prepared.

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Joe
May 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I love that you can schedule your coffee pot!

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YK
March 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I'm not using this type of thing enough. I need to do that more.

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Joann Holstein
March 21, 2014 at 4:28 am

I would make sure I have my daily devotional next to the coffee pot so I start my morning reading a positive scripture from the Lord.

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Adam
December 23, 2015 at 9:35 am

Amen sister. Not a better way to start the day!

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Christine
March 19, 2014 at 12:14 am

I bought a super cool lunch box so I feel more compelled to take a healthy lunch to work everyday. Doesn't have a thermos with it like my kickin' Strawberry Shortcake one did when I was in 3rd grade, but it still makes everyone kind of jealous in the break room. 😀

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Tracey Pedersen
March 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Oh it turns out I've been doing this for years without even thinking about what it actually means. I have a skill of turning off the alarm or setting it to snooze over and over in the morning. Many years ago I decided to place my alarm clock or phone on the other side of the room so I had to get up to turn it off in the morning. No more setting it to snooze. Once I'm out of bed I'm on the move! Thanks for pointing out all the other places I can use this technique!

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Alexandre Nômade Digital
November 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

Habit creation is subject that I love study.

Those ideas are not direct habit creation, but as you said, part ofit: turning the things easier to to and hard to miss.
As simple as that.

I try to think about compound interest about habits: learn that little tiny heathy habit today and do it for 10 year. Will make a HUGE diference.

But we usually overlook the small things and shoot only for thebig things. And more than often don't accomplish it. Downward spiral.

Small, but constant.

Awesome post, Noah.
You're the guy.

(I need to get some momentum [a.k.a., passive web income] to allow me to focus more on my whole life!)

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Elliom Neave
May 21, 2013 at 2:41 am

Great read. Going to give some of these a go on top of my current methods.

One I like to do is write down what I need to have done for the day/week/month and stick it on a wall.

It's easy to type something in Notepad to be done, but you'll probably end up closing it.

If something is in your own handwriting you tend to feel more guilty about NOT doing it and then creates, at first, the illusion of discipline and then becomes actual discipline.

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Karelys Beltran
April 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm

If I want to impress someone like my husband or boss or friend I picture them being so happy and genuinely feeling like their life is happier or better because I am here.

So then I behave like what would get that result.

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Alex
June 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Great tip!

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Jacques de Villiers
April 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

We're creatures of habit.

So, we may as well get good habits. By doing these small, yet important things, Noah, you are making it easier for your brain to go for it.

As you probably already know, the brain doesn't like to be taxed.

If you make it easy for your brain, which is the most energy hungry organ in the body, then you are more likely to get your stated task done.

You've already read David Rocks 'Your Brain At Work', Noah so you know how it works. A great read for anyone who wants insight on how to get the best out of people.

Another book that ties in with Noah's topic (and should be your 19th must read book, Noah) is Switch - How to Change When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath.

Be awesome!

Jacques
South Africa

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