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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157 responses to “Kick ass using Positive Triggers”

Joanne Masterson
October 11, 2017 at 5:21 am

Wow, I am just getting an idea of how positive triggers can work! I really need one to help me work on developing my first online class. I'm scared to do it. What can I try?
It's already on my calendar, but I just blow right by it. I already have an accountability group, but I don't check in! Ugh. I am thinking I need to close all windows on my computer except the one for doing the work. Then when I turn on my screen in the morning, that's the one I have to deal with first. Kinda like your sneakers in the hallway.

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Vern in Thailand
September 29, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Good ones! I put stuff on my computer- a do list usually - as i close the computer for the night. I open the screen in the morning and bang - that's what I'm doing. I can see my priorities and though I may dick around a bit with email and funstuff, I know what I have to get done, and I do it.

If I know I'm going running the next day, I'll put waist pak, shorts, t-shirt, hat, socks, shoes, heart rate monitor, and suunto in the shoes and put them on my chair so I can't sit down at the computer without seeing them and getting porked by a shoe heel. but yeah - in the middle of the hall works too!

on the low part of the window I can see over - which I face at my desk - I see the note in 1.5" marker

$30,000 / month
Family
Exercise

Because those are the priorities in their order. At times I need to prioritize making more money over family. It's not forever, it's motivating to see that because I know - this is fucking WRONG!

Out the window I have in the room i chose for my office, I can see the peak of a mountain top where I either go to run or go to find snakes at night.

Love Your STUFF NOAH! Keep cranking man - you are the most motivating to me. You're so real, and I wish I was able to see more of what you're doing on a daily basis to GTD. Sort of like Gary V. No, exactly like GV.

CHEERS MAN!

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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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josef
April 22, 2020 at 11:20 am

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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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