Can your home or your office help you stay motivated?
If you’ve been hanging out in my corner of the Interverse for a while, then you probably have heard me say that before: the environment around you influences how you feel, act, think, behave.
And there are multiple ways in which you can take that truth and use it to your advantage.
If you want to sleep better, you can adjust your bedroom to make the conditions there optimal for good night’s rest.
If you want to be more productive, you can make sure your office helps you stay focused on what matters to you.
But what about long-term goals and big dreams? Is there anything you can do in your home or office that will inspire you and help you stay motivated? Can your environment actually help you achieve your big dreams?
How to stay motivated using triggers.
This method of helping you stay motivated is very simple. It’s so simple, in fact, that most people hear or read it, nod their heads and move on. Without implementing it.
Do not make that mistake. Do not underestimate the power of triggers (I’ll explain in a second) – they will help you stay motivated and inspired.
What are triggers?
Triggers are items, small tokens or even little post-it notes that are to serve as a reminder of what you want and why you want it.
Trigger works, because if you associate certain object with your goal, every time you will see this object, you’ll be reminded of your goal. And the more often you’re reminded of your goal, the more focused your actions become on reaching it.
Think about that: if you write down, for example, your New Year’s resolutions on a piece of paper and put it away and never look at them again, what do you think are your chances of making them happen? The busyness of life is going to take over in a matter of days and you won’t think about your goals until one day, when you accidentally come across that piece of paper. And I bet that it will not feel good to see that you have not sticked to what you said you were going to do.
But what if you were to turn that around and instead of setting goals and forgetting them, you’d start from focusing solely on setting up triggers in your environment that remind you of your plan?
Remove the expectation that you have to change everything at the same time and from the start and, instead, focus on planting little reminders throughout your everyday life. Their only goal? To keep your most important ideas and why you want them to happen at the top of your mind. The actions will follow that constant exposure to your reminders.
How do I choose my triggers?
Choosing your triggers is something very personal and, obviously, it depends on your goal(s), but here are a few ideas that can help you stay motivated.
Triggers that are part of your office or home decor:
- Written down goals. They do not need to be framed, a simple post-it note or printed out words will do the job if that feels right – remember the most important part is to do it and tick it off your list. Put them somewhere near to where you spend most time (maybe next to your desk?) and make sure they always stay visible.
- Buy an item that reminds you of your desired result. Do you want a new home? Maybe get a new beautiful keychain – one which you’d imagine would go well with the keys to your new house or apartment – and add that keychain to your current set of keys. Every time you’ll open the door, you’ll be reminded that where you are is just temporary, because you’re working on moving to that new home (do it even if right now you have no idea how you could afford a new place).
- Choose an object that you use a lot (one which is related to your goal) and invest in the best quality product you could ever imagine buying. Do you dream of a kitchen renovation? Maybe buy a beautiful toaster that you could see standing proudly in your new kitchen. Every day when you wait for your toasts, you’ll be thinking about that new kitchen, coming up with new ideas how that could become true.
Do you see how that works?
One small thing that should become a part of your day, every day.
There is one additional trigger that should become a natural part of your every day, from now until you set new goals (when you’ll adjust the trigger for your new objective).
Set up a recurring reminder on your phone. Seriously, this one alone is very powerful.
It could be a reminder every day at a certain time, or a couple of times a day. Set the message to be a positive congratulations-you-made-it kind of message, as if it already happened. For instance: ‘Congrats on publishing your first book! How are you going to celebrate?‘ (This one is a real one, taken straight out of my phone’s current settings.)
Every day, when you see your reminder, a positive feeling associated with how you’ll feel once you actually reach your goal will go through your body. (And please, please, please, stay away from any potentially negative reminders. You do not want to see “Have you exercised today?” as an everyday reminder. Because some days you will not do anything to get you closer to your goal. And the point is not to make you feel bad. The point of this trigger is to remind you how great it will feel to accomplish your goal, no matter your current state.)
It’s time to set your goals (no more than 3 main objectives at a time) and decide what real-life triggers will be reminding you about them. Then set up those recurring phone reminders. Do it right now. Seriously.
Amazing! This small action taken today will compound its effect over-time. Of course, do not expect your goals to become true tomorrow based on that one small action, it does not work overnight. But believe me, even if you put the biggest, most “out there” life goals on your list (something you might think right now is only possible in a few years time), if you start exposing yourself to those triggers a few times a day, every day, the effect of those reminders will make you start acting on them, paying off big time.
Do you want to know my results? Last year I set 3 goals that felt so big and impossible that I couldn’t even attach a timeline to them. This year I’m on track to making all 3 of them happen by the end of the year.
Now, what would YOU do, if you could achieve what you want the most in a shorter amount of time?
If you found this article helpful, click any of the social media buttons and share it with your friends. The more people reach their beautiful goals, the better for everyone involved.
And as always, I would love to hear from you in the comments: What one physical trigger do you commit to introducing into your life? (And I hope you can tell me in that same note that your phone’s recurring reminder has already been set, right?) Leave a comment below.
Wishing you all the best for your pursuit of goals and dreams.
All my love,
So so true – when I wanted to move from London to Mauritius last year I set reminders in my phone every day, congratulating myself on my new life in Mauritius. I had photos of my dream house and Mauritius as my screen saver on my computer and I wrote the flight number and date that I wanted to fly on a piece of paper, which I put on the wall next to my computer.
Guess what? I moved to Mauritius on that exact flight and that day :-) This stuff really works.
Really happy to have found your blog :-)
Yaaay! That’s awesome, Sophie. I hope you’re enjoying Mauritius ;)
And I did a very similar thing when I was first moving to London, actually. I had a mug from London and every morning while brewing coffee I looked at it and thought “this is where I live now”. And then I moved there less than a year later, exactly when I wanted.
I’m glad you found my blog to. Welcome and I hope you’ll enjoy it. Make sure you sign-up for email updates to get the new articles as and when they come out. xx Kat