How do you bring the best out of yourself as an entrepreneur?
Creating maximum impact requires that you’re performing at your best, so for the past few years I’ve been obsessed with the psychology behind business growth! The psychology of human nature, the psychology of marketing, the psychology of sales, and the psychology of people management…
But the thing about the psychology of people management, is that it applies to self-management as well as team management. Even though managing your team is the first thought that comes to mind, self-management is just as important!
Entrepreneurs/Business Owners need to be able to self-manage and bring out the best in themselves.
I say this as someone who was the worst boss I’ve ever had. For years I did a horrible job of self-management, and was the boss who constantly pushed harder, called out feeling unwell as if it were laziness, and always pushed for that one extra thing to get knocked out before ending the work day.
If an actual manager had done to me what I did to myself, it wouldn’t have ended well!
Eventually I became obsessed with discovering how to set myself up for success, instead of constantly pushing myself harder and harder until I was ready to break. In my discoveries, one of my favorite self-hacks that I’ve learned is “Identifying the Trigger Habit.”
The Trigger Habit:
The action, thought, or speech pattern that triggers a whole slew of other actions that align with who you want to be. A “Hack” habit that triggers the rest of the actions you want to take.
This habit hack is easier explained by example than simple definition, so I’ll give you three examples.
My Health Trigger Habit/Hack
This last year I pursued a healthy focus for myself because I realized I had built the business at the expense of my health. Not a great place to be!
I decided to take back my health, and began running. What I discovered was this: when I got my butt up to run in the mornings, it became a trigger habit that started to make me feel better all day. Even if it wasn’t a long run, as long as I actually run, it leaves me with the Feel Good Hormones running through my system all day.
Anyone who works out understands the feeling of your muscles tensing up and feeling tired after a workout too. You’ve got all those feel-good hormones running through your system, but you can feel your muscles starting to tense up when you’ve had a good workout. For me, that triggers me to get up and walk around more so that I’m getting more steps into my day and am staying active throughout the day.
There are a slew of other activities that this jogging habit triggers for me too! Jogging in the mornings reminds me to...
Eat Healthier - I’ve worked out, so I know my body needs the right kinds of food to fuel it for the rest of the day and not just empty snacks and meals.
Drink More Water - Since I’ve worked out in the morning, I know I’ve lost more water so it’s natural for me to be drinking the proper amount of water for the day
Be More Focused - Starting the day with a focused activity where I am only doing one thing and can only do one thing helps set my mindset for the rest of the day, so I’m getting into my Flow State and be more productive.
Go to Bed - It helps me to get more tired throughout the day, so I feel more ready to get to sleep earlier. Which is super healthy, because human beings naturally rest best between the hours of 10PM and 2AM so I’m getting some of the best rest that I can to fuel my day.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea!
Running in the mornings is my trigger habit for being a healthier person; because when running falls off my radar, the rest of my health priorities take a step by the wayside too.
My Happiness Trigger Habit/Hack
They say that what you focus on expands, and I’ve found that principle to be very true!
So my happiness trigger habit is my success and gratitude journals. Every morning I take just a few minutes to list out 2 things:
My successes from the previous day
3 things that I’m grateful for at the deepest core level of my being.
What happens with this habit is that the rest of my life continues to align. As I’m searching for successes and things to be grateful for from the previous day, that mentality continues into the rest of my day. I start to be happier with the rest of my life as I look for good things to focus on and begin to minimize the less than good. I begin to see more and more parts of my life that I love, just because I start my day by looking through what happened the previous day for those good things.
My Productivity Trigger Habit/Hack
I’m a big fan of focused energy and to-do lists where you knock out one thing at a time.
So my productivity trigger habit/hack is to build out my day at the start of my day. By taking time to block out my time and focus on my to-do list at the start of my day, I create spaces where I can focus exclusively on what I’m doing and not worry about anything else. Creating this to-do list at the start of my day helps me become someone who can look at the big picture, but also someone who can work in the moment and knock out a focused project effectively.
Without this trigger habit I’m a frantic mess all day. I can’t keep track of my time blocking, I don’t even know if I’m checking off the things I need to get done, and I often accomplish very little!
Having this trigger habit in place allows the rest of my Productive Stephanie Habits to fall into place.
So here’s what you do…
Look at the core areas in your life that you want to create a shift in.
Note how I’m saying that. I don’t want to say improve, because improvement is such a subjective term. You may consider it an improvement if it gets you closer to where you want to go, but I don’t want you to focus on that.
What I want you to focus on is determining the parts of your life that aren’t where you want them to be. Be that your health, business, team management, family, etc. Over the next year, what do you want to shift?
And yes, I mean do this right now!
There’s no time like the present as you’re reading this to get started.
From there, look at all the things that you want to do differently and create a list of them.
Yes, now, the rest of this article will still be here when you’re done!
Most likely you’ll end up with a gigantic, long list that is going to overwhelm you. That’s ok! Now you need to look for the habit that will help trigger the rest of these actions in your life.
In other words, what action can you purposefully take in each area of your life that will help you act in alignment with who you want to be? What is your version of “running every morning” or “success and gratitude journals”? That is your trigger habit. It’s the action you can take at the start of every day to ensure that the rest of your day is your brain on autopilot for the other actions you want to take.
It may take some experimentation, that’s ok too! Play around with what works for you. I guarantee that once you find your trigger habit, it will change your life!
You don’t need a new year’s resolution to change your life. You need to find your trigger habit.