Identify And Redirect Triggers To Change A Habit

There's a reason why resolutions go bust: Listing your goals is generally much easier than seeing them though. To that end, productivity weblog Zen Habits has created a cheatsheet for habit changing, including pinpointing habit triggers.

Photo by a4gpa.

According to Zen, part of successfully ingraining a desired behaviour involves clearly identifying the habits that trigger said behaviour.

What situations trigger your current habit? For the smoking habit, for example, triggers might include waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc. Most habits have multiple triggers.

The key to changing, according to the post, is to write down any and all potential triggers, then sub each out with a more positive replacement. The process may be a tedious one, which is why the post also suggests charting strategies to defeat the inevitable urges.

Browse the full post for a big list of 29 ways to change a habit, and if you've successfully managed to pull a 180 on a hard-to-kick habit, tell us how you reached the finish line in the comments.

The Habit Change Cheatsheet [Zen Habits]


    I gave up coffee Once. Cold turkey. Part of the habit was the caffine, and the other part was the routine, I changed the way I walked to work so I wouldn't walk past my usual coffee shop, and I subbed the act of buying my morning coffee to buying a piece of fruit. Yes it was more expensive then the local fruit shop, but i kept part of the habit, and subbed it for something better.

    It was still hard, but it lasted 2 months. However - never giving it up again. I missed it too much.

    As soon as I get in the car, I have this urge to pull out the ciggies. I figured if it's not there, I can't have it - so I just don't buy them anymore. I think it'll take a while before I get into my car and not want a cigarette, but it's a start!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now