Attitude & Gratitude Experiment #2: Trigger Happy

Hello! I am grateful for you.

I am grateful that you are here, reading my blog. Is that weird? Maybe. I am grateful for this moment and I’m not even a part of it. YOU are the one reading this. I don’t know when you’re reading it, or where, and it’s possible I don’t even know YOU. Nevertheless, I am grateful that it’s happyning. (← See what I did there?😉)

I am grateful every time I sit down at my laptop to write. Not because I am Gandhi or anything, living in a constant state of gratitude… although that would be lovely. No. It’s because I set up “sitting down to write” as a trigger for my gratitude habit. Twentysomethings are constantly being swept up by new things, people, and ideas. We are busy people, and sometimes being busy can feel stressful, like a never-ending race.

I'm busy AF. OK?

I’m busy AF. OK?

I decided that in order to continue growing and doing and learning at this pace, I needed more gratitude – to keep my stress in check and stay focused on what’s important. All jokes aside, we will never be happy with MORE if we’re not grateful for what we already have. So I set a goal. The goal wasn’t just to say “thank you” more or to show appreciation when something nice happened, but to be INTENTIONALLY and CONSISTENTLY grateful every single day, regardless of what happened.

“Great. Another thing I have to do everyday.”

gratitudejournal

Maybe the Gratitude journal will work for you!

I’m ashamed to admit that was my first thought. A gratitude journal sounded nice, but I already carry around 2 journals for blogspiration, and a planner. I didn’t think that I could keep up with much more writing, and if I’m being honest, my bag would just be way too heavy.

I didn’t want my gratitude practice to add to my busy day, I wanted it to de-stress me!

That’s when I came across an episode of Brendon Burchard’s podcast, The Charged Life, and he talked about how every single successful person he coaches sets up “triggers” for their new habits. I had heard of this strategy before. Gretchen Rubin recommends it in her book, Better Than Before. So then, why not use this tool to help solidify our habit of gratitude? (That was hypothetical. There is no good reason why we can’t!)

What is a Trigger? A specific reminder that is built into your everyday that reminds you of your intentions with a habit.

As mentioned in Overcoming Happstacles, there are always some obstacles you will face in your happiness journey. When it comes to gratitude, the two BIGGEST happstacles are forgetfulness and lack of mindfulness. What better way to combat both of these, than with triggers?

Here’s your experiment:

1. Choose 1-4 daily triggers. (Ex. Brushing your teeth, getting the mail, making coffee in the morning, stopping at a traffic light, etc.)

OR

2. Set an alarm to go off 2-4 times a day labeled, “What are you grateful for?”

Here is a quick video of my experience with triggers and some tips for your success!

Comment below with your experience with this trigger experiment!