Use Positive Triggers to Automate Your Morning

06.02.2017 |

Episode #8 of the course How to get up and conquer the morning by Matt Sandrini


Now that we talked about your sleep, your evening, your morning, and even your alarm clock, how can we make sure you actually use your morning positively every single day?

Sometimes, you wake up ready to go to the gym, but there’s a battle going on in your head. Lazy you says, “We’re staying in bed.” Positive you says, “We’re going NOW.” The one you feed the most gets stronger. So if you keep hitting the snooze button, it will become easier and easier to keep doing so.

But there’s a way to rig the game. When you’re at peak motivation, do something to make it easier for your morning self to make the positive decision.

The first thing is to create positive triggers. We mentioned triggers in lesson 5, but they’re so important, it’s worth going through them again.

When you start a new activity, you will have to rely on your willpower, which is finite and tends to be pretty weak when you’re sleepy and disoriented. Over time, an automated habit will form and become the default behavior in response to a specific situation.

So make sure you’ll need as little willpower as possible. Research suggests that if it takes you more than 20 seconds to start a habit, you are a lot less likely to do it.

Triggers make everything easier. Prepare your habits the previous day so you can use your peak motivation for when you feel a little less determined. Triggers are objects prepared and specifically placed to make an activity the obvious and easy choice.

Here are a few examples:

• If you’re going to the gym, prepare your protein shake and set your gym kit on the floor in the evening.

• If you’re going for a run, leave your shoes and outfit in the hallway.

• If you’re going to floss your teeth, leave the floss on the sink in the evening so you’ll see it in the morning.

• If you’re writing, make sure your laptop is charged and ready on your cleared desk, waiting for you when you wake up.

• If you want to meditate, keep a blanket next to your meditation spot if your room tends to be cold.

Whatever you want to do in the morning, you can find a positive trigger to make a positive behavior the obvious and default decision so you don’t have to rely on your willpower.


Tomorrow, we will look at a hack you can use to adjust your behavior to your new morning time. Quickly.

– Matt


Additional resource

Decision fatigue: why making good choices is a matter of timing


Recommended book

“No More Sleepless Nights” by Peter Hauri, Shirley Linde


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