Being more present and engaged has been a constant battle for me. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the concept of “Triggers” that it became easier. Like many of you, I’m going 100 miles an hour every day, I’m scheduled super tight with one meeting or activity moving right into the next. I’d often find myself thinking about what was next, rather than being present and engaged. I’m a planner and strategist by nature, so it’s a challenge for me to not be planning ahead. This can be a real positive in some ways, but the problem is, you often miss out on what is happening in the moment. At one point I realized the gravity in which this had begun to affect my life and the overall impact on the things that were important to me and to others. I was truly on auto-pilot. I’d get to work and not remember getting there or be done showering and realize I didn’t rinse the conditioner out of my hair…I’m sure you can relate to this in some form. The other issue coming up as a result of this, was a lack of connection. My team and family could tell I wasn’t in the moment and fully engaged. I wasn’t feeling the joy of the moment, because that connection wasn’t there. Anyway, that all changed when I was introduced to the concept of “Triggers” by one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard.
In an earlier blog post, I talked about clarity – that comes into play big time here. So in that weekly clarity exercise, you ask yourself – what 3 words describe my best self and what are some ideas for how I can embody these words more often. Ok, so let’s say my 3 words are – inspiring, generous and engaged. And through looking at my schedule for the week, I can see I have 4 meetings with my team. I envision showing up as my best self and embodying those words (I make eye contact, I praise team members who are contributing in very subtle but effective ways, I do not look at my watch, I don’t fidget, I make them feel like they are the only person in the room, etc.). I will now set up a trigger for myself so that I get into the right mindset when I walk into those meetings. So, in this case, I knew each of these meeting would take place either in the conference room or an office – each of those places have a door. So, I set up a “door frame” trigger. Before I walk through the door, I’m saying the 3 words to describe my best self, I’m taking a deep breath and clearing the cache for what happened in the meeting prior and what is happening after this meeting. I’m setting a very clear intention for how I am going to show up.
Another place I’ve integrated triggers has been in my marriage. The people you love the most, often get the short end of the stick, right? I’d find myself getting to this place where I was just all used up by the time I got home. The commute home often entails work – a call with a client, solving some sort of problem, schedule an appointment, etc. I pull into the garage and am done. The conversation sounded like this - how was your day? Good. How was your day? Good. Real surface stuff. By integrating a trigger for my interaction with my husband, our relationship has flourished. The trigger for me is the garage door, when it opens, it signifies a new frame of mind. I’m attentive, energetic and engaged. Again, I take a deep breath and clear the cache. It’s made such a difference in every area of my life. I’m simply getting more out of life because I’m more in the moment than I’ve ever been and people are responding to it as a result.
I also set those triggers by using the alarms on my phone and in my calendar. Basically, it’s anything for you, that you can identify as a catalyst to show up the way you want to show up in life. It’s powerful.