Find your trigger

. 2 min read

Recently, the weather has affected my life. This usually happens in the summer, when the heat takes a big toll on my well-being. This time, though, it's the winter weather, and more specifically, a crazy snowstorm that is covering everything in snow. (Looks like 3 feet at the moment, and counting.)

I had just got into the habit of driving (the car) to my favorite cafe where I could work instead of an office. It felt alright. And no more than slightly inconvenient, spending half an hour a day in traffic.

But in retrospect, it wasn't nearly as inconvenient as wading through a snowbank in a snowstorm for an hour a day to get to the nearest cafe without a car.

You might suggest I just work from home. It's a valid suggestion. I could see how that could work.

Except that I tried it and it backfired miserably.

I had spent all of December mostly home, not working. So naturally my brain had got used to it: home equals vacation; home equals movie marathons; home equals Christmas chocolates. (Mind you, I got bored of the whole taking-all-of-December-off thing two weeks into December, but one just doesn't go back to work right before Christmas. One just doesn't.)

So when the snowstorm started and I stayed home to work, I got almost no work done, I watched movies, and I ate crap. My physical and mental health took an immense hit. Like, the bomb in the culvert of Helm's Deep kind of immense hit.

Therefore, I decided that if I just got away from that place that triggers the connection in my brain, everything else would sort itself out. I would get work done, eat better, and have brilliant physical and mental health, if I just got out of the house every day and went somewhere else to work.

So here I am, at the nearest cafe - not my favorite one, but one does not walk that far in a snowstorm - and I'd say it's working. I've almost finished my first book of 2021. The cafe doesn't have wifi so I can't procrastinate on YouTube or watch movies. And I bet, once I get home, I'll be hungry for eggs and meat and scallops and other good stuff that's good for both my body and my mind. Maybe I'll feel so good after a day like this that I'll choose a book over a movie for evening entertainment.

It's a trigger: a gentle snap on the tiny good domino will cause a chain reaction for the bigger and bigger good dominoes. For Twyla Tharp, it's the taxi; for James Clear, it's putting on gym clothes; for me, it's getting out of the house with my laptop.

Figure out yours, make sure to do it every day, and enjoy the consequences.


Photo by green ant on Unsplash