Understanding Triggers

Behaviour change is a complex process that begins with awareness – which we chatted about last week. Over the past week,  did you become aware of some habits that you wanted to change? Maybe you realized you don’t drink enough water or maybe you are only getting 6 hours of sleep a night.

One of the most effective ways to foster positive change in your health and fitness habits is to understand the triggers and patterns that influence these behaviours. By identifying and analyzing these triggers, you can develop strategies to modify or replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones.

Identify Triggers

1. Environmental Triggers

  • Our surroundings often prompt certain behaviours, sometimes without us even realizing it. For instance, you might find yourself snacking whenever you watch TV, not because you’re hungry, but because the environment cues this behaviour.
  • Action Step: Start by paying attention to your environment. Notice where you are and what you’re doing when unhealthy behaviours occur. Common environmental triggers include specific locations (like the living room or office), times of day, or even social settings.

2. Emotional Triggers

  • Emotions play a significant role in our behaviour. Stress, boredom, sadness, and even happiness can lead to unhealthy choices like overeating, skipping workouts, or indulging in junk food.
  • Action Step: Recognize and document your emotional states when engaging in unhealthy behaviours. Keeping an emotion-behaviour journal can help you identify patterns. For example, if you notice that you reach for comfort food when stressed, you’ve identified a key emotional trigger.

Understanding the triggers and patterns that influence your behaviours is a critical step in achieving lasting behaviour change. By identifying environmental and emotional triggers, you can begin to make change and create a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Remember, behaviour change is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and self-compassion. By taking small, consistent steps, you can move closer to your health and fitness goals.

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About the Author

Michelle de Jong

Michelle has always had a passion for fitness, nutrition and sport. She is now a mom of her daughter Maddison. Being a Mom and Fitness Coach has brought an entirely new appreciation to the challenges of “Living The Fit Life” while balancing a career, family and fitness. 

The passion for “Tales from The Fit Life” Blog came from 12 years of working with clients on their fitness and health journey. Tune in each week to learn about Fitness, Nutrition, Recovery and the X-Factor tips that have helped transform the lives of Michelle’s Clients at Limitless Performance.

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