What Sets Habits in Motion?


Every habit begins with a trigger. The basal ganglia, our subconscious brain, is always looking for triggers in order to notify the pre-frontal cortex, our conscious brain, to stop what’s it’s doing and engage in a habit. Unless you’re aware of your habits and consciously override the command from the basal ganglia, you will unconsciously engage in the habit. Part of the job of the basal ganglia is to create habits in an effort to allow the brain to work less and, thus, consume less fuel. The basal ganglia is the brain’s fuel efficiency manager, using habits as its main energy savings device. There are 4 primary habit triggers you need to be aware of:

  1. Visual Triggers – Visual Triggers are like unavoidable neon-glowing highway billboard signs that remind you to engage in a habit. The McDonalds arches are an example of a powerful Visual Trigger. Once your eyes catch the visual trigger, the basal ganglia immediately sends a signal to the pre-frontal cortex. The next thing you know, you’re eating a hamburger with fries.
  2. Time of Day Triggers – We all have habits that we engage in during the morning, afternoon and evening. Waking up in the morning is a trigger that sets in motion all sorts of habits: drinking coffee, exercise, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, reading, meditating, going to the bathroom etc. Afternoon Triggers set off your afternoon habits: eating lunch, gossiping, reading, surfing the Internet, making personal phone calls, networking, meetings with other people etc. Nighttime is a trigger that prompts you to engage in nighttime habits: eating dinner, a glass of wine, watching T.V., reading, making personal phone calls, exercise, engaging in a hobby or extracurricular activity, gardening, going to a bar etc.
  3. Stress Triggers – Stress can force you back into old habits. Stress overwhelms the brain, consuming far too much fuel. To compensate, the basal ganglia changes it’s game plan, using stress as a trigger to get you to engage in an old habit in order to conserve fuel.
  4. Association Triggers – People who you associate with are habit triggers. One friend can be a trigger for hitting the bars, another for exercising, another for gambling, another for reading and another for cheating on your spouse. Who you associate with can be a habit trigger, setting in motion all sorts of good or bad habits.

The key to breaking any bad habits is awareness of the habit and awareness of the triggers that set them off. Being aware of the triggers to your habits is critical to understanding what is setting off your bad habits. Once you have identified the bad habits you’d like to change, the next step in the habit change process is to identify the triggers to those habits. Only by identifying the external triggers that set a habit in motion, will you be able to break bad habits.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, Money.com, India TV, News.com Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit

Speak Your Mind