For the first time, one of Fearless Leader Jon’s e-mails turned out to be prophetic.
Today is about triggers.
Alcoholics Anonymous often uses the phrase HALT to describe the four most difficult moments to resist a drink.
H = Hungry
A = Angry
L = Lonely
T = Tired
Over the last few decades, they’ve identified those four states as triggers, things likely to help trigger a breakdown.
I think HALT works well when it comes to goal chasing too. I know that when I am tired and exhausted from business travel for instance, it’s hard for me to eat well and exercise. In addition to those four things though, let’s figure out what other triggers might hurt your progress.
As you survey your life, are there triggers that tend to knock you down? Is it impossible for you to turn on the TV without watching for two hours straight? The TV might be a trigger for you. Do you have a friend who likes to keep you out late when you promised you’d write early in the morning? That person might be a trigger. Does having queso in your fridge call to you at night? Turns out that’s a trigger for me.
Today’s task is to identify your triggers.
Write them down so you’re not surprised by them. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how we can defeat them.
Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning:
Triggers that halt me:
1) Social media: perhaps the biggest trigger of all. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, even Haircrazy (an alternative hair forum I frequent)… all of these can steal my focus and get me lost in them.
2) Illness and achiness: of course, these affect everyone, and sometimes they must be respected as signs to slow down. But I have a tendency to allow very minor illnesses and achiness become excuses for not getting things done.
3) Concerns: when I’m deeply troubled, I tend to shut down. Rather than work my way through it, I wallow, or I seek escape. Neither is helpful.
4) Fatigue: Jon said triggers other than HALT, but this is so huge for me. When I’m sleep-deprived, not only does it tend to get in the way of my work, but it also makes me very grouchy and not much fun to be around.
And sure enough… today one of these triggers stole my hustle. I felt powerless to stop it.
I’ve been mentioning in practically every blog post about the musician who is coming to my house tomorrow. (Yes. TOMORROW.) I’ve been overwhelmed with excitement as well as motivation to get my house looking its best and to prepare lots of wonderful food.
As I’ve done so, though, I’ve been plagued by a nagging thought: what if hardly anyone shows up?
Last time, I had about 12 confirmed adult guests (and several children) who told me they would be coming to his show. Then he had to cancel because of the weather. I wound up with a total of 5 adults and 4 children, which was fine for a little dinner get-together.
As today began, I had a total of about 9 confirmed guests. I kind of wanted more than that, of course, but I thought that maybe today I would finally get a few more people to commit.
The opposite happened: people began backing out.
Now please don’t misunderstand. I don’t blame a single person for backing out. One of them might have been a little hasty to say “yes” when she lives almost 8 hours away, but I understand that her enthusiasm had overcome her sense of “wait a minute, is this feasible?”
The others have had last-minute family obligations, weather issues of their own, and illnesses. All completely unavoidable.
But there it is. The day that is supposed to be a highlight of my life has turned into an unbearable source of misery because I’m afraid that my musician will believe he wasted his time coming to my house to play.
So now all my desire to hustle has disappeared. I wanted to do some more last-minute picking up and vacuuming and mopping… but all I feel like doing is moping.
I wish Jon hadn’t divided the e-mails into “identify your triggers, then defeat them.” Because I could use some serious help defeating this trigger!