Habit hooks and triggers can help you succeed with your habit change. Knowing which one to use depends on what kind of habit you are trying to change.
A hook is something that you already have made into a habit that is part of your routine. So if you are tying to add in another habit you can “hook” your new habit onto your already established routine.
For example, if you are trying to start flossing your teeth, the most logical place to add that into your routine would be when you are brushing your teeth. You already brush your teeth on a regular basis, so you can use that as the “hook” to add flossing to.
Or if you are trying to start a new exercise habit you could pick the hook of getting dressed in the morning, but to get dressed in your workout clothes instead of your regular clothes. Or perhaps you already drive by the fitness center on your way home from work, try hooking on the habit of pulling into the parking lot instead of continuing to go home.
Habit triggers are what you pay attention to when you are trying to stop a bad habit. You pay attention to what happens just before you engage in your bad habit, or in other words, you pay attention to what triggers you to do your bad habit.
For example, if you are trying to stop smoking and you begin to notice that you smoke everytime you get into your car or everytime you get nervous. Depending on your particular circumstances, the trigger could be a particular place, a particular person that you are with, a feeling that you have, a memory, an action that you do, a thought you think or even a smell.
Finding out what your triggers are (and there is probably more than one) for a specific bad habit may take a little time and effort but once you figure them out then you can take action to stop or hinder your triggers. You can avoid certain places or certain people. You can think up alternative actions for when you feel a certain way and you can change the way you think. Sometimes just the awareness of your triggers is half the battle.
There are many ways to help you succeed with habit change. Habit hooks and triggers are just two ways. Keep checking back for more help with your habit change and let me know in the comments section how your particular habit change is going.