Habits are a powerful determinant of our daily behaviors. Our daily triggers and automatic responses have a big impact on our actions, including whether or not those actions support our long-term goals related to fitness and wellness. Think about it. If your goal is to make daily workouts a part of your life, are you supporting it by scheduling reminders of those workouts and preparing yourself with the clothing and nutrition you need? Or do you allow work and family demands to crowd into all times throughout your day? If you have big goals related to improving your health and even your relationships, examining the triggers that occur in your daily life and giving yourself the opportunity to rewire those responses, is an enormously powerful way to improve your success in moving towards those goals. To put this into practice, identify your goal and then create a trigger that will help you to automatically take action that supports that goal. Here are a few examples.

Goal 1: Start a daily exercise program.

Your actions: In addition to choosing a time and place for your workout, set out your workout clothes and shoes the night before. By placing your clothing where you will see them as you get out of bed or walk in the door, you not only reduce the preparation time and thought process involved in starting your workout, you also provide yourself with an immediate reminder of the workout you have scheduled.

Goal 2: Eat Healthier

Your actions: Pick a specific meal or time of day that is the most problematic for you related to your goals, and target that with food preparation. For example, if you struggle with eating fast food lunches, take the time to prep a week's worth of grab and go lunches that are based on a lean protein, veggies, fruit, and enough fat to provide you with some staying power. By making these lunches tasty and convenient, you increase the likelihood that you will remember to grab them in the morning and that you will eat them earlier in the day, before hunger drives you into making bad decisions.

Goal 3: To eat more mindfully

Your actions: Reduce mindless snacking by being careful about which foods you choose to bring into your house. Place temptations out of site. You can encourage mindful choices by placing healthier foods where you can see them and are more likely to enjoy them. Try placing a beautiful fruit bowl on your table or creating a refreshing water station on your table. Choose serving containers that are both beautiful and pleasant to the touch to encourage you to involve as many of your senses as possible each time you eat and drink.

Goal: Increase quality time with family

Your actions: Examine your living space and try to eliminate distractions while placing objects that will encourage spontaneous interactions. Limiting electronics by putting them out of site when you arrive home or placing caps on the amount of time spent is a good start. Place board games, coloring books, or musical instruments in places that will encourage interaction during your down times.

Goal: Improve sleep.

Your actions: Set the stage for a good night's sleep by removing distractions from the bedroom. Place your phone out of view overnight. Dim the lights. Switch to reading, journaling, or other quiet activities before bed. When creating a bedroom that supports these healthy habits, give thought to cell phone placement, bedding, and space at your bedside that will hold a book or two and a cup of tea without increasing clutter. Also, make sure that your room is dark, clean, and quiet to support your need for a good night's sleep.

Each of these goals can be supported by daily habits that become automatic when we take the time to set the stage for our success. Whatever your goal, try breaking it down into actions that include triggers and rewards to take a powerful step towards making those goals a reality.