Of the many books and techniques I have read over the years one of the themes which recurs is Affirmation. The idea of making a positive statement to change how you feel or think about something. Bear with me...this does get magickal.
I have found when I have used this technique (in various forms) that the one problem is that it never seems to last. I am sure that on a sub-conscious level it makes a difference but even if I do 20 mins of yoga and pledge to maintain that sense of calm, serenity throughout the day it doesn't usually stay. All manner of things can disrupt that moment of grace and drive it away; perhaps I run late for work, get a deadline unexpectedly brought forward, encounter some sexism, realise I have library fines. Good things can disrupt those intentions as well; I'll get lost in a book, enjoy an amazing dinner with a friend or watch a favourite TV series. Suddenly the intention is gone from my mind.
What I need is a way of calling that Affirmation, or intention or sense of serenity back to my conscious mind once something mundane, or delightful or stressful has ejected it. One of the current goals in my personal practice is develop a better joined up thinking about magic and the rest of my life. To be able to bring a spirit of magickal mindfulness to work and everywhere else. Being able to recall and re-invoke magickal affirmations discreetly, consistently and effectively would be great. Enter triggers (the good sort this time, not the bad). When I make my Affirmation, set my magickal intent or complete my yoga I can have a symbol, a token or talisman to excite my senses which I can come back to throughout the day to remind me of that moment. Simple yet effective.
If I am at home, I'll light a particular incense. Sometimes I'll forget about the incense but when I do remember it again (perhaps after re-entering a room after fetching a drink) then at the moment I notice the incense again, I will deliberately call to mind that earlier practice and reinforce it. The moment of noticing is the trigger to remind you to replay the Affirmation or magickal moment. So the item or token must be something which I will notice again and again at little moments throughout the day. That way I spend the day re-affirming my intention again and again. I have found this is very effective for both doing background magickal practices, sending absent healing or re-affirming statements and concepts I am trying to abide by.
Some ideas for such discreet tokens of remembrance:
1. Jewelry, that you do not normally wear daily, so you "notice" it when you see it. I particularly like anything that jingles and jangles as tinkling silvery noises playing on my awareness is a very magical way to remind yourself of anything.
2. Clothing or a particular colour which is unusual to you. I am using red a lot at the moment for manifesting things. You can't fail to notice bright red, sunshine yellow, lime green or magenta. These are colours made to stand out!
3. A bunch of flowers, are discreet on a desk at work, yet the smell will remind you as will the sight of them. They are unusual on your desk, unusual enough to remind you why they are there, but not odd!
4. Perfume/essential oils/incense -we do get used to smells after a while and cannot smell them anymore. But it takes a while for this to happen and before that occurs it is quite hard to tune out smells.
5. Candles (probably not appropriate for work or if you are on the move) are fantastic as not only is your eye drawn back again and again to the light, but also to the slight movement generated by the flame itself. Equally anything that catches the light will work nicely, as a sudden flash or flicker attracts your attention.
6. Photographs or Pictures placed somewhere obvious. This is my least favourite way of using this practice as I find it all to easy to tune out background clutter after a while. But you may find your eye being constantly drawn back to an amazing picture.
I would shy away from alarms, since I always find them so jarring to my mind and sense of wellbeing; and the idea above is not to be forced into remembering, but gently led there as if by accident. I have no wish to blend the sense of annoyance and interruption an alarm generates with the magickal manifestation I am attempting - but someone else may find that very effective.
The key though, is not to over-use the particular trigger you pick. If it is over-used it will become a part of the background and no longer prompt you to notice it. It is the sudden moment of noticing which reminds you to redo the working so that must be maintained and kept fresh.