Focus on your habits to shape your destiny

Successful, happy people have good habits that are life enhancing.”
Brian Tracy, Focal Point loc. 203
What You DO Makes YOU!
Draw a line down the middle of a page. Make a list of the things you do EVERY day or almost every day. On the right side, list the end result of a person who does that every day.
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  • Spend time talking with my spouse –> I know my spouse.
  • Eat a DQ Blizzard every day –> Gain weight.
  • Exercise –> Stay healthy.
  • Lose my temper every day –> heart attack.
  • sit on the couch and watch TV for 5 hours every night –> weight gain, lack of sleep?
Be honest.
What you DON'T do makes you TOO!
Make a list of the things you don't do in your day. What is the result of NOT doing that?
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  • I don't smoke –I can be healthy.
  • I don't spent time with my children. –> They will not talk to me.
  • I don't exercize. — I will shorten my life span.
If you want to be even more proactive – ask your family about your habits. Or, look at the research relating to your topic. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Do you take breaks. (Read The Way We're Working Isn't Working for some great research on these habits.)
 “We form our habits, and then our habits form us” Brian Tracy, Focal Point, loc. 207
We all have traits we like and those we don't. But we have a lot more control over our lives than we think we do. 
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Tackle one habit for the rest of April. Set an appointment for when you will do that habit. Read about how to accomplish that habit. Decide that you are going to put that into your lifestyle.
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Last month I decided I would make sure I get up every morning at 5am (I had been but my morning was unstructured.) I have quiet time from 5 am – 5:45 am and then 5:45 – 6:30 am – I blog. 
After an “unexpected surprise” this week, I now “balance checkbook” before blogging. I balance my checkbook every morning before I blog – which usually only takes 3-4 minutes but makes a big difference in my life.
These are the habits that shape my life and are improving it. If you want to improve your life — look at your habits. Habits are hands that shape the clay of your life into a work of art to be admired or a big mess fit for the trash heap.

Focus on the habits and you shape your destiny.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Toni Olivieri-Barton April 21, 2011 - 8:49 pm

You are inspirational. I love this activity. I might want to try it with students. It really shows the relationship with what we do and how we feel. Thanks for sharing.

coolcatteacher April 21, 2011 - 9:02 pm

Wow! Thank you! I will look that up on my kindle!

Vicki Davis
Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Building the bridges of today that the society of tomorrow will walk across.

Sent from my iPod touch

coolcatteacher April 21, 2011 - 9:04 pm

I have been doing this since January! It is the year of the habit for me. It has helped me and thank you for commenting, Toni. I hope it helps others. Let me know how it goes if you use this with students!

Vicki Davis
Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Building the bridges of today that the society of tomorrow will walk across.

Sent from my iPod touch

Nathan Lowell April 21, 2011 - 11:44 pm

This is another great one, Vicki.

Must be something in the air because I looked at my own habits last month and thought I need to exercise more but I really don’t want to lose that time. I also wanted to produce some different kinds of content so I combined the two…

My readers and listeners have been asking for some more ‘chatty’ kinds of content from me for a while, so I use my phone to record whatever it is I’m thinking about that day. Each morning about 5.30 I head out on a 2 mile loop. The first mile I just walk and the second mile I turn on the recorder and talk while I walk. Sometimes I talk about education, sometimes my writing. Sometimes I talk about things that I’ve been asked to talk about. I take a photo of the morning when I leave the house and post that on flickr and twitter so people know I’m out and they tweet to me while I’m walking … I even use a hashtag #tommw (tweeting on my morning walk) so people know what’s happening.

It’s been great fun for me and doubly motivating. The exercise is paying off, and the expectation that I need to produce content every day means I have that extra impetus to get my butt off the chair and head out into the cold and dark. I’ve got about 150 regular listeners now and I’ve walked 28 days in a row – 56 miles total.

So, your comments about time and motivation, and finding just one thing .. all strike very close to my heart. Thanks!

Jeff Johnson April 21, 2011 - 8:09 pm

I really like this Vicki. Reminds me that we constantly make choices on how to spend our time, that “I don’t have time for that” really means “It’s not as important to me as ____.” This also reminds me of “Habits of Mind” by Art Costa. Good stuff, good for all of us to ponder as we juggle tasks and try to figure out what to do next.

A quote from one of Costa’s papers:

Persistence is the twin sister of excellence.
One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time.
– Marabel Morgan, The Electric Woman

coolcatteacher April 22, 2011 - 12:52 pm

Wow! That is a great story and wonderful to hear! You’re just “chatting with” your readers – what a great motivation!! Like me combining balancing the checkbook (yuck) with blogging (yeah) it is an anchor that helps both seem sweet! Love this example.

Tracy Watanabe April 22, 2011 - 5:00 pm

This is such a fabulous challenge! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time, and always pause when you post about how to manage passions about ed tech/learning and life/family.

Thank you so much!

Kind regards,
Tracy Watanabe

coolcatteacher April 22, 2011 - 8:08 pm

Thank you, Tracy. Sometimes I wonder about mixing it up, but organizing and goal setting are hobbies for me! Thank you for being so kind and taking the time to reinforce that I should include posts like this one.

Vicki Davis
Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Building the bridges of today that the society of tomorrow will walk across.

Sent from my iPod touch

Melanie April 22, 2011 - 9:14 pm

Great post with lots to think about. I will be making my list tonigh. I would like to share this with one of my classes this coming week -if I can figure out how to do it. (All blogs are blocked by our school’s filter.) We will be talking about goal setting and the steps to achieving goals. Most students already know what a goal is, but the idea of working toward a goal a little at a time, is harder to grasp. Another book I like on this topic is “Today Matters” by John Maxwell.

coolcatteacher April 23, 2011 - 12:44 am

John Maxwell is a great author! If I am blocked then diigo bookmark and cache the page and share that way.

Vicki Davis
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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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