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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Examples,
  • 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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Examples,
  • 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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Challenge:  
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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10 thoughts on “Focus on your habits to shape your destiny

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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