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Speaking of Habits . . .

How to take it beyond just habits

I am a sponge. I am always reading books, listening to Podcasts and attending seminars on the latest and best in personal development, child development, education and leadership. For the last two school years we have been fortunate to work with the Hartland School District developing their SEL program. If you have not heard about it yet, you soon will. SEL stands for Social/Emotion Learning. In short, the educational system is discovering they cannot just teach the 3 R's - "Riting, Reading and Rithmatic". Children today also need to be taught social and emotional skills to be successful and happy children. With the explosion of the internet and the "Information Age", there s more information out there than ever before. As a matter of fact there is almost too much information. But every once in a while I come across something special. You know. Something you come across and it almost takes you breathe away. The proverbial light bulb going off. The one you know will be a game-changer. I wanted to share it with you because you will start seeing this being applied at the dojo. It is work being done by James Clear around his book "Atomic Habits". It is so simple and clear. (I like simple.) Here is what he has found: 1. The old success thinking of "Massive Results come from Massive Action" just does not work. 2. Instead, success comes from our HABITS! It is your small habits that compound over time that either cause your success or failure in life. 3. But how do you develop good habits? Habits come from the things you repeatedly do. Repetition is the key. Use the saying "Stop talking . . . and do the reps!" 4. But wait there is more. Most of us already knew this about habits. What James Clear does is he takes it to the next level. He adds a step that makes this a life changer. He says the way to truly engrain a habit is when it transforms into your IDENTITY. As an example, instead of running marathons you become . . . "I am a runner". Instead of reading books you become . . . "I am a life-long learner". Instead of working out a gym regularly you become . . . "I am an athlete." So the game-changer you will see coming to the dojo is process: REPS --> HABITS --> IDENTITY! So, we will need just a little help from you. You can help greatly with the reps part at home. Teach your child "Stop talking . . . and do the reps!" Teach them not to hem and ha, or negotiate, or complainer drag their feet. Just teach them . . . Just do the reps! Because this is also a habit. (Every seen a child who cannot be told to do anything without whining?) They do not have to like what they are doing. They do not have to be good at what they are doing. They just have to learn to trust YOU (and their teachers) and just DO IT! Do it without question. Are you going to have to make your child do things they do not want to do? . . . YES! This is what builds discipline and work ethic. Self discipline and work ethic are just habits. I have seen this in many of our teen black belt and instructors. Just come and watch out advanced class. They work hard all the time . . . don't even know why any more. They get mad at us when their workout is not hard enough. We do not have to push them any more. Their classmates now push them harder than we ever could. The reason is this has gone beyond a habit. It has become an IDENTITY! Instead of just coming to karate class they have become . . . "I am a Black Belt!" Yours for stronger kids, Sensei

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