Flannel shirts. Stomach full of turkey and pie. Cold and snow. Black Friday. Football. Christmas music everywhere. It is definitely feeling like the holidays are here!
It is natural and easy to slow down a little and ease up going into the holidays. It’s easy to let up on the gas isn’t it?
I can’t help it. At Ohana Karate we are always thinking about the things that make kids successful and give them that “edge” in life. And, as we have found, it is not the big things you do that make you great but the small everyday things. Success leaves clues. Successful people share common habits and attitudes.
Now, please have a great time and make the most of the holidays with your family and friends but I want to share a “learning opportunity” and “teachable moment” with you.
In karate and at this dojo . . . we always start strong and finish even stronger! Starting and finishing strong is just a habit. Just like letting up on the gas is just a habit.
You will probably see this “letting us on the gas” happen with your child again just before Spring Break and you will really see this happen weeks before school ends in June. Here is how you can take advantage of this time to develop this powerful habit in your child (and your family). You are going to form a habit anyway so it might as well be intentional:
Family Culture– Just make this a part of your family culture and identity. Just use this motto: “In our family we are always strong starters and even stronger finishers!”
Model - lt’s pretty hard to tell you child to read more when they never see you with a book. Same here. You will need to model what strong starting and finishing looks like. Your children will mirror your energy and emotions. They also learn most of their initial habits from you.
Time to get ahead– Successful people know this. Teach your child there are definite times to “get ahead”. Tell them this is like car racing. When a driver is distracted and letting up on the gas, this is the best and easiest time to pass her and get ahead. Teach your child to recognize these opportunities in life because they happen all the time. It is just most people either fail to recognize them or fail to take advantage of them. There is no lack of opportunity, just a lack of people who take them.
Practice– This may sound like a broken record but – Habits just take practice. Look for every opportunity, especially small ones, for you and your child to practice starting and finishing strong.
In the moment– The secret is learning to just be fully aware and be in the moment. Just notice when you start letting up then use that energy to say “I am going to press even harder until the very end!” You see this at high level sports all the time. At school just build the habit of working hard until the last second you are in that classroom. At work, do the same.
Do it with everything - You cannot form a habit by doing it sometimes or when it is easy. You have to do it all the time. And, do it because - “This is just how we do it in our famly.”
So, have a great time over the next few weeks . . . but don’t let up - keep working on those habits!
The time and effort you put into your child when they are young will pay off huge in their teens.
Yours for stronger kids,