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Habit Highlights and Habit Shift Practice

Habit Highlights:
  • Shifting behaviors start with shifting thinking. This means intervening in habits.

  • A habit is recurrent patterns embedded in the nervous system.  When we do something recurrently, neural pathways develop and allow us not to think about how we react.  This allows us to make space to learn new things.

  • Having new conversations, like saying “no '' instead of overcommitment and saying “yes” or speaking first in a meeting, when your habit is to speak last (or vice versa), engaging in new behaviors perturbs the nervous system. The nervous system is going to push back and want the body to do what it knows, the neural pathways have already been created, reinforced and automatic,

  1. Identify something to practice (examples: asking for help, public speaking, speaking up more in a meeting, talking less and listening more, talking more and listening less :D)

  2. Identify why practicing this is important to you (if it is not important to you, it will be easy to fall back to old habits.  What will mastering this practice take care of for you?

  3. Write your “why” down so you are reminded of it when your nervous system beckons you to your default behavior.

  4. Practice by doing it.

  5. Allow the grace runway  to feel awkward.

  6. Observe what happened in your nervous system, did your hear rate increase, did your eyes water?

  7. Reflect on your experience and how your nervous system responded.

  8. While reflecting, feel your feet on the ground, return to your why, remembering it will be awkward and may feel uncomfortable.

  9. Try again.

  10. Get support (coaching, or an accountability partner)

  11. Continue your new practice and notice at what point where it feels easier. Each attempt is re-wiring the neural pathways.

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