Over the past few weeks, I have come to realize that I am really the sum of my habits. The habits may be small but done repeatedly, they have a significant impact. For example, three years ago, I started exercising. I have committed to exercising three times a week. The small habit that has allowed me to get the gym is spending a few minutes on Sunday plotting when I am going to the gym. Once those days are set, I commit to showing up, the length and effort may not be as strong as I would like, but I am there. The result of this habit is that I can do more in the gym. I can run farther, faster; lift more, and jump higher.
On a recent episode of Teacher’s Aid, Jon Harper interviewed James Clear which he discussed an example of a person who went to the gym at the beginning for only five minutes and left to develop the habit of going to the gym. He said, “Habits have to exist before they can be optimized.” This made me think about my writing habit or lack thereof. I don’t write daily or even weekly. I have been struggling to write because I am not showing up. I realized that step one is to write 100 words daily. I am not going to agonize about the content or quality at the beginning. I am going to focus on the habit of sitting down at the computer and writing. When I shared my idea with a friend, he really put it into perspective. It’s 700 words a week and over 36,000 words a year. For me, I will write more than I have since I started this blog. I also am visually tracking on the productive app, so I can see how I am staying on track.
I tell you my own story of creating a habit because I realize that we start with small practices done daily are more powerful than a big push once. We can’t expect our classroom management to change by doing one big thing one time. Our classroom management changes one small habit done daily. It’s about showing up day in and day out that leads to long-lasting change. We need to spend the time talking to our students about this idea as well. So dear reader, enjoy this journey with me as I show up daily to write.