Kick That Habit!
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Fall 2010 Online Workshop
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
Identify bad habits of college students.
Understand the problematic nature of these habits.
Analyze the manifestation of these habits in your own life.
Learn tips and techniques to develop good habits.
Utilize effective academic habits!
A habit is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition. Habits can be labeled as “good” (Holding the door for another person) or “bad” (Biting your fingernails)
1)What are some of your habits, both good and bad?
A habit if often times an automatic, unconscious act of behavior that is triggered by the environment rather than an act of will. Habits are formed because we have received an “award” for performing this action, such as stress reduction, excitement or relaxation. For example, drinking energy drinks provides us with the energy we may need to complete the big assignment or paper. It may not be the actual beverage that we are enjoying, but the energy we receive as a result of the caffeine intake! After repeating this behavior several times, it becomes a habit. Bad habits are formed when we may receive an “award” for the habit but that is coupled with a negative experience. Example: A caffeine crash
People often associate “good” habits with negative thoughts. For example, a person who may be attempting to eat healthier may believe that healthy food is not as tasty or filling. Therefore, the individual has difficulty forming this habit due to the negative thoughts associated with this action. The individual is more interested in experiencing the short-term reward of eating tasty fried food than the long term benefit of eating healthy nutritious food.
#1 Procrastination #2 Not enough study time #3 Insufficient Reading of the Text #4 Poor note taking #5 Relies on memorization when studying #6 Ineffective or unrealistic goal setting
#1 Tell the truth about your bad habits. What is your biggest bad habit? What is the reward you receive for perpetuating these bad habits?
#2 Commit to a New Behavior Make a specific plan committed to the new change you would like to see. How will this new habit feel? How will the feeling be different than the bad habit?
Is the reward worth the final outcome? What good habit would replace this bad one?
What will the emotional reward be for this new habit? A tangible award? A long term reward?
#3 Visualize Your New Habit
#4 Make a small change.
Make a mental path for this new habit! Habits are automatic responses so clear the mental path for a new response.
Change the habit by disturbing the pattern.
See yourself performing this new habit. Where will you be? What time of day? How will it feel?
Take one habit you want to change and complete the actions for the good habit just once. Notice the difference in long term feelings!
Visualize the new actions. Note the difference between the two actions.
Recognize how it has a positive impact on other areas of your life.
#5 Create a Support System Find a friend who will support you in this new habit; someone who will hold you accountable!
#6 Practice,practice,practice Practice the new habit despite any feelings of discomfort or guilt.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do not act on this new behavior perfectly. Find an informal support group of people who also want to make a change…a study group! Be willing to change when the habit doesn’t work…find a new healthy habit! Use charts, diagrams, journals and notes to monitor your own process.
PROCRASTINATION You believe that your biggest academic problem is procrastination. It is not that you do not have enough time to complete the assignments or study for the test, but when it comes down to completing your work, you’d rather watch television, go on facebook, sleep ect.
How does procrastination present itself in your daily life? When do you procrastinate the most?
#1 Tell the truth about your bad habits. When you procrastinate, your “reward” may be that you get to take part in something that you enjoy in the present moment, rather than studying or reading. You can continue to watch your television show, hang out with friends or go on facebook.com What the reward of watching that final episode of “One Tree Hill” rerun marathon worth it? No! Now you are experiencing homework guilt and pulling an allnighter! You would like to replace the habit of procrastination with the habit of being proactive…doing your work in a timely fashion!
#2 Commit to a New Behavior Make a specific plan committed to the new change you would like to see. There are a lot of academic habits that you would like to change but you know that you should focus on only one habit at a time. You decide to combat procrastination. Using your planner, you plan six days of specific study time.
How will this new habit feel? How will the feeling be different than the bad habit? You believe that you will feel more relaxed, confident and calm. The believe this new found confidence will allow you to further achieve greater goals in college! You will no longer expend too much energy on worry, anxiety and pulling all-nighters.
#3 Visualize Your New Habit See yourself performing this new habit. Where will you be? What time of day? How will it feel? Now that you have disturbed the process, you can visualize yourself going to the Tech Center after class on Tuesday and Thursdays (with coffee, of course!) You imagine this as a “new” class and a time that you commit to every week.
Visualize the new actions. Note the difference between the two actions. You imagine spending a Sunday afternoon without feeling rushed, guilty and anxious. You imagine yourself enjoying your Sunday night dinners and tv time again because you have completed your assignment in a timely fashion! You save loads of money because you no longer have to buy large amounts of Red Bull and Mountain Dew!
#4 Make a small change. Change the habit by disturbing the pattern. You receive an assignment that is due in 10 days. Typically, you would start the project one or two days beforehand. Instead of returning to your dorm room to check Facebook right after class, you decide to go the Tech Center and begin the project after class. You have disturbed the pattern and begun the project!
Take one habit you want to change and complete the actions for the good habit just once. You make a plan to complete this assignment. Instead of waiting until the day before to complete the assignment, you allot five days consisting of one hour of study time to complete the assignment. How will this new habit feel? How will the feeling be different than the bad habit? Previously, you have waiting until the day before to complete the assignment, resulting in feeling guilty, rushed and anxious. Instead, you notice that you feel calmer and more confident in this assignment, thus avoiding the negative feelings.
A New Award? Your new reward is getting A’s while avoiding unnecessary anxiety! And continue the process to change the habit….
#5 Create a Support System Find a friend who will support you in this new habit; someone who will hold you accountable! You know that roommate is also stressing out about completing work on time. Your roommate wants to become a doctor but believes procrastination may keep her from achieving her goals. You both make the commitment to assist each other in completing your anti-procrastination plan. You also seek support from your Mom!
Find an informal support group of people who also want to make a change…a study group! You decide to join an RCC study group in ensure that you will have an hour of concentrated study time a week.
Use charts, diagrams, journals and notes to monitor your own process. Every time you complete a part of your plan, you cross it off with a red pen. You see satisfaction in knowing you have crossed off all items and can submit quality work.
#6 Practice,practice,practice Now that you have fully prepared, put your plan into action!
Upon returning to the residence hall one day, you suitemate asks you to lunch. Joining a group of friends, you quickly realize that you are not abiding to your plan but rather taking a three hour lunch. Be aware of your digression, but don’t be too hard on yourself! Do better next time!
You realize that you rarely go the tech center after class, but that you have plenty of free time on Sunday afternoons when you catch up on work. Change your plans but keep moving forward! Hold yourself accountable but don’t be rigid! Change is fluid and so should be your plans!
#1 Make your work meaningful. #2 Divide and Conquer #3 Reward yourself
#4 Sabotage yourself #5 Say “no” #6 Make one small change today!
Now we have a Masterpiece