Retrain Even Your Old Dog

Friday, June 11, 2021

As part of my health journey, I recently read the following: 

  People change behaviors by retraining                              automatic habits.
(thanks Noom) 

 I also read this on my oldest daughter's 23rd I'm the old dog referenced in the title. 

Whether we are old or young, we can change our behaviors and today let's brainstorm about how we can change our writing/journaling behaviors to become more successful. 

 Back in the day, before I started writing for WOW! and managing tours, I read a fabulous article by Sarojni Mehta-Lissak titled 13 Strategies for Freelance Writers . If you don't have time right this minute to visit this article from 2007, let's look at some quick tips:

* Read Writing Magazines (you're here, aren't you?)
* Have at least one friend 
* Go to libraries
* Keep a piece of paper nearby
                                                     * Start a blog
                                                     * Enjoy the ride 

If you're anything like me, before your feet hit the floor you are grabbing your phone. I check my email, social media, and right before choosing my outfit I check the weather. That's great and all, but if I want to improve my writing, I know I need to "Read Writing Magazines" and if I do that first each and every day, I know I can build a healthier habit. This doesn't mean I can't eventually check my emails and social accounts. It just means making my writing a priority will help me with my goals. Seeing Lena's freshly painted walls is fun, but it's not going to help my writing. 

You see where this is going? 

I challenge you to review the list included in this article (or refer back to the original article) and make your own action plan. 

Mine looks like this:

1) Start each day reading a writing magazine (like WOW!) instead of starting with social media and emails.

2) Get back in touch with my writing group and even if we can't meet in person, let's get back to sharing our work. Instead of looking for another Netflix series to enjoy, I am going to retrain myself to use that time for writing instead.

3) Go to the library - it's open again! Bring the kids even!! Instead of movie and popcorn night, we can have library afternoon with a stop for icecream on the way home! 

4) Find a fun and artsy notebook and special pen to keep next to the bed, but one that will fit in your purse and beach bag too! I can retrain myself to enjoy this as a special treat! 

5) Get back to regular blogging (start with one post each week as a beginning goal). 

6) Reward yourself with something special once you've been working on and accomplishing this action plan for a month! 

Now that I've shared my plan, let's hear what's on your mind? How are you going to retrain your automatic habits? 

Leave your comments, ideas, and suggestions below!


Crystal is a hot mess of busy-ness who has decided to shorten her bio...

You can find Crystal milking cows, riding horses, and the occasional unicorn (not at the same time), taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books here, and at her own blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade and she has never (not once) been accused of being normal!


Margo Dill said...

These are great tips. I love also how they are still relevant 14 years later! Thank you for reminding us!!

Margo Dill said...

These are great tips. I love also how they are still relevant 14 years later! Thank you for reminding us!!

Jeanine DeHoney said...

I agree with Margo Crystal. These are great tips and I also like your idea of starting and reading a writing magazine each day instead of opening emails.

Renee Roberson said...

I'm guilty of scrolling my phone as I'm drinking my coffee, too. (I try to avoid e-mails that early, though, as that could completely derail my day!) I also try to write in my gratitude journal, but have gotten slack on that lately. I think I'll try to start the day by reading something for pleasure (that's really taken a backseat these days) and working on my gratitude journal. Thanks for the nudge!

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