Reflections of a mature student:Changing routine

One of the hardest things about going back to college with a full time job is juggling the two, for me working full time didn’t make sense and had to take a back seat. The transition from working full time to studying full time was hard at the beginning, it is a different type of working day, but that is how I wanted it to be.

To better understand how to change my routine I got a book called The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. Duhigg discusses how old habits never disappear; they are simply replaced with new habits.  To understand how to change your habits, Duhigg outlines the importance of identifying your Keystone Habit—the habit you identify as the most important thing you can change about your life. The keystone habit is different for everyone, and it may take a few sessions of deep thinking to pinpoint exactly what that habit is. For me I am just looking to develop good habits to better prepare myself from moving from a working environment to an academic one.

Next Duhigg write about what he describes as the habit loop which is a neurological loop that governs any habit. The habit loop consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. The habit loop is always started with a cue, a trigger that transfers the brain into a mode that determines which habit to use. The crux of the habit is a mental, emotional, or physical routine. Finally there is a reward, which helps the brain determine if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. One of the things I want to do is get a gym session done in the morning and I am are that in the beginning this will be hard as I am changing my whole routine at the same time.

The Power of Habit states that if you keep the initial cue , replace the routine, and keep the reward, change will eventually occur, although individuals who do not believe in what they are doing will likely fall short of the expectations and give up. Belief is a critical element of such a change, though it can be structured in a number of ways including group settings. I have read books on Nero-linguistic Programming (NLP) the study of how we think, communicate and behave. NLP is used by people from all walks of life for both Personal and Professional growth and development to better recognise how changing my belief system will help me develop the best habits before going into college.

Categories: Self Help, Uncategorized

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2 replies

  1. I love this post as it reminds me of when I went from part-time working as an HR Manager to studying full-time in mental health nursing.

    The change in routine was difficult at first, particularly when on placements, as you had to work shifts. Fortunately, my sons were now in high school with longer hours and were old enough to leave for a few hours.

    I also attend the 7 day Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) with Richard Bandler himself and Paul McKenna. It was informative and useful as well as lots of fun.


    • Hi Carol,
      Thank you for taking the time to reply.
      It is difficult juggling so many things, especially when you have children. Well done for doing that.
      WOW! About the NLP event, I would love to attend one with Richard Bandler that would be amazing!


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