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Bilingual news and shares about the brain, languages and coaching

Newsletter 22- Habits

thein NeuroLanguage Coaching®

"If you believe you can change - if you make it a habit - the change becomes real.”
― Charles Duhigg"

After exploring habit formation in our brains - part 1, habits and the brain - and how the habit loop could be applied to language learning - part 2, habits and language learning - let me tell you a quick word (or 2 or 3) about habits and coaching.

A word about habits

I realize that the word "habit" can sometimes be confused with the word "routine". I'll give you my definitions so we can all agree ;-)

  • A habit is "automatic", something you do without thinking too much about it.

  • A routine requires more thought and planning. A well-oiled routine involves a series of well-established habits.

In my coaching sessions, I work with my coachees (among other things) to establish a "habit" that will become part of their "routine". When you reach for your phone and scroll on Instagram, and it's something you do often, that's a habit. It can be part of a routine: wake up, shower, coffee, instagram, subway, work, subway, dinner, Netflix, sleep.

I think we'd all agree that one (routine) like the other (habit) evoke thoughts of repetition, boredom, and resistance to change. Indeed, habits can be all of these - if you let them control you. These I would say are often associated with ‘bad habits’.

However, when you harness the power of habit for your own growth, deciding the what, when, where, and how, habits become a game-changer. This is particularly true for learning, health and personal development. Let’s call them ‘good habits’.

Over the past few years, I’ve established a few intentional habits. As a result, some have stuck wonderfully, and I believe it’s because they benefit me! Other habits, on the other hand, are much harder to maintain, and I question myself: is it my failure, or is it because they’re not the right habits for me?

That being said, falling off the wagon is undoubtedly a part of the journey towards intentional habit formation.

My (successful) habits

Let me tell you about my ‘success stories’: three “habits” I’m very committed to, and so far, so good - let’s hope it lasts.

I’m calling them habits rather than routines because I no longer even think about it. I just do them.

  • My first habit: Writing a newsletter. Every Monday and Tuesday, I set aside one hour for writing. I was never able to maintain this in the past. How did I manage it? I meet online with someone who also struggles to commit to a regular time. Accountability is a powerful tool when building a habit.

  • The second habit: I meditate for 20 minutes every morning. I am definitely not an early riser, but I became one. How? The minute I open my eyes, I jump out of bed and head to my office, which doubles as a meditation and yoga room, and I meditate. I don’t switch up my meditations; I found that wanting to change them every morning led to indecision and wasted time. So, invariably, I follow the same routine each morning. I allow myself to skip a day occasionally, but never two in a row. Plus, I feel so awake and alert after those 20 minutes that I can’t imagine starting my day without it. How did I succeed there? Having a coach, I started almost 4 years ago on a 40-day journey with a yoga/meditation coach (shout out to Lynn Roulo, forever thankful).

  • The third habit: At the end of my workday, around 7 PM, I pour myself a glass of wine, tea, or kombucha - everything depends on the kind of day I’ve had - and sit in front of my TV to watch a series in Spanish for at least 30 minutes. Day after day. Except when I’m in Spain - then I go to a café, order a drink, and listen to the conversations around me. 😊 Enjoyment is key.

How to build an intentional habit

One word: Motivation

Oh and a second word: Drive

Wait there’s a third : Gradually :-)

Easier said than done. I know. I’m a stereotype. In spite of :

I still struggle again and again with sticking to new habits. So do the vast majority of the coachees I work with. In fact, if I had to name the one most difficult thing for them to do is putting in place a new language habit. Yes, I'm the proverbial shoemaker whose children go barefoot!

Working with a Neurolanguage Coach - me, for example - to learn/improve your English or your French such as myself makes it much easier to set new habits. Accountability, reminders, consistency, etc., are all part of the package, but also because I know a few things about the brain - and about learning languages - that are super useful when working on helping you set new language learning habits.

If you want to know more about the neuroscience of habits, you should click here

And if you want to go back on my past newsletters that cover all kinds of brain related, language related, coaching related fascinating subjects, I suggest you go to my newsletters webpage

If you know anyone who'd be interested in signing up for my newsletter, don't hesitate to forward this newsletter to them :-)

Neurolanguage Coaching® is an amazing method that will help you learn a language more efficiently than you've ever experienced before. It brings together findings about how the brain learns bests and integrates these into a coaching process that will put you in charge of YOUR learning journey. As a Coach, I'm  the GPS to your driving. If you want to try it but are not ready to commit, I have a 2H Discovery Offer that might be just what you're looking for. Or we can just have a casual chat about it, just reply to this email.

Good to know

The Neurolanguage Coaching® certification is accredited by the ICF

 La certification est accreditée par la Fédération Internationale de Coaching

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