Tag Archive for: habits


Yesterday, whilst waiting on others, it wasnโ€™t long before I was chatting with a few of the missionaries.
Whilst doing so, I observed an uncommon behaviour.
๐”๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐จ๐ง: โ€œout of the ordinary; unusual, not seen, happening, or experienced often, rare.โ€
I drew closer to my fellow uncommon friend and we caught an in the moment picture together.
Thank you, Sadie Casperson
We laughed and talked for a little while about our uncommon habit.
See below – weโ€™re focused on our watches!
The vast majority of people wear a watch on top of their wrists.
And I am certain they have a whole host of reasons why they do so.
But Sadie and I, wear our watches, along with the minority of people on the inside of our wrists.
I have often been asked why?
Firstly, it is most definitely a habit! I canโ€™t remember not wearing it on the inside!
Secondly, for me turning my wrist to the inside feels much easier, more subtle, and gentler.
And thirdly, there is a practical implication! Professionally and also in my current responsibilities, it is much easier to discreetly glance at my watch and catch up on time during a coaching session or interview.
For me, it has nothing to do with style, protecting the watch against damage, or even to stop glare or reflection of the sun.
I know many professionals, nurses, plumbers, police, armed forces and others choose to wear their watches on the inside. But take a look around, it is uncommon.
Finally, I wear my watch on my non-dominant wrist. How about you?
What does it matter? – I hear you say….!
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to wear a watch.
After all, itโ€™s simply a matter of choice and preference.
Are you outside or inside? Why?
What uncommon habits do you have?


I have a regular early morning routine.
Itโ€™s a habit of mine.
It’s precious time, to set me up for all the activities and plans for the day ahead.
I pray, meditate, read, study, ponder, plan, journal and reflect on those things that matter most.
Frequently, it is the most insightful couple of hour’s of my day.
In fact, getting up early has also become a habit of a lifetime.
At home in Scotland in our living room, we have a massive clock that hangs on our wall, above the fireplace.
In the wee small hours of every morning, it has an extremely loud TICK TOCK! Here in the Netherlands, the clock is smaller, but equally loud!
So much so, that I have for many years now reverted to placing ear plugs in each of my ears to block out the noise of the clock, during my precious morning routine.
In fact, that has become another habit of mine.
The reward is silence!
I guess I could sit elsewhere in another room perhaps, but no, my choice is always the living room, because it is comfortable there and I love to pick up a book to study!
How I love the silence of the morning.
These habits, have become part of who I am.
“Your habits shape your identity and your identity shapes your habits.” – James Clear.
Your habits shape what you will become.
I believe that one of the keys to success in life is instilling good habits.
So, what are your habits?
What regular routines do you have in your life that formulate the essence of your being?

Finishers Wanted

Recently I was asked; “How do I improve my self-discipline?”

It requires time and effort on your part.

It also requires the development of daily habits by reminding yourself often why you need this ability and how it will help you achieve your goals in life.

Remember the little poem…

Finishers wanted.

Stick to your task, till it sticks to you;

Beginners are many, but enders few.

Honour, power, place and praise will come, in time, to the one who stays.

Stick to your task, till it sticks to you;

Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too;

For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile

Will come life’s victories after a while. ย (Anonymous)

Focus and self-discipline are the foundations for producing truly amazing results and performance.

Plato said: โ€œThe first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.โ€

Consider these ideas…

  • Set clear goals.
  • Start small.
  • Learn how to say no.
  • Know where you will struggle and where you succeed.
  • Find a way to monitor your progress โ€“ create a to do list.
  • Encourage yourself to stick to your plan, a partner can help too!
  • Get rid of your distractions.
  • Forgive yourself when you fail โ€“ begin again!
  • Keep a journal.
  • Practice, repeat, practice, repeat.

The path may be tough, but the results are amazing.

The pain you feel today, will be the strength you feel tomorrow.

It starts with you – begin now!

Why do you think self-discipline is important to your progress and happiness?


๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ˆ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค?
In recent months, I have enjoyed too many Dutch desserts (toetjes).
Subsequently, my waistline has expanded a little, by 5 kiloโ€™s or 11 pounds.
Yesterday, Iโ€™d eaten healthily and had some exercise too โ€“ I was pleased with my progress.
By 8.00pm, my thinking had slowed down, I was starting to relax.
Then it happened!
๐‘พ๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’…๐’Š๐’… ๐‘ฐ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’• ๐’˜๐’‰๐’†๐’ ๐‘ฐ ๐’…๐’Š๐’…๐’โ€™๐’• ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’Œ?
I had a craving for something sweet!!!
Do you know that feeling?
I walked in and out of the kitchen a few times.
Iโ€™d already had a few pieces of fruit through the day, blueberries, an apple, an orangeโ€ฆ.
Some raisins perhaps?
Iโ€™d had enough fruit.
Then I spotted a chocolate Toblerone bar.
I walked back out of the kitchen.
Luckily Monic was there.
I confessed my thoughts โ€“ she said, โ€œYou can do this!โ€
I know I didnโ€™t need it, but I wanted it!
Donโ€™t you?
Then it struck me.
I knew that 30 minutes later Iโ€™d regret eating the Toblerone, and it wasnโ€™t worth the five minutes of enjoyment!
A few minutes later, some visitors arrived. After a pleasant short visit, they departed with every piece of chocolate we had in the house – including the Toblerone!
Through a little willpower, self-mastery and a great deal of help from Monic, I realised that present pleasure is nice, but the joys of overcoming, are a much more meaningful reward!
Be ever mindful of your downtime โ€“ thoughts come that you may regret!
Rather choose to apply the principles of self-mastery and discipline. A little help from a trusted friend never goes amiss too!
๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค?


Do you have any customs or habits in your country that communicate information in an unusual way?
A few weeks ago, whilst up in Leeuwarden, we discovered one about the Netherlands and had absolutely no idea what it was!
It was 12 noon on the first Monday of November, and we heard a very loud wailing siren which went off for a minute or two.
We thought it was some kind of huge factory siren, informing the workforce it was the lunch hour!
As it continued, it became a little disconcerting.
However, we neednโ€™t have concerned ourselves too much.
A little bit of further research informed us that it was actually the Dutch emergency siren test.
It certainly caught our attention the first time we heard it.
Now we understand that it is a regular monthly test that lasts for approximately 90 seconds. All 3,800 emergency sirens throughout the Netherlands are set off simultaneously.
I also received a text message this month, which I am guessing is also some kind of test.
The monthly emergency siren test is a normal part of daily Dutch life.
It reminded me of the one oโ€™clock gun, back home at Edinburgh Castle, which is now great for tourists.
In the late 1800โ€™s it was an important part of aligning ships chronometers in the Firth of Forth.
Each of these customs form an important part of the structure and foundation of our societies. In some ways they provide constancy, stability, familiarity and a semblance of order and predictability to our existence and our community.
We communicate in lots of different ways.
What unusual customs do you have where you live?

Change one Thing

Change One Thing….
Have you ever asked yourself what’s the one thing that I can change about myself that will make the biggest difference in my life?
Change happens one (baby) step at a time.
In a number of recent conversations, I have found that we tend to focus on far too many changes at once.
Then it struck me this morning that we must remember, that new habits are formed one step at a time……One By One.
By changing one thing in your daily habits and routines, no matter how great or small, I have found that just one little thing can have many big consequences in your life.
Perhaps its that one annoying habit that consumes lots of your time every day, that is really just a waste of time and effort!
You know what I mean.
So – why not do something today that will make a big difference?
Choose to change.
It may help you to soar higher.
What one thing will you change today?

Daily habits

In my quest to refresh my Dutch language skills for an up and coming assignment in the Netherlands, I hit a significant milestone today on Duolingo…a ๐Ÿ’ฏ day streak!

What we do consistently can and does shape our lives.

What makes the difference in our lives is not the speed or rapidity with which we move, but the steady, deliberate progress we make. Developing the habit of consistency isn’t about obtaining quick results, rather it’s about making incremental progress and improvements over an extended period of time.

As I embark every day, to set aside a few minutes to focus on my specific Dutch language goals, it has really helped me to progress, move forward and build some momentum. I love the Duolingo app too, as it really helps me to monitor and measure my progress towards my goal.

Yard by yard, its hard, yet inch by inch, its a cinch!

Building strong consistent daily actions, creates consistent results. How can you be more #consistent?

Starting on my next ๐Ÿ’ฏ today! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Small steps everyday

Stuck in a rut? Feeling a bit flat? Every day just feels the same? Not getting anywhere? Is it Thursday or Friday? Life feels dull & boring?

I’m certain many of us are feeling like that right now. I know, because its been confirmed in many recent coaching conversations!

Yesterday, whilst out on a walk with my daughter, trudging laboriously through the snow to Tesco (a highlight of the day), the underfoot conditions made it very difficult just to even put one foot in front of another at times. Yes, it can be tough! Yet, small steps helped.

So, what can we do about it?

I know there is a great power in establishing good ๐ก๐š๐›๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ and ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฌ. However, right now lets change things around a bit!

There is great power in the old phrase “๐ฏ๐š๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž.”

Start by looking for ways to add different experiences to your day and take that first small step and then a few more.

Make some new plans, have some fun, help others, try something new, be spontaneous, call friends, take that walk, volunteer, exercise, journal! Above all – take action! Go and do!

What variety of ideas have you tried recently?

Take a few small steps today!


Its time to polish the car again!

I don’t know about you, but cleaning, hoovering and polishing the car is important to me. There’s nothing worse than a dirty car.

In fact this Saturday morning, will be like many before, I’ll be out polishing soon!

It is not hard to notice when a car needs some tlc. This week I have put a few miles on the clock, however after a little bit of effort and polishing, the car will be shining again, just like new.

In a like manner, it got me thinking about how we are all in need of some tlc. However, I realised too that we are all being polished and refined through our experiences in life.

For example, this week through various coaching sessions, workshops I have facilitated, books I am reading and conversations I’ve had, I am acutely aware of the polishing I have received. I am feeling as if some personal rough edges have been polished, smoothed and perhaps, even in some respects (I hope) starting to shine. Like all of us, I’m a work in progress – and the polishing is very helpful! ”

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials” – Chinese Proverb

How are you being polished?