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2005: Issue 9

The Horseshoe of Habit

Repeated thoughts and actions can potentially improve the quality of our relationships and overall lives, while increasing the health and viability of our brains. Modern research has shown that it is indeed possible to change the structure of our brains. In fact, any intellectually challenging activity stimulates dendritic arborization (nerve cell branching) and increases neural connections in the brain. Such possibilities for change are bound only by our imagination, our willingness to assess our brains accurately through self-reflection, and our commitment to do hard work.

For several years, we have used a technique called the Horseshoe of Habit to conceptualize a process of teaching people how to better and more adaptively manage their habits. This technique is designed to lead us in a step-wise fashion to recognize habits out of control, identify new patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting, and practice these skills until they become more effective habits.
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Ineffective but Unaware a particular habit is not serving us well but we don’t
realize it

Ineffective & Aware we recognize that a particular habit is not serving us well and we are ready to design and implement a plan of attack

Effective & Aware we consciously change the habit to one that serves us better and then practice it faithfully to master it

Effective & Unaware our newly acquired and consciously desired habit no longer requires our direct attention and awareness; it has become a “good” habit

As with mastery of any new skill, this process demands significant energy, concentration, and time. But, knowing we have good habits that no longer demand our direct attention and awareness will actually free up energy in our lives.

Observation:
Proper habit management lays the groundwork for everything we do in life.

Assessment:
We cannot take our good habits for granted. Preventing good habits from mutating into bad behaviors requires our conscious attention.

Prescription:
1. Take your list of bad habits and write beside them the good habits that you will embrace to replace them.
2. Begin consciously practicing your new habits.
3. Practice. Practice. Practice. And you will move to the level of “effective & unaware.”
4. When the bad habits return (and they will – we are only human, after all), just restart the Horseshoe of Habit.


ABOUT Extra Ordinary Living

Taking their learning from 20+ years in corporate healthcare, Janet Crawford and David Scheiderer, MD formed Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. in 2003 with an intention of helping physicians, other healthcare professionals and their organizations identify possibilities and opportunities, remove obstacles, and ultimately, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends usually can identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future but live in the present;” thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Executive and Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our client's needs. We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results. There are so many reasons for physicians in particular to feel disenchanted with their chosen profession, their calling. Having a coach helps them get back in touch with their passion for being a healer.

The best thing about coaching is that it is all about you and what you want. We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions.

As Professional Speakers, our messages are inspirational while imparting useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to help you in your pursuit of authentic happiness, and the enjoyment of deep life experiences.


UPCOMING EVENTS

May 25 – 28, 2005
Janet will be escorting her 7th grade Destination Imagination (DI) team to global finals in Knoxville, TN.  The first time competitors – Amazingly Hilarious Artisans — won their regional competition, placed 2nd at state with their hovercraft invention and will be hovering on down I-81 to Knoxville for the international competition.




Tiberius Rx ... written by a physician for physicians and those who love them, work with them, or befriend them, and want to enjoy deep life experiences while more effectively pursuing a life of happiness.

Assume a virtue if you have it not.
- Shakespeare

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
- Aristotle


UPCOMING ISSUES

Issue 10 
Keeping Your Balance

Issue 11
The Tortoise and the Hare