Top tip for new habits #4: Be flexible


Sometimes we have a really great idea that doesn’t work.

For example, a month ago, I posted a blog about ‘the importance of self-care.’ In it, I said I would only work for 15 minutes at a time. Did this work? NO! The fact is, I become too interested in what I am doing and sometimes it is an hour before I get up.

I’m glad I tried this habit. It was important for me to learn how to stop and rest when I could. I need to remember to rest. If I didn’t do that then I would probably work all day. However, I cannot work for only 15 minutes. It doesn’t work for me.

My new new habit now is to work until I feel tired or I want a drink or I need the toilet and then I have a 10/15 minute break.

New habits are an experiment. We don’t know if they will work. If you find a new habit doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. It’s easy to change it.

First, think about why it doesn’t work. You could ask questions like these:

  • Is it the wrong learning method for you?
  • Would it be better to learn in a different way?
  • Does it fit into your day?
  • Is it just too much to do?

Write down your thoughts or talk about them with a friend. It’s really worthwhile* to think about why something isn’t working for you.

Once you’ve done that, think about another way you can do it. Change the habit so that it works for you and your learning. Keep changing until you find the right way for you.


* ‘Worthwhile’ is a word to describe something that is important, something that is worth spending time and energy on.

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