I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed—you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great men, and alas, or all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin—it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me, and I will destroy you. Who am I?
So I worked on a new habit today--getting to my substitute job ahead of time. It felt good. But it is not a habit yet. Often times there is a situation at home such as my husband taking his morning pills and I barely make it to school in time or have to call to say I am on my way. They are happy that I call and that I come to cover a class. But how much better to get somewhere on time! I am also realizing when hubby and I go somewhere and have to be there by a certain time, plan to leave in plenty of time. Time means so little to him--I have to be the time keeper.I am Habit.
Today I substituted in a Math in high school. After taking roll in first period I noticed a young lady in the corner of the room and noise was coming from an obvious cell phone. I went over to her, observed that her cell phone was plugged into the wall to charge it and asked her to put it up. She said she couldn't turn it off or she would lose her game. It turns out that she entered my classroom and acted like she was enrolled in that class. After she was removed the other students said that she must be a new student and one reflected that she only comes there when there is a substitute! Her cell phone is her habit--a bad one. She may skip her first period to go find a substitute, park herself in that class, and charge her cell there. Hopefully her bad habit was busted today.
21 days to change to a new habit I have heard. When someone has Alzheimer's it may be more than 21 days. I put a little love note in my husband's morning pills now to get him motivated to take those pills before I leave the house. I also take my pills at the same time. He does remember that I ended up in the hospital when I took his pills, so I say take you pills so I don't accidentally take yours again. This habit is a constant struggle.
I have also heard to establish routines early in Alzheimer's. I got my husband an electric shaver for Christmas. Now getting him to use it is a real struggle. It would be safer for him to use this instead of shaving with a razor. He doesn't always want to shave every day and it seems to me that he can use his charged shaver while he sits and watches TV. This is not his habit, but my struggle. He may win this one, like he keeps winning not wanting to mow the lawn. My patience is tried again and again.
But then, again, I struggle with some of my own habits, like recording the food that I eat ("tracking") for Weight Watchers and my housekeeping habits.
People in the classes for DUI offenders that I teach get the following quotes about habits on my Power Point presentation:
- “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are alone supreme.” --Calvin Coolidge
- "The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail."--Napoleon Hill
- "This one step—choosing a goal and sticking to it—changes everything."--Scott Reed
- "Things start out as hopes and end up as habits."--Lillian Hellman
Lord, give me patience with my husband
and persistence with my own habits.
I can change more than he can.