Bet You Can't Habitize That!

Updated: Aug 5

Growing up my mom used one of two Jedi mind tricks on me all of the time as motivation to tackle almost anything I refused to do. She either bet me I couldn't do it in X number of minutes or that I couldn't do it at all.


"Oh, I bet I can..." would follow as I was already trying to get a head start on whatever challenge she gave me.




Gah, she'd get me motivated every dang time with these tricks. And then she had that smirk.


You know the smirk - the smirk of parenting success. The one that comes after you get your kid to do what they previously refused to do (and did it without a fallout tantrum or terrorist negotiation).


I've spent my entire adult life using those same "I bet you can't" techniques on myself. It's like I hear my own inner voice challenging me. Then after I publish another journal or write the blog post or finish the email, I sit back and that darn smirk just instinctually appears. Like I feel accomplished somehow Jedi mind tricking my own mind and that a parenting victory ON MYSELF results in a smirk of success.


Have you ever felt the success of parenting yourself too? I hope it's not just me.


Or maybe you know that smirk really well if you're raising a child with a "watch me" or strong-willed spirit. Saying "I bet you can't" to kiddos with that temperament can lead you to wear that smirk like a freaking badge of honor!


Viewing the world with a "habitized mindset" is like opening a window you didn't realize could open.


A habitize mindset applies similar principles of a growth mindset in that it encourages you to focus on the potential of the opportunity or challenge in front of you - to be open to what you can not see YET.


A habitize mindset helps you recenter your thoughts on the end result really you're truly striving for and discover what pattern you could apply to make the process of accomplishing the task ____________ [fill in the blank with easier/cheaper/faster/etc.] A habitize mindset can also:

  • reduce decision fatigue,

  • make space in the day for surprise parenting moments,

  • create a sense of control during times of chaos or crisis,

  • give you a starting place when feelings of overwhelm creep in, and

  • give you a sense of accomplishment without even having to cross off a to-do list at the end of the day.


A habitize mindset is a skill you build over time. You may lock in a habitize mindset in one aspect of your life and then shift to build it up in another.


The Spark Curiosity series helps kids learn what can happen when they explore a habitize mindset in a specific aspect of their life - sports, arts, hobbies, etc. With these journals and books, we're focused on how practicing the concept with an example could open their minds to consider what other aspects of home, school, sports, etc. they could apply the same concepts.


Unsure whether a habitize mindset would really make a change in your life? I bet you can't find 2 ways to habitize your morning routine to smoother tomorrow than it was today! (wink, wink) NOW GO!



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