mindset lessons

Creating habits / mindset lessons from my dog


Mindset training from my dog.


He doesn't know why we do it, he just knows that's how it is.

There are two gates leading outside to the street from the front gardens of my apartment block.

The central one I use most of the time.

The other, to the right, is by the gate that leads to the bikes and bins area.

My dog never used to want to wait and go through the gate and walk up the bins area if, say, I couldn't find a bin outside and had a poo bag and needed to get rid of it.

He resisted, he pulled, he didn't see why we couldn't go straight home.

And then I remembered how clever he is and how I need to communicate with him, and that I was confusing him.

So I started ONLY EVER using that outside gate to the street to come in, IF I was then going straight across to the gate that leads to the bins.

Every other time, we use the middle gate and go home.

After only maybe three or four times, he got it.

Now ... we're out having a walk, he does his business, and when I choose that we enter using that gate near the bin gate, well, he rushes ahead of me to wait at the gate to the bin area.

It's quite a large area, with trees, bikes locked, lawn, the wildflower strip to encourage bees and right at the end the recycling and waste bins.

He runs straight up to them, I throw in the little bag, we turn and go straight back out.

Every single time.

I cannot mess this up now of course.

If I were to come in through THAT gate and not the middle gate when I actually want to go straight home ... he would not only be confused but the whole thing would be called off.

Routine, discipline, call it what you will.

BELIEF even - because I can tell you if I ever make a mistake and come through that gate near the bin gate and don't have a poo bag in my hand? I'm STILL going to go up to those big bins and make a throwing movement like I have.

It didn't take long at all, just literally a few times from when I committed that I only used that gate when we then also went to the bins.

And now, for my dog, it's a fact.

it just IS.

That gate, another gate, a run to the bins, turn around and back.

That's just how it is.

And that's how I learn too, through this observing.

Of course, it's the same for me. That's just how it is.

I feel good when I do yoga and journal. It's just how it is.

Ahh but WHEN do I do them?

When I feel like it?

No .. THAT is not a routine or a habit.

i think the example I learned from my dog is perfect.

You do x and so then you do y.

Habits need not just consistency but a trigger.

I do x and then I do y.

One thing then another. One thing links to another. Links create strength.

Habits form, choices become facts.

I wake up and stretch.

I stretch and then I get up.

I get up and then I drink water.

I drink water and then I put the kettle on.

I make hot water and lemon.

I make a little espresso which becomes an iced coffee blended with almond milk.

This means I take it back to bed with my laptop and I journal while I drink it.

This means that that happens.

We come in this door so we go to that door.

This gate leads to that gate.

That's the way it is.

I don't have to understand it but that's how it is.

And I can choose and create ever more powerful habits which actually are UNDERSTANDINGS and BELIEFS ... that simply.

This begets that.

This then that.

After this then that.

That's just the way it is.

It's what I do.

It's what I believe.

And so it is.