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4 Steps to Create Healthy Habits

4 steps to create healthy habits Apr 07, 2022


"The Art of Health Keeping and Self-Mastery

is enhanced by becoming aware of the

natural process of Habit building and

aligning with it."

Coach Patti Wohlin


One year ago, 

 during the COVID-19 Pandemic lock down,

my teenage grandson, Logan, began learning to drive the

shiny blue and white Mini Cooper that his parents purchased

as his first car. Being wise parents, they knew that giving

him a 6-speed stick shift would increase the training time

needed for building safe driving skills.


Even though he was pleased and proud of his new car,

he felt a great deal of hesitance with its complex gear shift mechanism.

He had recently begun to feel confident driving his parents’ Honda

Pilot SUV with automatic transmission.


The addition of the stick shift dampened the confidence he had built.

He began to second guess himself, overthink things, and struggled

to look good on the outside while feeling overwhelmed and defeated

on the inside. An inner conflict began between his smart, strong,

and  capable side and his less secure, younger self who was facing

a  daunting new task.


He was, after all, a disciplined competitive swimmer, and an honor

student. One of the biggest factors pressing on him was the innate

knowing that his and other people’s lives would depend on his

performance. Despite compassionate teaching and coaching

from his parent team, the inner pressure and conflict grew.


He was constantly met with new situations like the discovery that

when it rains the streets get slippery and slower speeds and more

space is needed when following a car. Then there is the DMV

version of how to manage a 4-way stop compared to the reality

of how drivers perform and either do or do not follow

these rules and guidelines. He was discovering that there is no

complete training manual for driving, it requires trial and error.


He was facing a humbling reality that most teens and adults struggle

with. He was becoming aware of the reality that no matter how much

education and experience we receive;

we do not know what we do not know!

How we reckon with this reality in our private logic depends greatly on

how much shaming versus wisdom and compassionate support exists

in our culture and environment.


Lucky for Logan, he has wise, compassionate, and supportive parents,

who gave him enough room for trial and error, but created safety zones

for learning. They provided enough repetition and time for new lessons

to  address the nuances as they arose. He was given the information and

emotional support he needed to build his skill. He was also given the space

to discover his own way to make decisions and build the muscle memory

needed to drive with competence and safety. Over the period of several

months,  he became ready for his driving test, and he passed with flying colors!



We all develop new skills, build new habits, and make changes to

our behavior through a universal, natural process.

Each of us have experienced this process consisting of four basic steps or

phases, whether we knew it at the time or not. 


                Click here: Free Guide 4 Steps to Healthy Habits


When we begin the journey of skill building, self-discovery and self-knowing,

it is helpful to keep a compassionate mindset with understanding and

acceptance of this process. 

Once you see and recognize the natural pattern of habit formation and

learning a skill, then you can create an internal pool of empathy and

compassion for self and others. 


A realistic mindset that can help learning is

 “you do not know what you do not know”.                                             

  What do you remember from your process of learning to drive a car?

The experience of learning to drive presents a mixed bag of emotions.

  1. Unconscious Incompetence: Teenage bravado and the opportunity for a new level of freedom tempts us to feel over-confident. Even so, self-doubt battles with over-confidence while learning to drive.  During this step, innocence and naivety are prevalent because:           You do not know what you do not know. 
  2.  Conscious Incompetence: Even though learning to drive is exciting, it turns into mild terror when you pull out of the gas station driveway into traffic and hear screeching tires, horns honking, and screams from the adult sitting next to you and in the car behind you.               Oh! Wake up! 
  3. Conscious Competence: Driving lessons and practice occurs with adult supervision. Repeated experience in the driver’s seat is the only way to ensure your skill development, which parents know means survival for anyone on the road or in the car.                                 Linear effort and concentration meet self-doubt and fear.
  4. Unconscious Competence: Repeated practice and correction create the muscle memory and mastery of multiple moments that develop your skill of safe driving. You eventually get your license and can even drive safely while listening to music. 

    Ease and flow begin to show.



    "The Art of Health Keeping and Self-Mastery

    is enhanced by becoming aware of the

    natural process of Habit building and

    aligning with it."

    Coach Patti Wohlin


    Here is a gift for you; a handout to remind you of the         “4 Steps to Creating Healthy Habits.”


           Click here: Free Guide 4 Steps to Healthy Habits


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