On training dogs and yourself too.

For anyone skilled in training dogs, you know the biggest “tricks” to success are simply to remain even-keeled, stubbornly persistent, and to avoid doing too much or too little. When you have the right heading, you must be the predictable element for the pups, and they will throw everything they have at you, testing your balance. They’re experimenting and learning, just like you did although they walk and run upon arriving home. Your routines, order of operations, and social patterns will allow them to learn and develop their behaviors around you (rather than the other way around). So, if your routine seems to double down around a behavior you’d rather they didn’t have, it’s time for an adjustment.

I’ve been raising puppies and running a business for years. This past year I added training for a marathon, got a second dog (Alfie), and began writing an EP. While it did take some concessions to get all these things moving simultaneously, what I might have normally thought of as “fun” has changed considerably as a result. I am far happier having made so much progress and am far healthier given the reduced commitment to things that would bring repeat negative impact (alcohol, less sleep, attending events that I don’t really want to go to anyway, eating for comfort and not for fuel and healing well).

The only true “trick” to making these things happen, is to make a meaningful yet minor change in your regular life experience and then letting it compound over time. For most of us, to do that and have it stick requires doing a little bit less somewhere else to do a little bit more in another place. Consider keeping a journal or tracking a specific repeat behavior that you'd like to change on a piece of paper to start seeing the bigger picture on how your life rolls ever forward. Over time you might add more contextual details and visualize the network of influence at play.

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Until next time.

Steven