Many of us are living differently because of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can we create positive habits and change bad habits to good ones?
Voice message from Jesus from Getafe, Madrid
Is it the same Craig from La Mansion del Inglés?
Voice message from Zeben from Tenerife
I want to thank your wonderful workX -thank you FOR your wonderful work
I appreciate your work (word stress) / I haven’t stopped /t/ so far (pron. of -ed verbs in the past)
I knew my English teacher thanks to you.X (I met – difference between to know and to meet) – Lynne at https://putitlikethis.com/
I started to study English 8 months ago. (good use of past simple with ‘ago’)
Listen TO (grammar alert)
InX (on) the other hand
I hope listening to youX – I hope TO listen to you
How have changed habits our lives?X – How have our daily habits changed?
What habits have we changed and what new ones have we created (or have been created for us)?
Much more working from home and less f2f (face-to-face)
To be laid off/to be made redundant
To be on furlough
Friends and family call on the phone or have more Zoom/Skype chats than before, but perhaps meet less in person.
In the worst moments of the COVID19 pandemic virtually all travel to foreign countries was banned or severely restricted. There have even been limits applied to travel with countries, such as no inter-provincial travel or even a ban on leaving a city’s perimeter.
Bars, cafés, restaurants, gyms, clubs, etc have been affected by restrictions.
Maybe working from home allows for more sleep than before! Perhaps curfews have encouraged or forced people to turn in earlier and not stay out late.
Although using gyms and exercising in public is difficult under pandemic restrictions, lockdowns give more time to exercise at home for some.
Social media and news
When faced with restrictions regarding f2f gatherings, people tend to use social media more to stay in touch. This might lead to keeping a closer eye on the news on the internet. Being at home also makes it easier to follow TV/radio news more often.
How to change a habit
Bad habits are often caused by stress and boredom (overspending, biting your nails, drinking too much etc)
Replace a bad habit with a good one:
TV – online English chat or TED talk or podcast in English
Make yourself accountable to another person (partner online for English chat or team up with your partner or children)
Visualize yourself in a better place (speaking English abroad, giving a presentation in English, working in an English-speaking environment)
Use the word ‘but’ to stay positive (My English level went down last year BUT I’m studying again and I can improve my level. I have bad pronunciation BUT with the help of an online teacher and a pronunciation course, I can improve it a lot this year.
Quote by Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Thoughts – actions – habits – character
“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits.
Cue/prompt/trigger/reminder – routine – reward (Example: tea – biscuit – taste/pleasure)
To create a positive habit, write it down (source: Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit):
When (cue)……., I will (routine)………..because it provides me with (reward) …………
Example: When I go to bed, I’ll read in English for 10 minutes because it will expand my vocabulary and improve my reading skills.
To create a positive habit, start small.
Do you want to practise your writing in English? Start a journal and write one sentence each day.
Habits are not ‘set in stone’. You can change a bad habit to a good one.
Do you always watch TV (in Spanish) at a particular time of day? Change it to English and improve your listening.
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. What habits have you changed or introduced to help you with your English?
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On next week’s episode: Listening Comprehension The Street Seller (another story from José Molina Marco
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
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Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash