Revisit the chapter on distinctions. The author suggests that good habits are most effectively formed when we fully understand those parts of our personality that are foundational and largely unchanging. She presents a series of competing personality pairs (Owl vs. Lark, Finisher vs. Opener, Promotion vs. Prevention Focused, etc). Read through each pair to figure out which distinction best fits with you. Again, it's helpful to think of specific examples where these distinctions have manifested in your life. That way you can understand them experientially, not just intellectually. Your distinctions will help you figure out potential challenges. For instance, if you are a night Owl (as opposed to a morning Lark), it might be hard for you to adopt a morning exercise routine.
The section on Pillars of Habits is another place to revisit, reread, and make notes. Acknowledge who you are in terms of what motivates you to maintain good habits. Knowing what works to motivate you is very useful as you think about what steps you need to take to successfully adopt and maintain a new habit.
Embrace the opportunity to spend the semester bettering yourself in some small but significant way. Have you been thinking you need to eat better, sleep more, or exercise regularly? Maybe you need to improve your attendance at school, your homework habits, your relationship with screen-based technology? How about adopting a habit that improves important relationships: walking your dog every day, reading to your child, calling a grandparent every week? Try to avoid picking a habit you think will conform to the paper; instead, pick a habit that is really meaningful to you and the paper will be much easier to complete.
After you identify a habit you would like to adopt, Google the habit to learn more about it. What are the benefits of adotping this habit? Are the benefits physical? Psychological? Economic? Environmental? Can you find ideas on how to successfully adopt and maintain the habit from others who have embarked on a similar journey. Some questions you might want to start answering for yourself:
The Web is a great place to find background reading on your topic. You'll finds lots of easy-to-read popular and substantive sources that can help you generate ideas about the concept and how it fits into your life (or maybe how you wish it fit into your life!). You won't be citing any of these sources in your essay; instead, you'll use them to better understand the the answers to the questions
Also, keeping a running list of search terms is a GREAT IDEA.
Once you have a good working knowledge of yourself and your habit, it's time to find some credible, academically appropriate sources to back up your essay. You need to find a minimum of two research sources:
The MJC Library subscribes to nearly 100 databases. A selection of these databases are linked below