The Power of a Winning Routine

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 120 – 14 August 2012

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The Power of a Winning Routine

I couldn’t let the Olympics go by without making a comment. I discovered a very interesting article about winning from Maree Wrack (, excerpts from which follow. Competition is about teaching people to strive to be their best, irrespective of whether the outcome is a gold medal or a 1st place sticker or not, which is a what good sportsmanship is all about. Nowhere is this lesson more important that with children who live for the moment. Maree Wrack’s article about teaching people, especially children, about forming good habits because it’s the good habits rather than ability that breed winners. Enjoy!

“Studies have been made on how habitual exercise impacts our daily routines in other areas of our lives. While it’s not completely clear why this happens, James Porochaska, a University of Rhode Island researcher says that “Exercise spills over. There’s something about it that makes other habits easier”:

  • people typically start making better food choices
  • become more productive
  • show more patience with the people close to them
  • use credit cards less frequently and
  • say they feel less stressed!

Author of “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change” Charles Duhigg writes:

“Studies have documented that families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better homework skills, higher grades, greater emotional control and m ore confidence.

Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of wellbeing and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.

It’s not that a family meal or tidy bed cause better grades or less frivolous spending, but somehow those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”

Quotes of the Week

“A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.” ~ Source Unknown

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

“Use what talent you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” ~ Henry van Dyke


Some reflections on running (from Winston Marsh’s newsletter

You may know that I’ve really enjoyed running every day for the last twenty years or so. I thought I might share some observations on exercise that may entice you to get started…

  1. My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now and we don’t know where the heck she is.
  2. The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
  3. I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. I haven’t lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up.
  4. I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.
  5. I don’t exercise at all. If God meant us to touch our toes, he would have put them further up our body.
  6. I like long walks, especially when people who annoy me take them.
  7. I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.
  8. The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.
  9. If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
  10. It is well documented that for every mile that you jog, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

Feedback (Comments from the Geraldton (WA) PD in August 2011)

Q: What would you tell other people about this presentation?

“Informing, fun, worth doing, excellent session.”

“I’d tell everyone about the scarves, ribbon sticks and classical music.”

“It was all excellent. Well worthwhile, don’t miss it! I’d have liked another hour.”

“Worth knowing about.”

“It was excellent. Early childhood teachers can incorporate music into all kinds of activities and it helps the music teacher when she comes for a lesson.”

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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