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Habits and Environment Design

motivation nonbinary voice voice feminization voice masculinization Dec 07, 2022

One of the most powerful tools for creating a strong habit in your life is called Environment Design. This refers to designing your space to either include triggers that cue positive habits or remove triggers that cue bad habits. This can get fun when you start connecting light, music, times of day and particular areas of your space to the habit you want to create.

Let me show you how I use environment design in my life. So, I run an online trans voice education business from my apartment in Montreal. I live and work mostly alone, so I rely on my habits to keep everything running smoothly. I show up at my desk at the same time every day, roughly 9 am. I open up Kajabi, where I host my courses, and get to work.

I also play the same soundscape during my morning work: 24 seven lo fi hip hop radio beats to study / relax by mellowbeatseeker, paired with coffee shop noises by Coffitivity. I've been using this combination of 9 am plus soundscape for so long that I don't even have to think about it anymore. It's such a deeply ingrained habit in my life.

The combination of that time and that sound makes me want to work.

So, how can you use environment design to support your voice practice? The important thing is to pick environmental cues. So a time of day is usually strongest, especially if it relates to other habits that you already have established, like brushing your teeth. But the winning combination, in my opinion, is to combine a time of day with a particular spot in your space and a lighting cue or a sound cue.

So this could mean every morning at 7 a.m., you sit on a pillow in the corner of your room, and you play gong sounds while you warm up your voice. Or, while making dinner, you imitate the voices you hear on the 6:00 news. Or after you wash your face before bed, you turn on a coloured light in your bathroom and do five exercises in front of the mirror.

It can even be as simple as just sitting on one specific chair at your kitchen table: you have one chair where you eat, and one chair is where you practice voice. Having those environmental cues is what will trigger your brain to want to practice. I hope this helps!

Hi, I'm Renée! (they/them)

I'm a queer, nonbinary, and disabled singer, songwriter and gender-affirming voice teacher. 

I've been a voice teacher for over twelve years, I have four full-length albums out, and I have degrees in physics, jazz, and songwriting.

I love creating, I love figuring things out, but most of all, I love helping people.

Learn more about me

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