1-250-514-8459 tamara@posminds.com
World Leaders in Positive Education Announce 2019 Launch of Canadian Office

World Leaders in Positive Education Announce 2019 Launch of Canadian Office

Justin Robinson (IPE Director), Tamara Lechner (Canadian Regional Manager), Ron Lalonde (Middle East Regional Manager), David Bott (IPE Associate Director)

As the mental health of individuals continues to be of growing concern globally, the Institute of Positive Education prioritizes sharing its rigorous, research based programs around the world.

The Institute of Positive Education is internationally acclaimed as a leader in the field, providing positive psychology-based interventions and practices in a school setting. Partnering with the ‘founding father’ of Positive Psychology, Dr Martin Seligman, the Geelong Grammar School team established the field of positive education and created the groundbreaking Learn, Live, Teach, Embed model.  Geelong Grammar School first became the world-leader in delivering evidence-based programs, then forming the Institute of Positive Education (2014) and launching International incubators in Canada and the Middle East (2018).

 The IPE continues to grow its impact in inspiring and supporting schools to discover and implement Positive Education.  In 2018, they delivered 124 training courses comprising 208 training days, which were attended by over 6000 participants.  To meet the increasing demand, the Institute team has doubled in size and created designated teams in training, research, and business development.  Whilst continuing to deliver a range of open-entry courses and workshops, the IPE is increasingly working directly with individual schools to provide whole-school training and in-depth, long-term consultancy to facilitate customized whole-school Positive Education implementation strategies.

The Institute of Positive Education (IPE) is pleased to announce the launch of our Canadian regional incubator as well as the appointment of wellbeing expert, Tamara Lechner, in the role of regional consultant.

 Tamara is a Canadian entrepreneur, educator, writer & speaker whose wellbeing expertise has focused on  positive psychology, meditation, and positive habit formation in schools, corporate settings and for individuals. Her deep belief is that happiness happens by choice, not by chance.

Starting in 2019 the Institute of Positive Education will offer an introductory suite of workshops across Canada. Stay tuned for our launch tour and course listings for the year ahead. 

The First Step to Happier Habits

The First Step to Happier Habits

When scientists discuss wellbeing they look at the domains of PERMA as discussed by Martin Seligman and add H for physical health.

Knowing what is needed to create optimal health and wellbeing is one thing but actually forming the habits of regularly doing what you need to do to thrive is an entirely different skillset. This article is going to take a look at the science of habit formation with the goals of helping you to gain mastery over the tools to be happier by implementing strong habits of mental health.

Habits can be changed if you understand how they work. When you combine the science of habit formation with positive psychology interventions and practices you get:

  • more happiness
  • more positive emotion
  • more wellbeing
  • less rumination
  • less negative emotion

Habit formation is a function of neurology. It happens in the brain and is reflected through all the systems of your body.  In science the patterns of habit look like this:

In yoga traditions dating back thousands of years, we see the same pattern with different words:

Samkara is a memory, conscious or unconscious. Sometimes the memory is at the genetic level. The samskara is in the causal body which is also sometimes called the subtle body where the essence of the individual is enlivened.

Another way of thinking of this is:

Any time you want to change a habit the key is to replace an old belief with a new one. This happens right before the action/karma/routine phase.


One way to do this is through willpower. Contrary to what many people believe, willpower is not an asset but a learnable skill. It’s true that it can feel depleted over the course of the day. This can be largely due to fatigue, hunger, thirst or even limiting beliefs about yourself and your ability to resist temptation.

When I think about forming habits I like to draw on advice from the experts. These strategies are super helpful and there are lots to choose from:

  1. Pairing. Attache something you want to do to something you already do. Keep the vitamins you always forget beside your toothbrush. Allow yourself to binge-watch Netflix when you are on the treadmill.
  2. Reward. The classic star chart. Keep a chart. When you have 30 gold stars get a reward. Ensure the reward aligns with your goal (ie Don’t reward 30 days of running with an ice cream, instead choose a reword of new running pants or a fitbit)
  3. Streak. This refers to making a chain of days in a row. If you use Insight Timer to time your meditations it will show you your number of uninterrupted days. When you have 99 in a row it’s motivating to not have to start over.
  4. Unpairing. Sometimes you will only exhibit an undesired behavior in a certain context. For example may people only smoke when they are drinking. If you decide that you can do one or the other but not both together you have successfully unpaired the habit.
  5. Accountability. Get help. Find some friends who will help keep you accountable. When my husband decided he wanted to work out every day, I would text him a photo of me at the gym, in yoga, or hiking. This took advantage of his competitive nature and got him hooked so he could respond to my texts with one of his own.
  6. Stick. Sometimes the carrot just doesn’t work  If rewards aren’t your thing try a crazy punishment. If you are a republican pledge to donate $500 to the democrats if you don’t stick to your diet. This negative reinforcement tied to how you define yourself can be very successful!

Changing habits begins with a belief in the possibility of change. If you need more motivation to get started, try these great books.