Tag: Habits


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Seven Habits

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes a practical set of habits that can help you grow personally to become more effective. His seven habits represent a principle centered, character based, inside out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

 

The Seven Habits:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win/win
  5. Seek first to understand; then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen your saw

 

These Seven Habits help you develop personally and become more effective in how you work and relate with other people. Developing these habits can help you tackle your work and life challenges with confidence. At the core of these habits are a deeper understanding of yourself and an appreciation of the fact that you need others in order to achieve your goals.

 

 

Incorporating the Seven Habits into your Life

Good habits can be defined as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire. Changing or creating habits can be hard, but can be done if you are committed to change. You have to consciously work at them for a while before they become part of who you are and how you interact with other people. It takes time and effort to develop the Seven Habits. But it is worthwhile and will have a lasting effect on your personal effectiveness and on your life.

Tips for Creating New Habits

 

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Being proactive means controlling your environment, rather than having it control you. You create this habit by taking initiative. Think about what needs to be done and do it. When faced with a problem or a difficult situation, take the initiative to find solutions rather than just recognizing the problem and waiting for others to solve it.

 

 

Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind

This habit is about visualizing where you want to end up. It is about looking ahead and seeing where you want to ultimately get to. So before you start something new, take the time to think about your ultimate goal, then plan how you will reach that goal. To practice this habit, begin each day, activity, or endeavor with a clear vision of your desired destination.

 

 

Habit 3: Put First Things First

This habit is about organizing and prioritizing your activities. The first step in developing this habit is to find out what is important to you. You have to determine what you truly value and put those first on your list of things to do. Often times people put the things they are believe are urgent at the top of their “to do” list. Unfortunately, they often find they do not have time to complete the things they believe are important because they have spent too much time on the urgent less important items. So, to develop this habit, find out what is important to you prioritize your activities so the important ones are on the top of the list.

 

 

Habit 4 – think win-win

The win-win philosophy sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. To incorporate this habit into your life, you need to create a frame of mind that has you seeking mutual benefit in your interactions with others. In your interactions with others, focus on getting agreements or solutions that are mutually beneficial to all parties. Don’t feel you have to get a better deal than other people. Have the mindset that there is enough for everyone.

 

 

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand; then to be Understood

Most people do not actively listen while they are conversing with another person, rather they wait to talk. When working with others do not be so anxious to get across your point of view that you do not listen to the other party.  Really listen to the other party to try to understand his or her point of view. Try to get a good understanding of what the other person believes and how they feel about the topic. Then try to explain your perspective.

 

 

Habit 6: Synergize

This is the habit is about creative cooperation.   Creative cooperation is based on the belief that people working together can produce far better results than they could individually. Synergy helps you discover things together you are much less likely to discover by yourself.

The key to achieving this habit is to value differences among people and try to build creative solutions through interactions. When you interact with others, be open to their opinions so you can gain new insight. These interactions help leverage individual differences to find a creative way to solve a problem. Focus on collaborating with others to get the best results.

 

 

Habit 7 – Renewal – Sharpen the saw

This habit is about personal renewal and growth. It is referred to as “Sharpening the Saw.” Sharpening the Saw means taking the time to enhance yourself and grow as an individual. It entails renewing yourself in all four aspects or dimensions of who you are:

  1. mental
  2. physical
  3. social/emotional
  4. spiritual

 

Developing this habit involves:

Physical – building your sense of well-being through exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

 

Mental – educating yourself on new things to hone and expand the mind through reading, visualizing, planning, and writing.

 

Social/Emotional – building your own sense of well-being through service, empathy, synergy, and security.

 

Spiritual – building a sense of self through meditation, inner reflection, spiritual reading, and study.

 

The Seven Habits

The Seven Habits

The Seven Habits

Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes a practical set of habits that can help you grow personally to become more effective. His seven habits represent a principle centered, character based, inside out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. Covey’s approach is to have you focus on developing yourself and your relationships with others. He believes if these habits are integrated into your life, they will help you move through the stages of personal development.

 

The Seven Habits:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win/win
  5. Seek first to understand; then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen your saw

 

 

The Seven Habits Summary

 

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Being proactive means controlling your environment, rather than having it control you. Covey believes that highly effective people make decisions to improve their lives through influencing the things around them rather than simply reacting to external force. He believes that it is not what happens to you, but your response to what happens to you that matters. Therefore, when faced with a problem or a difficult situation, this habit has you take the initiative to find solutions rather than just recognizing the problem and waiting for others to solve it.

 

 

Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind

This habit is based on imagination and visualization. It is about visualizing where you want to end up. So before you start something, take the time and plan it out. A little planning will save you a lot of work later and will get you to where you really want to go. To practice this habit begin each day, activity, or endeavor with a clear vision of your desired direction and eventual destination.

 

 

Habit 3: Put First Things First

This habit is about organizing your activities. But it is more than just about managing your time, it is about setting and following your priorities.  You have to find out what is important to you and put those first on your list of things to do.

The key to putting first things first is to understand that you have many things you can do which will have an impact on your life. This habit has you schedule your priorities. You do this by deciding which activities are most important to you, then determining what steps will best achieve your goals. This habit allows you to prioritize your activities and eliminate those that are not as important.

 

 

 

Habit 4 – think win-win

The win-win philosophy sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. It is based on the principle that there is enough for everyone. This philosophy has you create a frame of mind that has you seek mutual benefit in your interactions with others. It is about getting agreements or solutions that are mutually beneficial. It stresses that your success does not necessarily require another person’s failure. By creating a win-win agreement, you help establish a foundation for an effective, long-term relationship.

 

 

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood

This habit is about empathetic listening.  Most people do not actively listen while they are conversing with another person, rather they wait to talk. Many problems or disputes arise because people are so anxious to get across their point of view that they do not listen to the other party.  However, in order to move towards successful interactions with others, you first have to understand what the other person is actually saying. This habit has you focus on really listening to the other person. Good listening skills are essential for developing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of your life.

 

 

 

Habit 6: Synergize

This is the habit of creative cooperation.   Creative cooperation is based on the theory the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is the belief that people working together can produce far better results than they could individually.

This habit focuses on teamwork and the open-mindedness. When you genuinely interact with others, and you are open to their opinions, you gain new insight. The key to achieving this habit is to value differences among people and try to build creative solutions through interactions. These interaction help leverage individual differences to find a creative way to solve a problem. Synergy lets you discover things together you are much less likely to discover by yourself.

 

Habit 7 – Renewal – Sharpen the saw

This habit is about personal renewal and growth. Just as a machine will wear out if it is not properly maintained, the same is true for your personal productivity. You need to take time to take care of yourself. This habit keeps you on the path of continuous improvement. It helps you increase your capacity to produce and handle the challenges you may face in life.

This habit is referred to as Sharpening the Saw. Sharpen the Saw means taking the time to enhance yourself and grow as an individual. It means renewing yourself in all four aspects or dimensions of who you are:

 

  • Physical – caring for your physical body. It involves building your sense of well-being through exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

 

  • Mental – sharpening the intellectual abilities. It involves educating yourself on new things to hone and expand the mind through reading, visualizing, planning, and writing.

 

  • Social/Emotional –developing strong healthy relationships with others. It involves build your own sense of well-being through service, empathy, synergy, and security.

 

  • Spiritual – your commitment to your value system. It involves building a sense of self through meditation, inner reflection, spiritual reading, and study.

 

By renewing your four dimensions, you can work more quickly and effortlessly on different activities and tasks. More importantly, as you renew yourself in each of the four areas, you create growth and change in your life.

 

 

Tips for creating new habits

Tips for Creating New Habits

Tips For Creating New Habits

Habits are one of the most influential factors affecting your life. In fact, most of your daily life is lived by habits. They usually direct your actions, your reactions, your decision, and even your thoughts. Habits can be very power in helping you rech your goals.

Below are a list of tips to help you start creating positive habits:

 

Believe

You need to have a firm belief you can create the positive habit. Your thoughts and feeling will govern your actions, so believe you can make the everlasting change. If not, no matter what you decide to change, you will never have the conviction to achieve that goal.

 

Commit

Make a commitment for one full month to whatever habit you decide to create. Some experts say it takes about 21 days to either create or break a habit. It probably takes longer for most people to really create a sustainable habit, but the 21 days is a good starting point. A month is a good block of time to choose since it puts you past the initial 21 days and it easily fits your calendar. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. Therefore, make the commitment to begin and follow through.
 

Start small and simple

Do not try to completely change your life in the first month. Choose one or two habits which you can build on in the future. If you try to create too many new habits, you may become overwhelmed and become discouraged from accomplishing your goal. If you want to create a habit of eating all healthy meals, consider starting by focusing on eating a healthy breakfast for the first month. After you have successfully created that habit, you could begin to include a healthy lunch in the second month.

 

 

List the benefits

List out the benefits of the having new habit and place them in a location you will see often. A reminder of the benefits will help you persist when you get the urge to quit.

 

 

Work with friends

Find others who want to create a similar habit. This will provide a network for support and encouragement as well you keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.

 

 

Have a Plan

Do not just think of a new habit. It is best to have a plan on how you will accomplish your task. If you want to create a healthy eating habit, have a plan on what you will eat each day. This way you will know what you will need to buy so you will have it available. Without a plan, people often fall back into their old bad habits. Also, it is a good idea to write down your plan. Having a written plan gives you a visual reminder what you will need to do to successfully create your habit.

 

 

Remind yourself

Place reminders around to help you remember to execute your habit each day or you might forget and miss a few days. Without the consistency, you may lose momentum. For example, you may create a daily electronic calendar reminder on your phone, or you may want to place a note on the refrigerator that reminds you to “eat healthy. “

 

 

Take daily action

Both continuous effort and consistency are critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. Activities you do only once every few days are harder to create as habits.

 

Track your progress

Keep track of how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. You can also announce and track your new habit on social media like Twitter or Facebook. This can also aid as a reminder and as a support mechanism from friends and family.

 

Reward yourself

After you have accomplished a significant goal or objective, give yourself a reward. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you may consider buying a new outfit when you reach a certain targeted weight.

 

See more Tips for creating new habits

Habits and Tendencies worksheet

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 Habits and Tendencies Worksheet

 

 

Describe how you act or react in the following situations:

 

Describe how you act or react in the following situations:

 

 

 

When I am put under pressure or stress:

 

 

When someone criticizes my work or ability:

 

 

When someone criticizes my personality:

 

 

When I am ask to comment about another’s ability or work:

 

 

When I disagree with others:

 

 

When I make a mistake:

 

 

When someone compliments me:

 

 

When someone else receive a compliment in front of me:

 

 

When I am ask about myself:

 

 

When I am ask about my accomplishments:

 

 

When I have to speak in public:

 

 

When I am in a crowd of people:

 

 

When I meet someone:

 

 

When I am alone:

 

 

When I am challenged with a big task:

 

 

When I am struggling with a task:

 

 

 

Finish the following sentences.

 

I hold back from speaking the truth when.…

 

I look forward to challenges when…

 

I avoid challenges when…

 

I become stubborn when…

 

I excel when…

 

I do not do well when…

 

I release stress by…

 

I learn best by….

 

I am more open about myself to others if…

 

When I am put under pressure, I…

 

When I am uncomfortable in a situation, I…

 

Changing my behavior requires…

 

 

Answer the following questions.

 

Which of your habits or behaviors has the strongest negative impact on you?

 

Which negative habits have you struggled with the most?

 

What behavior, if changed, would help most toward achieving your goals?

 

Which negative habit would you most like to stop?

 

Which positive habits would you most like to build on?

 

Which positive habits do you most want to create?

 

 

 

PDF Printable Version of Habits and Tendencies Worksheet – Habits and tendencies worksheet

 

 

 

 

 

Developing Habits

 

Habits

 

 

Developing Habits

 

Habits are learned human behaviors.  They are not innate, therefore we are able to develop new habits and stop bad habits.  We can develop good habits such as automatically putting on our seat belt once you get in your car, and break bad habits such as biting our nails or smoking cigarette.

 

There are some habits that you currently have that you may want to break, and there are others that you will want to create.  You can create positive habits such as;

  • Positive thinking
  • Eating healthier
  • Exercise daily
  • Waking up early

 

Creating productive habits is just as important as creating personal goals.  It is the habits you have on a daily basis that will get you to your ultimate goals.  Some goal objectives or tasks may be better suited as being a habit rather than being an activity requiring active motivation.  

 

“Sow a thought and you reap an act;

Sow an act and you reap a habit;

Sow a habit and you reap a character;

Sow a character and you reap a destiny”

 

 

The more positive habits you can develop the more productive and enriched your daily life will be. By starting with just a little discipline, you can create a new habit that requires little effort to maintain.

 

 

 

 

Here are some tips for creating new habits:

 

 

Believe – You need to have a firm belief you can create the habit. Your thoughts and feeling will govern your actions, so believe you can make the everlasting change. If not, no matter what you decide to change, you will never have the conviction to achieve your goals.

 

Commit – make a commitment for one full month to whatever habit you decide to create. Some experts say it takes about 21 days to either create or break a habit. It probably takes longer for most people to really create a sustainable habit, but the 21 days is a good starting point. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. A month is a good block of time to choose since it puts you past the initial 21 days and it easily fits in your calendar. Make the commitment to begin and follow through.

Start small and simple – Do not try to completely change your life in the first month. Choose one or two habits which you can build on in the future. If you try to create too many new habits, you may become overwhelmed and become deterred from accomplishing your goal. If you want to create a habit of eating all healthy meals, you may start by focusing on eating a healthy breakfast for the first month. After you have successfully created that habit, you could begin to include a healthy lunch in the second month.

 

 

List the benefits – List out the benefits of the having new habit and place them in a location you will see often. A reminder of the benefits will help you persist when you get the urge to quit.

 

 

Work with friends – Find others who want to create a similar habit. This will provide a network for support and encouragement as well you keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.

 

 

Have a Plan – Do not just think of a new habit. It is best to have a plan on how you will accomplish your task. If you want to create a healthy eating habit, have a plan on what you will eat each day. This way you will know what you will need to buy so you will have it available. Without a plan, people often fall back into their old bad habits. Also, it is a good idea to write down your plan. Having a written plan gives you a visual reminder what you will need to do to successfully create your habit.

 

Remind yourself – Place reminders around to help you remember to execute your habit each day or you might forget and miss a few days. Without the consistency, you may lose momentum. For example, you may create a daily electronic calendar reminder on your phone, or you may want to place a note on the refrigerator that reminds you to “eat healthy. “

 

 

Take daily action – Both continuous effort and consistency are critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. Activities you do only once every few days are harder to create as habits.

 

Track your progress – keep track of how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. You can also announce and track your new habit on social media like Twitter or Facebook. This can also aid as a reminder and as a support mechanism from friend and family.

 

Reward yourself – After you have accomplished a significant goal or objective, give yourself a reward. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you may consider buying a new outfit when you reach a certain targeted weight.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Habits

Habits

Habits are one of the most influential factors affecting your life.  In fact, most of your daily life is lived by habits.  Habits are those behaviors or tendencies that you do automatically without thinking or consciously intending.  They usually direct your actions, your reactions, your decision, and even your thoughts.

 

The Power of Habits

Whenever you repeatedly exhibit a behavior or response, it will likely become a habit. It typically takes time to develop a one. Experts have suggested that it takes about 21 days to either create or break a habit. Therefore, if you are trying to create or break one, you must make sure you are ready to commit for a while to make sure it sticks.

Many times they get created subconsciously.  You may start biting your nails, fidgeting, or eating late at night develop without you even realizing it.  These negative or destructive behaviors can develop just as much a good one. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the behaviors you are unconsciously developing.

 

 

How They Affect Your Life

Habits can simplify your life by putting routine tasks on autopilot such as driving a car, brushing our teeth, setting the alarm, or doing the laundry. You probably do not need to think or pay explicit attention when you are performing these tasks.  They can also make you more productive by allowing you to perform multiple tasks at the same time such as driving a car while listening to the radio or carrying on a conversation with someone.

 

 

The Habit of Thought

Habits are not just limited to your behaviors; your thoughts can become ones as well. Positive or negative thinking can become a habit. If you repeatedly have the same thinking pattern, it will become a engrained.

Stephen Covey in his influential book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” outlines simple rules for life. The habits that Covey highlights (be proactive, begin with the end in mind, Think win-win, etc…) are focused on your thoughts and thinking patterns. He believes that having positive habits is the key to living a happy and successful life.

 

 

Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire.”  – Orison Swett Marden