28 Days to a Better Me

13 Apr

After reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I got inspired to do a challenge. I picked 28 days instead of 30 because its divisible by 7, non math people just nod and smile. Anyway, I’m opening the challenge up to all my blogger friends and hope that they will try it with me. I’ve been doing something like it in my class already so now I’ll just condense it a bit. You can write about your experience every day or you can write only on day 4…take your pick! Habits 1,2,and 3 are the foundation for private victories and integrity. Habits 4, 5, and 6 are the keys to public victories.

To read how I did on my own 28-day challenge click HERE!

Here are the guidelines:

Habit 1: Be Proactive–Get out of victimism – You’re not a victim of your circumstances.

Day 1: Think of something you want to change or improve.

-Day 2: Notice every time you find yourself wanting to indulge in your old behavior. (For ex. my improvement is patience and so when I find myself being impatient I do yoga breathing through it)

-Day 3: Think of a healthy, more desireable habit to replace your old habit with. (Like I do my yoga breathing, think of something that works for you!)

Day 4: How does it feel to begin to make changes in your life? How long have you been wanting to work at erasing this habit from your life?

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind

-Day 5: In the end, what do you think you stand to gain by changing?

-Day 6: What has been holding you back from tackling this before now? How many other things have you been thinking about changing but postponed? Think about your past accomplishments, how did you get to the end before?

-Day 7: What does the you you want to be look like?

-Day 8: Draft your personal mission statement: What is a mission statement you ask? personal mission statements based on correct principles are like a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. In order to write good mission statements, we must first begin at the very center of our Circle of influence, that center comprised of our most basic paradigms, the lens through which we see the world. Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power. A personal mission statement should be short, memorizeable, and follow the natural law of principles. It will guide every other decision you make.

Habit 3: Put first things first “the things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things which matter least”

-Day 9: Identify the most important things in your life and acknowledge their priority in your life.

-Day 10: How will you making this change impact the important things/people in your life?

-Day 11: Identify the things of little importance that you find yourself giving too much attention?

-Day 12: What would/does it feel like to only focus on the important things, and leave the things of little importance alone?

Habit 4: Think WIN-WIN

-Day 13: Have you previously done things out of spite, fear, or malice? What were the consequences?

-Day 14: Who is your support system (at home/ at work)? How do you support them, and how do they support you?

-Day 15: Personally define compromise vs. sacrifice.

-Day 16: Have you previously been selfish? Have you previously been the martyr? How do you think things will get better when you adopt a win-win attitude?

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood

-Day 17: Do you know what’s going on with the people you earlier identified as the most important in your life? Ask them!

-Day 18: Have a conversation without talking. This may be a HUGE challenge for some, but don’t give advice/warning/scolding/soothing, just listen and leave all decisions and judgments to the person.

-Day 19: Think of the person you tell everything to, what makes them that person? What can you stand to learn from them?

-Day 20: Ask your partner (or best friend) to describe your listening skills. If you find yourself wanting to interrupt or debate, don’t! Simply listen to what they say no matter how much you disagree, and then ask them how you think you can improve, then LISTEN to the answer. Write about the experience.

Habit 6: Synergize

-Day 21: At work (or school) or any situation where you work in a group think of how well (or poorly) you work together, describe it.

-Day 22: 1+1=∞ …In your family, how do you think support helps each member to realize his or her potential? What more could you be doing to encourage innovation? People are volunteers. You want them to contribute their greatest, unique contribution.

-Day 23: Consider the communication between your group, in what ways do you think it can improve?

-Day 24: Does your group have similar goals as you? What does your group say about YOU?

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

Day 25: How balanced are you? (Work|Play) (Mom|Wife) (Sister|Daughter) think of your roles and how much time is dedicated to each.

-Day 26: What does it feel like to say “No” ?

-Day 27: What do you do to relax? When was the last time you did it?

-Day 28: When things don’t go as planned how do you react? Taking into account the entire experience do you think you have become more flexible?

Something of note, here are what Covey calls the Six Metastasizing Cancers:

  • Criticizing
  • Complaining
  • Comparing
  • Competing
  • Contending
  • Cynicism

The take away here is that these are ineffective behaviors and you end up acting like a victim. In each of these habits you are getting more to the center of you, via acknowledgement, acceptance, reflection, you are examining what you’re doing and learning to do (or undo) things that lead to a more effective you.

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