Part 8 of a series about Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
The last habit is the habit of renewal. Mr. Covey starts out by explaining this habit with a few simple questions. Do you try to saw down an entire tree without stopping to sharpen the saw? Have you ever been too busy driving to stop and get gas? Those questions pretty much sum up the seventh habit of effective people. They take the time to focus on self renewal in four different areas:
*ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR TEENS*The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
We all know that we need to exercise and be careful about nutrition. The stress of life gets to everyone. Exercising and eating right are so important. When I was going through a particularly difficult time in our family, going to climb at the gym was an incredible stress reliever to me. I never felt like going but once I was finished with my workout I felt SO much better. Mr. Covey also points out that we have to live in integrity. He says (and I agree) that the “stress of a violated conscious is as significant as having too much on your plate”. Exercise is important but it’s just as important to live right.
There are so many ways to stay ‘sharp’ mentally. One of the keys is to turn off the T.V. Mr. Covey suggests reading, writing, keeping a journal and writing letters as a way to stay alert mentally. We do not have T.V. in our home and I do miss it at times but overall it is better for me to spend my time on other projects. One of the ways that I renew myself is to try to be more creative. This does not come to me naturally so I try to spend at least one pomodoro every day working on my scrapbook or doing Zentangle.
This is a very personal area but one that is really important. By focusing on purpose and meaning in your life it allows you to see what is truly important to you. I renew myself spiritually by reading my bible, praying with my mom, and going to church. Even if you are not a person of faith you can read books that inspire you or take part in community projects that help others in practical ways.
Building relationship with your family and friends takes time and hard work. There are plenty of ways to do this. Spend time together, have special family traditions, relax together, encourage each other, worship together, etc. For us teens I think that it is important to remember that our parents are individuals not just our mom or dad. If we see them only as someone to support us and take care of our needs then we should grow up and remember that they need support and encouragement as well.
What stood out the most to me is the fact that Mr. Covey never once says that renewing yourself has anything to do with vegging out in front of the T.V. or doing absolutely nothing. He talks about running marathons, reading novels, going back to college. These are all things that are productive and will help you grow as an individual – this is not about ‘me time’. This is about purposefully seeking to grow as an individual in a way that encourages your spirit.
Mr. Covey says, “Habit Seven may only take a few hours of your week but it will effect every other hour of your week”. Make a goal to set aside time every day for yourself. There is a price to pay but you are worth it!
Check out the rest of the series!
#1 Be Proactive
#7 Sharpen the Saw