The retreat has been eye-opening...for the students and myself. (And yes, I've read the adult version of this book and find the teen version much more engaging and relevant to my life, which is kind of sad, isn't it?)
Here's a short breakdown of the habits and videos I've been sharing with my students over the last week. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend picking up the book!
1. Be proactive. Being proactive boils down to taking control of your life; don't let others dictate how you see yourself. When I showed this to my students, they were enthralled and moved. Lizzie is a great example of how we can take control of our lives no matter our obstacles and naysayers.
2. Begin with the end in mind. Make decisions and choices that are true to the path and goal you have set for yourself. Lakeisha set her mind on her goal and worked tirelessly every day to get there. There are no excuses.
3. Put first things first. Organize your schedule so that things that are important to you - and your future - come first. This means learning to plan ahead, making time for friends, and being brave enough to say no to things that are time-wasters or of importance to others, but not to you. This is also where students write a mission statement to keep them on track, which for me is the same thing as a running mantra.
4. Think win-win. Find solutions to problems that allow everyone to benefit; consider the bigger picture when working with others, not whether you "win". I'm sure some of you have seen this, but it gets me every time.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Actually listen to others; don't offer unwanted advice or steamroll over their opinions and thoughts. Yes, I teach 8th grade. Yes, they get a kick out of ridiculous videos.
6. Synergize. Work together. United we stand, divided we fall.
7. Sharpen the saw. Take time to relax, re-energize, and keep yourself mentally and physically fit. Obviously, I choose running as my main way to sharpen the saw.
I'd be surprised if my students weren't a little tired of me linking these habits to running. It's the easiest way for me to explain how they work in my life; but I've seen them improve my personal and professional life as well.
I'll never be a Type A, organized person naturally, but at least now I have the tools and knowledge I need to improve myself and how I work with others.
Are you familiar with the 7 Habits?
What are you strong areas? I think I'm usually pretty good at "seeking to understand..."
What do you need to work on? I definitely could work on "putting first things first"! I'm super unorganized and give in too easily to what I want to do versus what I should be doing.