Category: #habits

Strength-How do you measure it?

My granddaughter is a tiny girl. She is 14 years old, and her goal is to reach 5 feet tall. The doctor told her she would not make it and would fall short (no pun intended) by a few inches. She knew she was in for a genetic battle when all of her aunts were under 5 feet.

Her determination is impressive, so she makes up for it in other ways. After spending some time in the weight room preparing for volleyball tryouts, she was excited to share with us her accomplishments. “Everyone was impressed with me today. I can leg press….wait for it…390 lbs.” What? Are you kidding me? Wow! “That is not all; I did 20 pull-ups, but I was embarrassed by the crowd watching me.” Alright, little girl!

Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional , and spiritual.

  • Physical strength: Describes an individual’s ability to apply force or resistance-To to lift, move, carry, or pull objects—the state of being physically healthy and strong-physically fit.
  • Emotional strength: The ability to embrace, respond and process in an open and vulnerable way in the face of intense emotional experience. To transition from one response to another with awareness of emotions, feelings, a sense of comfort, and confidence.
  • Mental strength: An individuals ability to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves. A willingness to continue to learn. Figuring things out, curiosity and to learn even when defeated.
  • Spiritual strength: Spirituality involves our capacity to dig deep and find the greater meaning in life, to align ourselves with a purpose that extends beyond ourselves, to find relationship and unity with something greater such as nature, God, or the transcendent. An individuals commitment to personal values, virtues and core beliefs to guide decisions.

We have many things to consider when thinking about how to measure strength, how to celebrate the strength, and how to admire others for the strengths they have. If you can get for point A to point B with very little work, is it the same as someone who traveled the same distance with many obstacles, challenges, and hardships?

Take an Inventory

When you have a little time, begin to take an inventory of the strengths you have as a leader. No need to hit the weight room for training like my granddaughter, but taking a look at what areas you have as strengths is an important inventory to take.

Are there areas in your completed inventory you would like to tune-up? Do you find any gaps? Are there areas you would like to improve? It is also important to ask others what they believe your areas of strengths are as you evaluate strengths. Others may recognize strengths in you that you did not realize you had, or they may point out that the strengths you think you have are a weakness.

How to build your strength:

  1. Focus on purpose
  2. Don’t be afraid to make changes
  3. Don’t overthink what you are doing
  4. Stretch yourself and don’t be afraid of discomfort
  5. Set simple short-term goals daily
  6. Develop habits to nourish your mind, body and soul
  7. Exercise your willpower and self-discipline at least once a day
  8. Take care of yourself, positive self talk
  9. Think positively
  10. Meditation and yoga are tools you can add
  11. Look for deeper meanings in what you see, hear, and read
  12. Get out, walk, enjoy nature, travel
  13. Read, ask questions, time to think
  14. Get plenty of rest
  15. Listen deeply
  16. Watch carefully
  17. Engage with others
  18. Experience new things often

Highly Effective

I do not know about you, but my plate has been full lately. It has not been the kind of stuff I could easilly check off the list as done. The problems and issues were more of the personal/emotional kind. These are the things that get me every time.

My faith provides me with the center I always need. But when you develop a habit of getting up, drinking a cup of coffee, visiting with your husband, and then completing your devotions when something interrupts, it throws you into a cycle of feeling off. When I cannot sit down and take the time to do my devotions and spend the spiritual time I need in the morning, my day is not correct.

Stephen Covey is known for his work of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People with his book and has maintained a highly sought-after leader in this area. I have been very comfortable in my daily routine for a few years now. When it is interrupted, I seem to have a difficult time getting back on track. It could be for several reasons, but I always blame my traumatic brain injury and begin my journey of PTSD. I start to think about many things, and I am especially very negative about myself.

Your Powerful Example

When you can calm down and realize you cannot control everything, only how you respond, you can begin to get back to being highly effective. Others learn from the lessons we teach, but more from the lives we live. Our words have great power, and our actions turn the volume up.

“You are the light that gives light to the world…. You should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14,16

We develop habits and the habits soon become who we are. Covey provides us with 7 Habits to guide our paths.

  • Be Proactive
  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • Put First Things First
  • Think Win-Win
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw
    • Purchase a copy on Amazon or where you buy books.

I finally made it to Friday! Always great to reach a point where you can reflect on the things you have completed and to see what has worked well. We can accomplish great things!

Breaking a sea of habits, not shore how to begin?

One of my beautiful views….

Habits are hard to break once they are created, however with a focus and intentional actions, habits will change. My husband took me on a two-week vacation before my cancer treatments, and we talked a great deal about habits. One thing he is trying to get us both to do is to make it a habit to eat healthy, exercise, and take care of our mental health wellness. I will let you know how we are being intentional!

We know our lives are based on schedules and routines. If we pay attention to what we do daily, we can identify specifics about what we are in the habit of doing. We have our medications in the bathroom, so part of our morning routine in getting ready includes taking medication after brushing our teeth.

Placing things in areas we can easily see and access helps keep this habit in place. Zeke has his exercise stuff in the closet ready to go, so when he gets home, it is the first thing he does. I do mine when I first get up in the morning. However, I will have to adjust as doctor appointments are scheduled. He is sticking to his routine! I admit I am having a hard time getting into a routine. If you are intentional, it can be done.

Sea of habits, not shore how to begin?

Our vacation took us to the beaches and sunshine. Zeke stayed on his routine and implementation of walking daily. Even though we walked miles during the day, he remained on his routine. A habit is forming!

We packed fruits in the car as snacks and lots of water. We did our very best to continue the goal of healthy eating. It is a challenge when vacationing, but we did great! I have to say my love for ice cream is always my downfall. I still enjoyed it on our trip! As you can see, I am the weaker link!

Two Scoops! Great place!

Watching the waves of the ocean crash into the shore, I paused to remind myself of the importance of being intentional. My mind was cluttered with many thoughts, anticipating treatments and the noise of the world. No excuses! Decide want you want to do and work to make it happen.

Steps to be intentional in creating new habits

First, I needed to list all of the things I do daily. Then I can look at each to determine if it is a good habit or a bad habit. An example: Eating ice cream daily before going to bed. Bad or good 🤷‍♀️ I have always said I was on the Titanic diet. Everyone on the Titanic wished they would have eaten that dessert first! I love my sweets!

Now I can identify where I can place my exercise habit into my routine. Then I can look at how to replace the sweets with healthy treats. Yogurt and fruit seem to be the best match.

Finally, I can write out my daily routine—place items in areas to make visual cues and stack things together to improve my overall well-being. When I walk, I will listen to Podcasts. These two items fit and stack nicely together.

I will let you know how I am improving! It helps to be accountable as well!