essential 7

The Essential Seven Habits, Part 3

This is the third and final post on the essential seven habits of successful people as categorized by author, Gretchen Rubin. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.

     Because December is often a time for reflection and goal planning, I want to challenge you over the next few weeks to review your year. If there are habits you would like to change, then you can create goals and action plans to work on them. Don’t try and tackle goals or change habits in all seven areas at once because that can be overwhelming. Instead, choose two to three goals at maximum to work on first. Once these are ingrained into your life then go on to others.


Stop Procrastinating, Make Consistent Progress

 Do you have things that you want to accomplish that you never seem to either get started or get finished? These can be either of a personal or a professional nature. At one point I wanted to do hand needlework and had started several projects. These sat around unfinished for five or more years. I finally realized that I was never going to work on these so I threw them away. How liberating!

     Do you have some half-finished things you need to get rid of such as books that you started reading and have never finished? Stop procrastinating! Look at those unfinished books, courses, projects or tasks and make a decision. Either take them off your list and recognize that you are not going to do them anytime in the foreseeable future, or start them now. If the task seems overwhelming, but you really want or need to do it, just take small but consistent steps on a regular basis. Perhaps you have an overwhelming amount of paperwork that you need to get rid of. Take 5-10 minutes daily and go through it. The stress-relief that you will get by starting on those things you have procrastinated on can’t be underestimated.

     You also get stress relief by taking things off your “to do” list by eliminating them. I am a book lover and often buy used books from thrift stores. But if I am not careful my stack of books soon gets huge. So often I just get rid of the unread books and my guilt for not reading them goes away, too!

     What do you need to start working on and stop procrastinating about?


Simplify, Clear and Organize

Okay, I admit it. I am a simplicity and minimalist fan. Two of my favorite blogs are Be More with Less and Becoming Minimalist. Both of these talk about living an intentional life with less physical stuff. While I am definitely not a minimalist, I have released a lot of excess stuff from my life and it feels wonderful. But you don’t have to be a minimalist to see the value in organizing and clearing. In your business life, if you do not file paperwork on a regular basis, then you will soon be overwhelmed with paper and won’t be able to find anything easily. If your closet is so full of clothes that you can’t open it without something falling out on you, then you soon will feel like you have nothing to wear. If you put the mail on the kitchen table every day and then don’t move it, you will soon not be able to have your meals there. If this is a problem for you, then make a plan to begin to simplify, clear and organize that part of your life.


Rest, Relax and Enjoy

 I admit that relaxing has sometimes been difficult for me. I always have some project that I am working on either for business, family or home and relaxing has seemed like a “waste of time”. But relaxing can be a great de-stressor for our lives. If you don’t know how to relax well you can also miss those beautiful moments in your life such as a hug from your child or seeing the glorious sunset in front of you. I was driving with my daughter in the car over Thanksgiving and she noticed the sunset and took a photo of it. Earlier in the fall I took an on-line photography course by Tammy Strobel of the blog Rowdy Kittens. The course was great and it helped me notice the beauty around me and then take pictures. We were at Hilton Head during part of that time and I took a lot of wonderful pictures including one of an egret walking on our driveway! I was also able to use many of these photos for my business.

     Maybe you need to get more sleep. Lack of sleep causes many health problems and makes other health issues worse. Plan to get at least seven hours per night on a consistent basis. Is there a hobby that you used to enjoy but have let it drop due to overwhelm? Why not pick that hobby back up instead of surfing the internet? Getting a sufficient amount of rest and relaxation is good for both our mental and physical health. If this is an area you need to work on, then make a specific plan to add in more rest and relaxation to your life. I hope that you have enjoyed this series.

     Comment below with any habit changes that you plan.

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