Have you ever recognized a need for change in your life? I’m not talking about the kind of change a new wardrobe or the rearrangement of furniture can satisfy – because for me, these happen as often as every other week. I’m inquiring about the type of change that affects your future, shatters your comfort zone and challenges your way of life.
For example, you’ve realized the career you are in is consuming all of your free time without providing you any happiness or benefits. Or maybe, a loved one passed away too young and you’ve realized life is too short to be wasting it on the boring and the mundane. Or perhaps your doctor told you that you have a miserable future ahead unless you start making changes today.
Or maybe, you are like me, and realized you can’t continue along the path you are on without making a change, because you will eventually crash and burn. Some paths simply aren’t sustainable, healthy or productive. These paths require change.
Identifying a need for change is scary and exciting, and I think it shows great courage for those strong enough to admit it to themselves.
To initiate the change in my life I chose Stephen Covey's renowned book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, not because my boss told me too or because I need something to do in my free time (side note: I wish free time was a real thing). I specifically chose this book for 2 reasons:
It is on every list of Top books to read (seriously, I Googled it)
More importantly, I desperately need a process that would effectively help me create change in my life.
Why Am I Writing this Blog & Why Should You Read It?
Before diving into the 7 Habits, Covey coaches his readers on how to read this book:
"Take an inside-out approach, and read with the purpose in mind of sharing or discussing what you learn with someone else within 48 hours after you learn it."
So, this is why I am going to write a series of 8-ish dual-benefit blogs. I am looking forward to this opportunity to effectively initiate change, by sharing my journey with you. As for you…you can look forward to being educated, motivated, inspired and/or entertained. I’m aiming for all 4, and I’ll do my very best to make sure you don’t feel like you’ve wasted the 5-10 minutes it takes you to read each blog.
I don't promise to give you any secrets or tools for creating change in your life - if you are looking for these I recommend reading Covey's timeless book for yourself. He is the expert; I'm simply the guinea pig.
Bear with me.
More Details about My Need for Change
Admitting a need for change makes you vulnerable. You are exposing yourself and your habits to something entirely new. I’m 24 years old and until recently, life hadn’t thrown anything at me that was too difficult to handle. The habits I adopted early in life successfully got me through:
High school as a multi-extracurricular activity student
College, carrying a full workload while working multiple jobs
The first few years of my career…while doing additional work on the side
I would say I’ve man-handled these tasks, but since I’m a classy female I’ll say I’ve completed each at a fairly high level. Somehow I also managed to maintain a social life (nothing fancy, but I have some friends) and keep my sanity (this is arguable, but from a legal standpoint I think I'm good). And I thought this was quite the feat.
But, this last year I was catapulted into a life that moves faster than the speed of light and I can't seem to catch my breath, for fear of falling and being left behind.
A necessary side note: I am the kind of person who likes to be busy - all the time – so, by nature, I create a lifestyle that keeps me movin’ and groovin’. For me, 5 minutes early is late and working 2 steps ahead is where I feel comfortable.
But this new life I’m in has me out of my comfort zone. Some days, I am positive there is no possible way to squeeze anything else in - which makes me terrified for the future. How I am supposed to add a family, stay in touch with friends and make time for myself? In an effort to work ahead and prepare for the future (and hopefully create some change in my current routine) I turned to Covey’s book.
Buckle Up & Let the Journey Begin
I'm hoping that throughout this series you will keep me accountable and honest, because it will enhance my experience with this book. I'm also hoping you'll find nuggets of wisdom, joy, entertainment, inspiration, motivation and more. Please, share your thoughts in the comments below as we proceed.
Give me a “Hoo-Rah” if your need for change mirrors mine and you can relate to feeling overwhelmed and out-of-control (a.k.a. crazy)! If you’ve already made a change, please share your experience, tips, challenges, etc. Whatever is on your mind – share it below!
We’ve all got our own way of dealing with life’s tasks and challenges – let’s see where Covey recommends starting…