e-book Nine Habits That Will Make You Rich: Teen Edition

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When a reward is covered up, 75 percent of kids in one study were able to wait a full fifteen minutes for the second marshmallow; none of the kids was able to wait this long when the reward was visible. More on increasing self-discipline here. We read a lot about mindfulness and meditation these days — and both are quite powerful. More playtime. Most kids already practice mindfulness — fully enjoying the present moment — when they play.

Researchers believe that this dramatic drop in unstructured playtime is in part responsible for slowing kids cognitive and emotional development… In addition to helping kids learn to self-regulate, child-led, unstructured play with or without adults promoted intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Unstructured play helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and behavior, and speak up for themselves.


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No strict instructions are necessary here: Budget more time for your kids to just get outside and simply play. More on the power of playing for kids and adults here. Your efforts will be constrained by time and effort, while context affects us and children constantly. Sociologists show that happier people tend to watch considerably less television than unhappy people. But we do know that there are a lot of activities that will help our kids develop into happy, well-adjusted individuals.


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  • More non-television happiness activities are here. Sometimes all science does is validate those things our grandparents knew all along. Yes, family dinner matters. Studies show that kids who eat dinner with their families on a regular basis are more emotionally stable and less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They got better grades. And they are less likely to become obese or have an eating disorder. Family dinners even trump reading to your kids in terms of preparing them for school. And these associations hold even after researchers control for family connectedness…. More on the power of family dinners here.

    The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes. This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree. Get a free weekly update via email here. Parent myths: How much of what your parents told you was wrong? Listen to the most important stories of the day. Contact us at editors time. By Eric Barker March 24, Honolulu, Hawaii Best Place for Lifelong Health The heavenly climate helps, but the key to well-being here also includes enviable health care and a rich cultural tradition of looking out for one another.

    San Francisco Bay Area, Calif. Best Place for Eating Right. The "farm to table" movement began here. The region's bounty of produce and year-round growing season make eating healthy—and local—a natural. Burlington, Vt. Best Place for Raising Healthy Kids This New England city offers great schools, excellent pediatric care, loads of culture and limitless options for healthy outdoor fun all year long.

    Silicon Valley, Calif. Best Place for Workplace Wellness With treadmill desks, meetings on bikes, time off for creativity, and gobs of organic food, tech titans are reinventing how to stay healthy on the job.

    Stephen Covey: 7 Habits Model

    Paul, Minn. Best Place for Aging Well Yes, it can be cold. But with a plethora of stimulating activities and a robust web of support, the Twin Cities prove that growing old doesn't mean slowing down. Denver and Boulder, Colo. Best Place for Keeping Fit The urge to get outside and get moving is contagious in these Rocky Mountain cities, where physical challenge is built into the landscape. Plano, Texas Best Place for Staying Safe Once a rural outpost, this booming, diverse city has kept its small-town vibe, thanks in part to a police force and community that knows how to work together.

    Now, I have always struggled with traditional time management ideas. I resist being told that I must manage my time better, or worse, being told how to manage my time. Stephen Covey has a 4-quadrant time management model that actually got me interested in thinking about how I manage my time. Covey spends a lot of time working with this model and emphasizing that we should aim to spend our time in Quadrant II. This is where you focus on activities that are important to your values and goals, but that are not urgent. As with the other habits Stephen Covey provides lots of practical thoughts and examples to help you develop and practice Habit 3 including a useful template for a weekly worksheet printed in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to help you focus your week on what is important to you.

    Habit 4 is the first of the Habits dealing with what Covey calls interdependence - working effectively with other people. This is the habit of always looking for a solution that benefits you AND the other person or group.

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    What's fascinating is that the solution is usually unexpected. It's not your way or my way; it's a better way, a higher way". Most of us will say "yeah, yeah, we know this already. After all, many of us are brought up to believe that winning is everything. I just have to watch the dad's on the side of their kids sports field to see this!

    So in reality this is a habit to be learned and practiced. Stephen Covey believes this principle is the key to effective interpersonal communication. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This habit is about communicating with others. It's about developing the habit of listening carefully and really understanding the other person BEFORE giving your thoughts. This is not easy to learn to do. In my practice I've often heard people saying that no-one really understands what they're feeling.

    1. Develop a written financial plan.

    If you're a parent you might hear that from your teenage son or daughter I do! This is because we often feel compelled to give an opinion or to give advice to someone in need. Couples in counselling typically spend more time trying to get their partner to understand their position than they spend listening and understanding their partner's position. I really enjoy the examples that Stephen Covey shares to demonstrate this habit, especially the conversations between a father and his teenage son.

    Listening to these on the CD version of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People really captures the humour that becomes apparent when we realise the ways we often "listen" and respond, even when we have good intentions. So start practicing this right now. Have fun with it! In your next conversation with someone put your natural and automatic responses aside and focus on genuinely understanding them. Spend time with your children, your partner, your colleague, or even your boss, working to genuinely understand them before you respond.

    You'll find that when you 'seek first to understand' your response might be different to what you expect, and that you start finding the creative solutions and third alternatives described in habit 4. The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Cooperative interaction among groups, especially among the acquired subsidiaries or merged parts of a corporation, that creates an enhanced combined effect.

    If you plant two plants close together, the roots commingle and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than if they were separated. If you put two pieces of wood together, they will hold much more than the total weight held by each separately. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    One plus one equals three or more. In Habit 6 Covey directs our attention to the power of effective relationships. We can achieve so much more when we engage in effective relationships with others than if we acted alone. Stephen Covey notes that synergy is difficult for many of us as independence is promoted as a strong value in the Western world today.

    Achieving synergy requires high trust and high cooperation and can lead to better solutions than anyone thought of alone. Habits 4, 5, and 6 work together and create an opportunity to discover alternative and creative solutions. If you're concerned about synergy because you know you don't trust people easily it's ok - go back to habit 1 and Be Proactive about your response to situations or other people. You don't have to get it all right first time. This is part of a life journey of learning and developing.

    You will get there if you're willing to spend the time and effort developing new habits. Habit 7 is about looking after yourself.


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    • You are the greatest asset you have and we have to learn to take time to look after ourselves. When I work with someone who has experienced extreme stress to the point of 'breakdown' we often find that their lives have been narrowly focused on work and home. They go to work often working overtime and go home simply to eat and sleep so they can go to work again! Is this you? The most important thing you can start doing now is looking after yourself by focusing on the four areas above.

      Stephen Covey tells the story of meeting someone who has been sawing down a tree for more than 5 hours. When you suggest that they take a break and sharpen their saw so the job might go faster they tell you they don't have time to sharpen the saw because they're too busy sawing! It's so easy to get caught up in the demands of life, or even developing the Habits, that we forget to look after ourselves. In reality it's very unlikely that anyone else is going to step in and do it for you.

      Covey writes "We are the instruments of our own performance, and to be effective, we need to recognize the importance of taking time regularly to sharpen the saw in all four ways".

      How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps Backed by Science | Time

      All four dimensions of renewal are thoroughly investigated and Stephen Covey ends this chapter with a discussion about the importance of renewal in our lives, and thinking of this as an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement. Find out more about work life balance. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a powerful book containing effective principles for personal change and for leading change in organisations.

      Other authors and commentators have noted that the equivalent of an entire library of success literature is found in this one volume and that there are many more than seven good reasons to read this book.

      I highly recommend this book and the practice of the principles contained in it. You really should get a copy or download an audio version!