Habit 1: Be Proactive {You Choose Your Life}

I’m not much in a blogging mood, but I have been meaning to write about a class I took at work recently–maybe you’ve heard of it? The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I really, truly enjoyed it, and got a lot out of it.  Actually, I mentioned it not so long ago here.  I’m going to put a synopsis of each habit every week for the next 7 weeks–how’s that for mini-motivation? 🙂

This next portion was taken from here (and I skipped a big chunk so go & read it if you have time!)

Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results. […]

Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern–things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies in is a giant step in becoming proactive.

So one thing we did in the class was to write down one way that we are reactive, and how we are going to change it.  Mind you, this class was over a month ago.  Well, the other day I remembered what I wrote down: Don’t lose your temper with Gabriel.  He’s not even 2, he doesn’t know better, and he’s looking to you to be the example.  Stop yelling at him every time he does something wrong.  Welp, as you parents well know, much easier said than done.  Lately my fuse has been shorter (less running, more working, less sunshine, more eating?!), but Gabe also seems to know exactly how to push my buttons.  And he won’t just push here and there.  He will push and push and PUSH until I just can’t stand it any longer.

For example, he will whine and cry and not leave me alone so I can do the dishes or some other chore.  His whining/crying alone is equitable to nails on a chalkboard, or Chinese water torture (at least to me).  I can’t stand it.  Then he gets all frustrated and starts hitting, pinching, and biting.  Run-away emotions at their best worst.  Today, Gabe didn’t want to leave daycare (I can’t blame him, there’s way more fun stuff and fun people to play with than at home), then he threw a fit while I tried to strap him in the carseat (which he did this morning too), then he cried off and on for the next hour.  Tying this back in to Habit 1, I did not react how I normally do (yell or raise my voice, or get frustrated… OK I got a lil frustrated).  I took lots of deep breaths, asked Gabe what was wrong–most of the time I can’t understand what he’s saying, but today I really tried to understand.  It didn’t seem to help, since he cried for a while, but at least I can say that I didn’t yell at him for being upset.  Oh, and he finally stopped crying when I gave him some chips.  Go figure.

What in your life is out of your control, yet you react to it negatively?  I am a natural worrier, so to finally let go of all the things that are outside of my circle of influence… it’s been a real weight off my shoulders.

I realize I kinda painted a bad picture of my firstborn a moment ago.  However, Gabe has been really cute lately.  He goes to grab a towel if he spills something.  He will kiss my “ouchies” all better (as he should, he causes most of them! lol)  He says “I back” for “I’ll be right back” and uses “heavy” in context, to refer to things like bags or big pillows.  Tonight we played a game that I learned from his daycare where each person takes a turn jumping up and down–it was hilarious.  Gabe can’t quite jump yet but he bounces.  Then for my turn he would say “Ready?” and he would come help me stand up, then gruntttttt, as if I weigh so much… I was LMAO!  Then I jumped and danced and he laughed his lil booty off too 🙂  We had fun, and I didn’t lose my temper at all.  I need to set the example for him, and it’s not fair to him that I’m trying to be this tough parent and get after him about every little thing.  I’m so even-tempered at work–how can I snap on one of the people I Love most?!  So I wrote all this to say: I want to be a great momma to Gabe (and a great wife to Javi,) and I want to control my emotions so I can teach my son how to control his.

Here he is on Saturday, wearing his new lion mittens that I think are oh so cute!  Ihope you have a wonderful week!  And work off those Thanksgiving Lbs!  I gained a few, but they are coming off slowly but surely 😉

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This entry was posted in 7 Habits, daycare, new words, photography, Terrible 2's, Things they say. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Habit 1: Be Proactive {You Choose Your Life}

  1. Pingback: Habit 2: Begin with the End in mind {aka work smarter not harder} | Runnin' Mom

  2. Mandy says:

    Oh V… I needed this more than you know today! I think we all struggle with keeping our cool with our little ones; being a mama is certainly the most challenging task I have ever encountered, but it is also so rewarding when we let go of everything else and live in the moment with them for a little while. It is comforting to know that I am not the only struggling to control my emotions when it comes to my most beloved little person…. “I want to control my emotions so I can teach my son how to control his” – this struck a cord with me – thanks for the reminder that 1) I’m not alone and 2) I am setting the example for her and I need to be who I want her to be…
    Thanks V!
    Miss ya!

  3. Mandy says:

    P.S. I am now the proud own of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” on my kindle =)

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