What’s Next? + Habit 5 {The BIG One!}

It’s been a few weeks.  I got caught up in the excitement of Gabe’s 2nd birthday (and the Sesame Street birthday banner is still hanging up in the dining room), then we had MLK weekend as a 3-day (where Javi and I shamelessly dropped Gabe off and had a nice Mommy-Daddy day trip to Mount Airy–pics to follow), then I got crazy busy at work.  So here I am.  I want to talk about what’s next: what I’m excited about, what I want to do this year, and then wrap it up with possibly the most important of the 7 Habits: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.  If you haven’t caught on to the 7 Habits yet, I encourage you to buy the audio CD’s.  I’m on my 3rd round of listening to them on the way to/from work.  They are amazing for being effective, and have a ton of really excellent ideas on how to live a meaningful life.  In just 3 months, I have honestly noticed a difference in myself, and my interactions with others, especially my hubby.  Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden he doesn’t want to watch TV in the evenings, but he wants to cuddle by the fire and read books to Gabe! (Love!)  We’ve had some great heart-to-hearts, and when we talked thru a past disagreement, and he said “Yeah we had some negative synergy there, where 1+1=1/2”  I was shocked! He had listened to the audio CD’s too!!  At any rate, it’s been amazing, and I want to share that “good news” with you 🙂

I want to talk about “what’s next?” because I’m a goal type person.  I always want to work towards something, to find continuous improvement within myself, and try new things.  I’ve been pretty open about my goal for this year–to add one little one to my family.  It hasn’t happened yet, but we are hopeful that this will be the year we give Gabriel a baby brother or sister.  In light of that, I haven’t signed up for any races, or done very many runs since the marathon.  I want to be in the best shape of my life before my body goes to crap changes so significantly again 😉

My smaller, personal goals for this year include starting my own backyard garden, and sharing it with Gabe.

From my garden in GA, I got tomatoes, cucumbers, and... more cucumbers

From my garden in GA, I got tomatoes, cucumbers, and… more cucumbers

I want him to know how to grow plants, to take care of them, and to enjoy the fruits of our labor (maybe I can actually get him to eat veggies by then!)  I’m also working on more photo books–keeping up with 2013, and starting to go back in time to 2010 memories.  Lastly, I want to up the ante a little when it comes to my workouts.  I’ve backed off because of the desire to get pregnant, but really I need to keep at it so I can be strong and healthy when/if the time comes to be a momma a second time.  So yesterday I did my first 3-miler in almost a month.  It felt fine slow okay… kinda undecided, except that it was sunny, I was breathing fine, legs felt ok, and I had some great ideas just minutes into the run.  And I felt like I was a nicer mom the rest of the day.  It gives me not only great ideas, but patience, the ability to clear my mind and have some much-needed “me” time.  I told myself that I must start carving out more chunks of time for the physical and mental therapy & clarity that is running.  Just like I must continue on my blogging, every Monday night while Javi is at school, if not to just ramble and get some thoughts out!

As for Habit 5, it goes a little something like this:

Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being? Probably none, right? If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar? “Oh, I know just how you feel. I felt the same way.” “I had that same thing happen to me.” “Let me tell you what I did in a similar situation.” Because you so often listen autobiographically, you tend to respond in one of four ways:
Evaluating: You judge and then either agree or disagree.
Probing: You ask questions from your own frame of reference.
Advising: You give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
Interpreting: You analyze others’ motives and behaviors based on your own experiences.

You might be saying, “Hey, now wait a minute. I’m just trying to relate to the person by drawing on my own experiences. Is that so bad?” In some situations, autobiographical responses may be appropriate, such as when another person specifically asks for help from your point of view or when there is already a very high level of trust in the relationship.

Covey goes on to say that the deepest human need is to be understood by another person.  So often I think we get all wrapped up in ourselves and our world, that we don’t think about how everyone else has a different “world” that they live in themselves.  And think about when you don’t feel understood, by your spouse, your best friend, your boss, your parents… it feels so crappy.  So this habit is the one that really, really stands out to me, and I’ve been really trying to espouse.  Take the time, listen to someone else’s view, and try to really put yourself in their shoes.  I’ve been doing this with Gabe, and his whining has gone down drastically, I believe just because I’m doing a much better job of listening.  Check this out: the Terrible Two’s can be improved dramatically just by listening!

Speaking of my little 2-year-old, he has been understanding more and more lately.  At Target shopping for shoes last week, he was wearing his new shoes, but they were tied together.  I said, we have to get something to cut that string.  Gabe: “Need a knife?”  I mean, the kid just really gets it now.  Tonight, I say “Mommy’s tired.”  Gabe: “Want to go to sleep?  Sleepy?”  Honestly, I had no idea that the language capacity for a 2-year-old could be like this!  He also has been playing with my digital thermometer lately, putting it under his armpit every time he sees it, as if he’s taking his temp.  Very astute little boy 🙂  Of course, every parent wants to think their child is super bright.  His stats from his 2 year appt: 34.5″ (54%ile), 30 lbs (74%ile), and 20″ noggin (94%ile, big head like his mom & dad, LOL)  My wonderful hubs took Gabe not only to the Dr. appt, but the dentist as well!  I am so thankful for the best husband ever!

Here’s some pics of our trip to Mount Airy, Gabe’s b-day, reading, the snow storm, the ice storm, riding bikes, and my man getting busy in the kitchen:

Have a very amazing week, friends!  It is what you make it.

This entry was posted in 7 Habits, photography, running, Terrible 2's, Things they say, travels sans kid. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What’s Next? + Habit 5 {The BIG One!}

  1. Pingback: Bookworm + Habit 6 {Synergize–don’t you love that word?} | Runnin' Mom

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