July 11, 2018

Habits You Want to Change

Is there a habit or an idea that really hit home for you from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens? E.g. Be Proactive, or Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood, etc.



  • You can create 2 or 3 goals of whatever habits you most synchronize with, make a plan for what you will do differently for each, post them where you can see them regularly and keep trying to improve each day. Keep track of your successes in a gratitude journal each day, at the end of each day or at the beginning, whenever it works best for you. Remember habits take time to change.
  • Did you know that when an airplane takes off it has a flight plan? However, during the course of the flight, wind, rain, turbulence, air traffic, human error, and other factors keep knocking the plane off course. In fact, a plane is off course 90% of the time... so what? If you just keep coming back to your plan, keep making small adjustments, and keep hope alive, you’ll eventually reach your destination. For best results, get yourself a mentor, someone who also wants to change some habits, or has been successful, someone whom you are accountable for to check in daily, weekly or bi-weekly. Again, journal your successes and forgive your moments of slipping back to old habits.


“Many of the children who are most at risk are those without a syndrome or a label. Their suffering is either unseen or unattended to, and they need help. Affluent children in particular are in trouble. They are either micromanaged to within an inch of their day or showered with material goods to make up for the physical or emotional absence. This can lead to a sense of feeling misunderstood and empty. These children sometimes describe themselves as “bored and boring.” Lacking resilience, they feel unable to cope with even minor setbacks. Without enthusiasm, they become apathetic. These children just go through the motions. Many end up self-medications with alcohol or drugs to get through the day. They have been labeled “the lost generation.”

- Goldie Hawn, 10 Mindful Minutes



  1. This sad fact of our “lost generation” is clear evidence that we as adults have failed them. As a guidance Counsellor, I met many such children and adolescents, lost and groping for identity and belonging. Fellow colleagues are addressing these kids’ troubles in various classroom activities. One suggestion is to hold “Morning Meetings” every morning at the start of each school day. The format of the morning meeting can vary, depending on age and issues. Some educators provide a topic while others leave the topic to the students’ choice. It’s important to sit in a circle and allow participation of all students if desired. This activity is also a great place to teach “listening” skills as can be found on another teachable activity under Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, to Be Understood.
  2. For younger students, the lesson from the book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, is very helpful. Reading and Discussing the story of Goob and Allie being misunderstood is a very helpful for children to begin to become aware of how important truly listening to others is a very important skill for life.
  3. Habit 1: Be Proactive, in The 7 Habits for Happy Kids is another good helpful activity for children. It’s a great story about Sammy the squirrel who thinks it’s everyone else’s job to make him happy, in-bored. The activities and discussion questions of the Teachables for this chapter are ideal. E.g. Discuss, “Who is responsible for the choices you make; you or somebody else?”