7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Habits 1 & 2

    When beginning this book and training, one of the main questions that I had was “How can I be more effective?” This is a loaded question since I have so many roles and areas that I want to be effective in. Covey defines effectiveness as “getting the same results you want over and over again.” Yes. Yes. This is EXACTLY what I want!

    In order to achieve this, two things have to be accomplished:

    1. Moved from dependence to independence.
    2. Assess your paradigm

    In order to do both of these things, you have to establish effective habits. As you become more effective, you become interdependent–you work well with others. So how do you move from dependence to independence to interdependence?

    The Maturity Continuum

    Covey's Maturity Continuum

    Covey’s Maturity Continuum

    This is probably my favorite concept within the 7 Habits. When we start out in life, we are dependent on others. We’re babies and totally dependent on another to care for us. As we get older, we gain independence. We can now cook, clean, take care of ourselves. This is a good thing as independence is necessary. But it’s not the best. As we gain more sight and maturity, we see that interdependence is the way to go. With interdependence we learn that it’s often more efficient to share responsibility with others. This is ultimately where we want to be. The first 3 habits get you from dependence to independence. The fourth thru sixth habits get you from independence to interdependence. The seventh habit keeps you there.



    Assess Your Paradigms

    The See-Do-Get Cycle

    The See-Do-Get Cycle

    A paradigm is how you and understand the world. Essentially, it’s a mental map. In order to practice effective habits, you need to adopt paradigms based on principle of effectiveness. How we see things affects what we do which affects what we get. If we alter how we view things, then that can change how we do things, ultimately changing what we results we get.


    Habit #1: Be Proactive

    Common paradigm: You’re responsible for my happiness.

    Highly effective paradigm: I’m responsible for my happiness.

    How do you get more control over your life?

    • Pause before you respond.
    • Use proactive language (eg. I can, I choose to, I will get this done, etc.)
    • Focus on your Circle of Influence (Circle of Influence = things that you can control)

    How does this look in parenting?

    I remember when mini started having her temper tantrums. I felt helpless. I didn’t want to spank, talking wasn’t working, I didn’t know what to do. I WISH I had been introduced to these principles at this time. Now at 5, we don’t have those issues but I still employ this habit when she does something inappropriate. Instead of getting upset now, I pause and I’m able to have better control of my responses. I will now count till 5. Sometimes I count for her and sometimes I count for me but it ultimately allows for both of us to get better control of the situation.

    We use proactive language daily in our household. Not only does it show that we, as parents, are responsible for our actions, it’s teaching mini that to be responsible too. When things happen to her at school or she’s acted out, we focus on the things we CAN control and not the things we can’t. When we’re talking about behaviors, we do focus on positive changes that we control and find solutions.

    Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind

    Common paradigm: I just go wherever life takes me.

    Highly effective paradigm: I define my life’s vision and purpose and live by it.

    How can I live with purpose and vision?

    Create and live by a Personal Mission Statement. These can be created for yourself and your family. When coming up with the statement, consider the following questions:

    • Think of a person who has made a positive difference in your life. What qualities does that person have that you would like to develop?
    • What are your natural gifts and talents?
    • What are the 5 things you value most?
    • What are the things in your personal life that make life worth living?
    • Imagine it’s 20 years from now and you’re surrounded by the most important people in your life. What types of things would like to hear them say about you?

    The Personal Mission Statement should be a couple sentences long and you should read it every day. This statement is what guides your thoughts, words, behaviors.

    How does this look in parenting?

    As a mom, here is my Personal Mission Statement:

    I strive to be the best mother that I can be. To use my creativity and positivity to better those around me and inspire my children to be the best that they can be.

    When D and I got married, he, mini and I sat down and worked on a Family Mission Statement:

    In all that we do, we want to make each other feel loved, respected and heard. Our home will be filled with laughter, love, honesty, hugs and good food.

    During the tough times of parenting, I go back to my personal mission statement which helps me develop the next steps that I need to take with mini. Developing the Family Mission Statement was fun and it gave mini a sense of pride. She enjoyed being part of our planning session and took the written statement to school for show and tell. When she gets out of line, we go back to our family mission statement and she’s able to tell us whether her actions were in line or not with how she wants to be perceived.

    Employing these habits are the first two steps in getting from a place of dependency to independency. Next week I’ll be covering habits 3-6.

    What do you think of these first 2 habits? How can they be used in your home?

    **This is the last week to enter the giveaway! Do so today!!!**






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    Fitness Fix: Scheduling For Success

    TGIF!!! Yay! We’ve made it another week! *hits my dougie*

    Let’s jump right into it. Most of us don’t just have the time or freedom to just workout whenever we feel like it. I know some people look at me as if I have all the time in the world since leaving the corporate world but the opposite couldn’t be more true. Whereas before I was busy trying to keep up with what was going on with the kids, the hubs, me, and trying to build a business, now I’m in constant “empire building” mode. Always.

    In order to keep up with the many balls that are spinning, I’ve been using my Erin Condren Planner. Just like I plan the hours I’m working, what I’m working on, abc’s naps, errands I need to run, dinners, etc., I also plan in my workouts. I’ve recently decided that for my goals, I need to be hitting cardio as much as I possibly can. In my head, I can do cardio pretty much anywhere and I’m paying for a gym membership sooooooo I have decided to take the classes. My gym offers the most awesome classes–as they should since i pay a pretty penny.

    My Erin Condren planner filled out with all my plans

    My Erin Condren planner filled out with all my plans

    One of the things that can be a monkey wrench in my plans is the infant reservations at the gym. Pre-planning my week of workouts makes it so I can make the proper reservations and my workouts can happen.

    It’s Friday and I can say that I’ve made it to all my classes–even the one I was late for courtesy of a nap that took over my entire afternoon lol!

    Also, I posted this picture on my FB group and IG:

    weight loss tracker

    my weight loss tracker

    There were a couple of people that were interested in sharing there’s and possibly doing check-ins. I’m all for accountability! If you would like to share with me and don’t mind sharing with others who read here, feel free to send me a picture of your weight loss tracker. I’ll post it here so that we can celebrate your success and hear about what’s working for you!

    Again, Happy Friday and don’t forget to plan for your weight loss success!

    **If you haven’t entered the giveaway, there’s still time! Click here to enter today!**

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    Dear Husband: I Need You

    husband21It’s amazing the moments that make you realize the goldmine that you have in your spouse.

    Vacation is what has done it for me.

    See, I have a husband that LOVES being married and LOVES being a father with all that it comes with. We have a very balanced relationship. As in if the baby is screaming and doesn’t want me, he comes over and trades a glass of wine for the baby without prompting. Being married to my husband has spoiled me insanely. I love it but when he’s not with me, it’s me that’s crying!

    As wives, there are definitely certain times that we want our husbands <insert adult time>. But there’s also those times that we NEED them as well. These are those times:

    We Need You To Hold Us During Tough Times

    A tough time can be anything from the baby screaming all night to a rough day at work to her having issues with someone else. As baby abc screamed her head off for hours, not only did I need my husband to take her so that he could rock her to sleep, but I needed him to hold me after she went down. Being a mother and wife is tiring. I wouldn’t change my roles for anything in the world but I need my husband to balance me. I’m strong. But I’m not a rock as I have feelings an emotions. When my babies scream and cry and hurt, it hurts me. It drains me to hear them cry. My husband helps me to re-fill my well so I’m able to give more of myself to all of them. His hugs and snuggles give me that moment I need to shield myself from the elements of the world so I can re-attack them with fervor and a smile. All of us wives need this moment with our spouses.

    We Need To Laugh With You

    It’s funny, whenever I have the kids and he’s not around, the first thing I want to do is call him to laugh about something that they had done. I remember mini crying to me about something that was incredibly important to her in the moment and then she farted. I could not keep it together and I burst out laughing. Naturally she laughed as well since we’re nothing but a bunch of goofballs but that night D and I laughed for at least an hour about that! Laughing is my favorite thing to do with him. It’s not just wives that need these moments of laughter, spouses do too. No woman wants to feel like the wife Kevin Hart described as a fun-hater. And truthfully, no husband wants to feel that way about their wife. Laughter brings people closer.

    We Need To Be Able to Do Nothing

    The first “I miss you” text I sent to my husband said, “Babe, I miss sitting and doing nothing with you.” Yes, we sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing together. Sometimes the TV is on. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes I’m writing. Sometimes we’re both staring into space. Sometimes we’re both on our phones. Pretty much every evening there’s at lease 30min-1hour that we don’t talk, we just exist in each other’s space. Not having to constantly be “on” is such an intimacy builder. Knowing that I don’t always have to have something witty to say (which is rare) or cater to some conversation when I’d rather be silently destressing from the day is so comforting.

    We Need You To Be What We Aren’t

    I am an action-oriented go-getter. Once my mind is set on doing something, it takes a lot to make me stop. I’m what my friends consider more hippie like. I’m adaptable. I’m passionate. And my husband isn’t quite all of these things. He isn’t a big risk-taker–he calculates his moves. He moves slower than I do and will often take longer to get to his destination. He’s grounded and mellow–until upset. We balance each other out so well as individuals and this is evident in our parenting as well. Mini is so much like me that together we can often spontaneously combust. D can see the signs of this before they happen and is good at taking her to the park, to play a game or dance it out before I lose all my patience. Same thing with the baby. Sometimes I don’t see that my patience is waning and he does. Without me having to ask, he’ll rock the baby to sleep or take her for a walk or sit and play with her while I have some time to unwind my nerves.

    We Need You To Enjoy Your Roles With Us

    b2d2cbd28dc1751582fb001a6cb2b0c3This is a major “need”. D and I often joke about how we’re happy that neither of us feels as though we have a ball and chain now that we’re married. So often you hear men talk ill of their marriages or they don’t rush home to be with their families. This isn’t us. And no spouse wants to feel like this is what their marriage is. We need you to enjoy your role as our spouse. We want you to want to be with us because you enjoy what we have. And the same goes for fatherhood. Get rid of the mentality that you babysit your children. They’re yours. You can’t babysit them! I’ve not met a father my age that enjoys his role as a father as much as D does. He loves mini and abc so much and loves everything about his role with them. He’s at ballet recitals, school performances, graduations, first days, last days. He gets up without complaint to rock abc to sleep, changes diapers without being asked, does 3am Tylenol runs happily.

    I’m blessed to have a husband that loves me the way he does. But I’m not the only one who has needs as a wife.

    What other “needs” do you have of your spouse? 

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    7 Habits of Highly Effective People–Parent Edition


    Before leaving my job, I took a couple of trainings on Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. I know it’s dramatic, but in the midst of my first training I thought the principles were life changing. I’d been exposed to the book and the principles behind them on many occasions but the training delved way deeper into the habits and how to apply them. As I sat in training, I began thinking about how I’d already been applying them as a mother.

    In the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting in a series on how Covey’s 7 Habits can be adapted to parenthood. Just to begin, here are the 7 Habits that Covey defines:

    Practice 1: Be Proactive

    Practice 2: Begin With the End in Mind

    Practice 3: Put First Things First

    Practice 4: Think Win-Win

    Practice 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

    Practice 6: Synergize

    Practice 7: Sharpen the Saw

    2c310bcCovey actually developed a “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” that are based off these original principles. I haven’t had a chance to read these yet and there’s a chance that I may not. But I think that it’s incredibly important for the adults of the family to be well-versed in effectiveness and efficiency. This not only positively affects the family overall, but it really helps us as parents.

    There have been many nights that I went to bed thinking of the things that I wish I had gotten accomplished or things I could have done differently or just lacking a level of satisfaction with the productivity that I’d had as a mother. As parents, when we feel good about ourselves and the days that we’ve had, we make better parents, spouses, people.

    As much as I love Stephen Covey and the Franklin-Covey company, I’m in no way affiliated with them. They’ve not endorsed me reviewing this or the practical application that I plan on sharing here. I just love the program and think that many of us can parent from Covey’s principles! So with that being said, this is the introduction to a multi-part series that will be taking place on Monday’s. The purpose behind this is so that we as parents can feel better and productive in our roles as mother/father, wife/husband, employee/boss, etc.

    **Don’t forget the #SheaItAintSo GIVEAWAY is still going on!!! Make sure you enter today!**

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    Friday Fitness Fix: My Love for DailyBurn

    I can admit when I’m wrong and I was wrong about this.

    The hubs told me that I needed to sign up for DailyBurn and I told him that that sort of workout wouldn’t work for me because I need variety. Plus, the I don’t like being told what to do and when. I want to determine my own workout schedule so I can incorporate the variety that I need.dailyburn

    DailyBurn does this and more. And my husband was right.

    Though I’m no longer a subscriber (I had to join a gym so that I could have dedicated, kid-free time to focus on these here goals) I love this site and all the workouts. I did my free 30 day trial with the “Move” program. I love to dance and feel like I missed my calling from Alvin Ailey (trust, they will never dial my number lol). The first workout that I did was the African Dance. Once I finished, I was dripping with sweat, exhausted, and had burned 500+ calories. #win


    Though I was following the “Move” program, I also had the freedom to choose other workouts to do. I loved the kettle bell workout. It was challenging but it also taught me the proper form for some of my favorite exercises. I also love a good bootcamp and they offered these styles as well. The hubs joined me for a couple of workouts and agreed that they were pretty awesome.


    The best part was the price: $12.95/month and you got a plethora of workouts that were challenging in addition to meal plans. Yes, meal plans are included. As I write this I’m almost tempted to cancel my gym membership and re-sign up!

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    Talk It Out: 4 Tips to Keeping it 100

    As in 100% honest. With your spouse that is. I really should be saying with everyone, but some people can’t handle all of your truth BUT your spouse should be able to.

    This is especially true prior to kids entering the picture. Kids in a marriage are the equivalent to a hurricane hitting. If your foundation and structure are all strong, then all will be well. But if not, then some re-building might need to occur. Either rebuilding or worse–starting over entirely.

    One of the key components in building any relationship is honest communication. This is actually one of my favorite aspects of my marriage. He literally knows everything about me. He knows the things I’m most proud of in addition to some of my deepest, darkest secrets. And the best part is that he still loves me after knowing everything. I’m no marriage expert but there’s a couple of things that I do know about honesty in relationships:

    Be Honest With Yourself

    Do you suck at money management? Do you hate cleaning the kitchen? Are you not into cooking? Be honest with yourself about these things. I can set up an impeccable budget. I mean, I can really put a tight budget together. We end up in the green. But keeping the budget? Not something I’m the greatest at. I had to fess up to my husband about this so that he could hold me accountable to the budget that I’d set for us. Money in relationships can be so touchy and really lead down some tough roads. Whether it’s money, the garbage, or the kids, you’ve got to be honest with yourself on how you feel about these things, what you need, what you don’t need, etc.

    Don’t Argue While Emotional

    This is hard. Someone does something and it upsets the other. You’re mad/sad/angry/frustrated/not happy and you want to communicate this with your spouse/other. Don’t. Take a breather. Think. Really pin down what it is that made you feel this way so that when you’re talking to your spouse you aren’t bringing in old stuff. How many times have you gotten mad or upset about one thing and it began to spiral out of control because old emotions were brought in? It’s counterproductive and can be explosive. I try not to go to bed angry but sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes you need that breather to get your emotions in check. Take it. It’s ok to think through your feelings before sharing them.

    Talk It Out

    Don’t Have Secrets

    Someone once told me that my husband didn’t need to know everything. I disagree entirely. Like with all my being. If you can’t share the entirety of who you are, your experiences, what has made you who are with the person you want to spend your life with, you shouldn’t be with them. Share everything with them. This is YOUR person. Let them love you–all of you.

    Be Friends

    Outside of loving my husband, I genuinely like him. Like I like listening to his thoughts. I love hearing about his day. He has the most random pieces of trivia in the world. I remember asking him about how ravens were trained while watching Game of Thrones. Do you know he told me how they were trained? I STILL clown him about that. Outside of my husband, he’s my closest friend. I share with him the truth of my heart and we chat the same way I do with my girl friends. The casualness of our conversations makes it so easy to talk to him about things that may not be the easiest to talk about. In fact, because we talk so often about so much, there isn’t much that is hard to talk about.

    These are some of the main things that work for us. I think the main thing that works for us is that we really enjoy each other. This governs everything we do with each other from our tone of voice we use to….well, everything. If I need him home more, I simply say it. It’s not a long, drawn out conversation. Just like if he needs me to do something different, he simply makes the request. I don’t take it as what I’m doing isn’t good enough but I want him to be happy and vice versa so we listen to what the other would like.

    I think the last thing that I would say about this is to remember that we’re all imperfect humans. None of us are mind readers and we don’t know how what we’re doing affects others unless we say it. Share what’s going on with you so that adjustments can be made. But make sure that you’re doing it out of a place of love. When love is your guide, you’ll be in the right place.

    What communication tips help with your relationships?

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    New Kitchen Gadget Review: Fagor Multi-Purpose Cooker + Recipe

    True story: I think my mom is a hoarder of……well, most things. But instead of keeping them for herself she gifts them. <insert the basis of this post> Last year during one of her visits she excitedly gifted us with this pressure cooker. Growing up, we never used a pressure cooker so I honestly had no idea what it was, how to use it, what it did, and why I needed it.

    What is a pressure cooker? Per Wikipedia (yes, I think Wikipedia is a source solid enough to be referenced):

    Pressure cooking is the process of cooking food, using water or other cooking liquid, in a sealed vessel, known as a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are used for cooking food more quickly than conventional cooking methods, which also saves energy.

    Pressure is created initially by boiling a liquid such as water or broth inside the closed pressure cooker. The trapped steam increases the internal pressure and temperature. After use, the pressure is slowly released so that the vessel can be safely opened.

    Pressure cooking can be used for quick simulation of the effects of long braising or simmering.

    Almost any food which can be cooked in steam or water-based liquids can be cooked in a pressure cooker.

    Based on the very definition of the pressure cooker you would think that I would jump on using this. This thing essentially cuts cooking time in half while retaining the levels of deliciousness! Amazing! But keeping it all the way honest, I looked at it when mom dropped it off, smiled, and tucked it away to be used when I had the time to figure things out.

    Cut to the most recent trip she made to visit. Naturally she asked about the pressure cooker. Naturally I told the truth about it and then she somehow found an infomercial for a pressure cooker. Oh the irony of the timing. I got sucked in to the amazingness that the television was showing me that I couldn’t not use the shiny appliance sitting sadly in my cabinet.

    The very cool thing about my pressure cooker is that it’s not only JUST a pressure cooker, it is also a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and I can even use it to brown my foods. AH-mazing! I love a kitchen gadget but even more than that is I love something that is multipurpose. With #bougiebaby, steaming is very important. To break in my pressure cooker,  I made some chicken parmigiana. Delicious is what the result was. Easy is how the prep was.  I’m forever a pressure cooker user now. As I begin to use it more, I’ll post more recipes but here is the chicken parm recipe:


    I swear I’m not being biased when I tell you that this was so delicious. When the hubs walked through the door he was greeted with nothing but deliciousness trying to invade his nose–yes, it smelled THAT good!

    Overall, I would say that it was an easy and fun experience using the pressure cooker portion. I like that it’s multi-functional. The top was a little hard to use but we managed. Would I recommend this? Absolutely!

    I hope you enjoy!

    Have you used a pressure cooker before? Do you have some favorite recipes to share?


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    Some Photos From the Photoshoot Revealed

    My friend Charles just sent me some of the pictures that I took during the shoot… Naturally I still see “fluff” and imperfection but I’m sharing nonetheless.

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