Character – Activity: Get Creative
The final activity of a Year of Personal Growth is to get creative.
I will choose something creative to try this week.
More creative ideas to explore.
December – Week Three – Character in Action
I recently attended the Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln,” a stirring account of the president’s last days, and a wonderful example of showing character in action.
This week, watch character in action in a film.
Then read the poem “You” by Edgar Guest to inspire action in your own life.
December – Week Two – Character:Who are your heroes?
Think of people you have great respect for; they may be famous, or people you know. They may be real people or characters from books or movies, from the present or the past. They may be athletes, politicians, musicians, artists, peace seekers, or simply brilliant. What are the qualities they possess that you admire?
Character – Activity: Develop Character
Imagine for a moment that you are an employer, and describe your ideal employee. Then compare your description to the personal qualities that have been identified by SCANS as what employers are looking for.
What are the qualities you are looking for in a relationship? Likely many of those qualities are on these lists as well.
Qualities from “The Book of Virtues” by William J Bennett:
Six Pillars of Character from Character Counts:
Shared values from “Moral Courage” by Rushworth Kidder:
|CHARACTER Choose one of the qualities that are most important to you|
|Plan to develop:|
Values.com (Foundation for a Better Life) is a great resource for printable bookmarks, inspirational billboards (even make your own), ecards and more.
Book: “Healthy Wealthy and Wise: 52 Life-Changing Lessons for the Twenty-first Century” by Andrea Rains Waggener, inspired by Ben Franklin, presents ideas for developing 52 qualities.
November – Week Four – Relationships: Do a Needs Analysis
Identify and communicate your functional needs, and request your partner do the same. Needs are essentials for survival, wants are things that would be nice to have. In Maslow’s hierarchy, as basic needs are met, higher needs become more important. We have needs in various areas and in different levels of intensity.
Relationships can be an exchange of meeting needs. For example, in the mental area, you may meet your need to learn by taking classes, watching the news and reading. Your need to learn will be enhanced by sharing ideas and conversation in a relationship, and you may be meeting their need for the same thing. If this need is equally important and equally met, both will be happy. When relationships fail to meet the needs of either or both, trouble follows.
|Mental (to learn)||information, challenges, freedom|
|Spiritual (to grow)||meaning, purpose, principles, character|
|Emotional (to give & receive)||recognition, respect, affection, support, understanding, kindness|
|Relationship (to share)||appreciation, consideration, love, romance|
|Social (to connect)||interaction w/others, communication, friendship, family, belonging|
|Physical (to care for)||food, shelter, rest, exercise|
|Financial (to work)||contribution, achievement, security, abundance|
|Recreational (to enjoy)||fun, new experiences|
|Is it…||WANT||STRONG WANT||NEED||STRONG NEED|
|Would be nice to have||Really, really want it||Very important||Absolutely necessary|
Functional needs are described by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry in the book “Creating Optimism” as:
Expressing needs in concrete terms:
In the area of [what] I need [what], which will be met by doing [what] [when] [how much] [for how long] at an importance level of [high, medium, low].
While we strive to meet needs ourselves, we may request for a need to be met by others, and they may request needs to be met by us. When our needs conflict with the needs of others, it’s time to explore ways to compromise or take turns. Clearly, nobody gets everything they want, and there is a middle ground between not asking for (or sometimes even knowing) what you want, and insisting on getting everything you want. In a relationship, we must consider the needs of each person. This is the challenge of relationships. This week, print two Needs Worksheets, one each for you and your partner to fill out, compare and discuss. In the area of relationship needs, Dr Harley talks about emotional needs at MarriageBuilders.com.
An Example Needs Worksheet
|AREA-RELATIONSHIP NEEDS||MY NEEDS/WANTS||WHEN, HOW MUCH||MET BY DOING THIS||IMPORTANCE LEVEL|
|Family||I need to see my parents regularly||monthly||Go to visit/ eat out||12|
|Friends||I want to meet new friends as a couple||monthly||Join Am History meetup||6|
|Social||I want to entertain||monthly||Invite someone to dinner||4|
|Social||I want to volunteer||1 hr/week||Arts council gift shop||5|
|Recreational||I want to travel||1/yr||Taking trips||11|
|Recreational||I want to go to the movies||monthly||See a new movie||8|
|See Know What You Want for more possibilities|
November – Week Three – Relationships: Make a Jar-O-Love
Search the Internet for an “I love you jar,” and you can find lots of ideas for filling a jar with the many reasons you love someone. This variation fills a jar with slips of paper with actions you can take to show love. This week, make a Jar-O-Love (free printable pdf) with actions you can take to convey the five love languages.
November – Week Two – Relationships: Learn love languages
Dr. Gary Chapman describes “The Five Love Languages” in his book:
One love language speaks most clearly to us, and it may be a different one for your partner. Use the one that connects to communicate your love. There is a quiz to determine your primary love language at the Five Love Languages website.
At http://garychapman.org you can listen to podcasts of his radio show, and find answers to frequently asked questions.
See also: Loving Actions for the Five Love Languages (pdf) | ideas for communicating with the Five Love Languages
Relationships – Activity: Know what you want
Whether you are already in a relationship, or looking for someone special, it’s important to know what you want.
Looking for someone special?
Consider what is important to you in these areas:
|Mental(education, smarts)||Physical(health, attributes)||Emotional(romance, maturity, conflicts)|
|Spiritual (religion)||Purpose (goals)||Character (values)|
|Career (work)||Financial (money)||Recreational (leisure, entertainment, travel)|
|Relationships(family, children, appreciation, decisions)||Social (friends, communication)||Organizational (home, food)|
Next get out and meet people:
A SMART Goal to meet someone: I will go someplace new and start a conversation with a new person who interests me at least once a week
Get to know them: 276 questions to ask before you marry
How to Find Lasting Love from Helpguide.org
Already in a relationship?
Know your Emotional Needs – Dr Harley’s Marriage Builders
Know the Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work – John Gottman
How well do you know each other? – About.com
Remember often the qualities you love about your partner, and let them know.
Important skills for all relationships:
see also Do a Needs Analysis
Social – Activity: Develop Your Self-Esteem
Good relationships start with people whose self-esteem is strong. The good news is that many of the activities of a Year of Personal Growth help to develop self-esteem:
Realize if you are here, you are loved.
Practice THE SIX PILLARS OF SELF-ESTEEM
1. The Practice of Living Consciously
2. The Practice of Self-Acceptance
3. The Practice of Self-Responsibility
4. The Practice of Self-Assertiveness
5. The Practice of Living Purposefully
6. The Practice of Personal Integrity
Read More about Self Esteem
Social: Acts of Kindness
I will do something nice for a friend every day this week. I will spend my time & attention, or give small gifts like a card, candy, or a flower. I will also perform an act of kindness for a stranger.