The importance of sharpening the saw

In Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, habit number 7 involves what he calls Sharpening the Saw.  Simply put, it is the habit of self-renewal, the that allows you to keep doing all of the other hard work that demands most of your life.   There are four dimensions that you want to focus on physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual, and you want to put equal attention towards each.

During our annual inter-gym March Madness competition, we challenged our members to take time to sharpen the saw and take some time for themselves.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Investing in yourself is the  single most powerful investment you can make in life, because you ultimately are engine of the car that is your life.  And if you don’t take time to do some routine maintenance on yourself, you will quickly find that things start breaking down.     Below is a list of some of the suggestions that we recommended to our members, feel free to use it as a starting block then build your own sharpening the saw routine from it!  Be sure to choose from each of the four dimensions equally.


Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting    

Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others    

  • Pay it forward or do a random act of kindness

  • Teach someone how to do something they don’t know how to do because you want to, not because you have to

  • Invite someone who challenges you to grow (friend, co-worker, boss, mentor, parent) out to lunch/dinner/or coffee, turn off your phone and engage in meaningful conversation with this person, long distance? Have a facetime coffee with them.  

Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching    

Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service

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