What exactly does sharpen the saw mean?

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 challenge our members to take time to sharpen the saw and take some time for themselves.  The response has been 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. Below I've provided the four dimensions and some examples that we give to our challengers



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

  • Meditate or do deep breathing for 10 minutes

  • Get an adult coloring book and do some coloring

  • Dust off an instrument and make some music, don’t play? Have a dance party in the living room!

  • Get out your spiritual guide and do some reading and reflection

  • Write down 3 things you are grateful for (take a picture of  it)

  • Go to a park or forest and take a nature walk (no headphones or cell phones!)

  • Volunteer or Donate your time to a charitable cause dear to your heart

  • Our suggestions: Buy a ticket and attend the Fireflies Game on April 7th in support of Columbia Parkinson's Support Group: (Click the blue link)
  • Donate to the Good Feet, Good Friday charity event for Columbia's homeless. (This is one of our member's charity causes):

Donation requests include Travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and / or soap, Deodorant, Chapstick, Tissues, BandAids, Q-Tips, Wet Wipes, Wash cloths, Gum, Granola Bars, and or Trail Mix) (Drop your goods off at the gym, and we'll get the donations to the drop-off point.


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