Life Skills I Chapter 1 Learning About Yourself A.) Understanding Changes in Your Life 1. Physical Changes A.) Puberty-the time when teens start to develop the physical characteristics of men and women. Both boys and girls will experience growth spurts and/or a rapid increase in height. B.) Girls-May notice body shape changes and menstruation starts. Girls often undergo physical changes earlier than boys. C.) Boys-Reproductive systems begin to produce sperm; start to grow facial hair and their voices deepen. D.) Hormone-is a chemical substance in the body that helps stimulate body changes and the development of the reproductive system. 2. Social and Emotional Changes A.) Take positive actions to deal with your changing emotions and energy during adolescence. 1.) Exercise-As you exercise your brain releases chemicals called endorphins, which reduce feelings of anxiety and enhance your mood. 2.) Eat Right-Get plenty of protein, dairy and whole grains fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can reduce depression and increase energy. It is also wise to avoid sugars and caffeine. 3.) Make friends-Positive friendships can help you feel better about yourself and help you develop social skills. 4.) Volunteer-Volunteering can help you to feel better/worry less about yourself. 3. Intellectual Changes-You learn to solve more complex problems in a mature manner by utilizing the insight your education has provided you. 4. Moral Development-When dealing with issues that involve issues of right and wrong behavior consult with parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders or counselors. Base your decisions on your morals and on a set of generally accepted guidelines for right and wrong behavior. 5. Your Personality-A combination of feelings, traits, attitudes and habits that you show others. Your personality grows and changes as you do. Heredity plays a part in your personality. Heredity is the characteristics passed from parents to children--physical traits include your height, eye color, and hair color. Your environment also shapes your personality-this includes people, places, things and events. Your family and your culture are usually your most important environmental influences. 6. Your Self Concept-Since infancy you have been affected by the messages you hear. Hearing and believing negative message from others and yourself can lead to a negative selfconcept. When you have a high self-esteem you feel good about yourself, you believe you can be successful and you have the confidence to try new things. To build your confidence talk positively to yourself (ex. I can…, I am…), focus on your strengths, seek support, and address weaknesses. 7. Explore Your Heritage-Some ways that you can explore your family heritage is by: Interviewing family members, creating a family scrapbook, researching your ethnic background and culture and establishing relationships with distant relatives. B.)Discover Your Potential 1.) Reach Your Potential-Set priorities (rank in order of importance), Consider interests and activities, Develop supportive friendships, be health-smart. 2.) Make the Most of Your Resources-Resources (anything that helps you accomplish something)affect your potential. A.) Material Resources- money, supplies, and property B.) Community resources-libraries, schools, places of worship, hospitals, and parks C.) Natural Resources-air, water, and trees D.) Human Resources- people, time, energy, knowledge and skills C.)The Importance of Goals 1.) Personal Goals-Goals you want to achieve. 2.) Group Goals-Could include families or groups outside of the family who want to achieve a common goal. 3.) Long term goals-may take a long time to achieve(usually more than 1 year) 4.) Short term goals-Easier to complete than long-term goals (may include reading a book, cleaning your room, etc.) Both long-term and short-term goals are important. 5.) Fixed goal-the goal has an outcome and a specific date or time (ex. Saving a specific about money by a certain date). 6.) Flexible goal-Has an outcome but no time limit. D.)Move Toward Maturity 1.) Maturity means reaching full development—physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, and morally. 2.) Signs of Maturity: Independence, emotional control (using logic not a gut reaction to make rational decisions), dependability (you can be counted on), willingness to work hard. B.) Balancing Your Life 1.) The Importance of Balance-A loss of balance can cause fatigue, loss of appetite, overeating, disturbed sleep patterns, and difficulty concentrating. 2.) Create a Management Plan-Can help you reach your goals by completing five steps A.) Identify what is important-What you would like to accomplish? B.) Prioritize your tasks-What are your top priorities (1-10) C.) Make a plan-Decide how you are going to accomplish your tasks. D.) Put your plan into action-Start working on your tasks (starting with your highest priority) E.) Evaluate the results-Did you accomplish everything? What would you do differently? C.) Manage Your Resources to Maintain Balance 1.) Manage Your Time-Manage your obligations (something you must do such as homework). Learning will take up a majority of your time since you spend half of your waking hours at school. To manage your time learning focus on learning, take notes, and stay on top of your homework. 2.) Manage Your Energy- You can increase your energy level by improving your health habits. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and get enough rest. You can also improve energy management through work simplification (finding the easiest and quickest way to do a job). To do this analyze each job (what steps can be omitted), use the most appropriate tools for the job (the right tool can save you time) and organize your workspace (separate items and put them in reach) 3.) Manage Your Possessions-To manage your belongings put frequently used items in view and where you can reach them easily, put seldom-used items in out of the way places, place similar items together, and develop a filing system for papers and photos. 4.) Manage Your Stress-To manage your stress follow these six steps: Identify your cause, Take action, remove yourself from the situation, change your perspective, sine a healthy distraction 9immerse yourself in a good book, movie or game), and get support.