Using Your Strengths in New Ways – 4

In this post we look at new ways of applying 3 more of the VIA character strengths, Perseverance, Vitality and Hope.

If you haven’t already done the VIA-IS online strengths test, why not take some time out now to complete it, and when you’ve got your list of top 5 (or signature) strengths, come back to find out how you might use them differently.

Just to remind you, the purpose of using your strengths in a new way every day is because research (Seligman, Steen, Park & Peterson, 2005) shows that this has a long-term positive effect on your happiness.

PERSEVERANCE:
i) Finish an important task before the deadline
ii) Work for several hours straight without interruptions – divert your phone and don’t check your email
iii) Make a list of things to do and do one thing on the list every day
iv) Notice your self-talk about stopping a task and ignore it. Focus on the task in hand.

VITALITY / ZEST:
i) Do something physically vigorous in the morning
ii) Volunteer for an activity at work
iii) Do something because you want to, not because you need to
iv) Get a good nights sleep, and eat a healthy breakfast to give yourself more energy during the day
v) Say ‘why not?’ three times more frequently than you say ‘why?’

HOPE / OPTIMISM
i) Think of a past disappointment and the opportunities that it made possible
ii) Notice your negative thoughts. Counter them with positive thoughts.
iii) Write down your goals for the next week/month/year and make concrete plans for accomplishing them.
iv) Keep a journal and every night record a decision that you made that day which will impact your life in the long run

As mentioned before, if the activity doesn’t work for you after a couple of days, try another one.

If you would like to find more activities related to using Fairness, Kindness, Open-Mindedness, Curiosity, Love of Learning or Creativity, click here.

For more activities related to the strengths of Integrity, Love, Humour, Appreciation of Beauty or Social Intelligence, click here.

For more activities related to the strengths of Leadership, Gratitude, Perspective, Forgiveness, Teamwork (Citizenship) and Bravery, click here.

In our next post we will be looking at the remaining 4 character strengths, Prudence Self-Regulation, Humility and Spirituality.

Please also remember to send us examples of activities that worked for you, we’d love to hear about them.

Thanks to Jonathan Haidt and Chris Peterson for many of the suggested activities.

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