This week we read about habits two and three.
Habit two: “Begin with the end in mind.” How true is that? You have to know where you want to go before you start the car…so naturally we should have a clear picture of our goal in mind before we can start to work towards that goal. Habit two is all about having a vision and leadership to bring the vision to fruition. I like that Covey reminds us of the difference of management and leadership. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day management of our activities and forget the leadership or foresight needed to monitor changes and organize resources that help to achieve our goals.
Covey mentions that creating a personal mission statement is a good way to begin with the end in mind. A personal mission statement is our written personal philosophy that reminds us of who we are and what we want to accomplish.
Covey says that in order to create a personal mission statement, we need to go back to our Circle of Influence that we examined in Habit One. Our Circle of Influence is at the center of our lives, which means it is the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power. Everybody has something that is important enough to be in the center of their lives – for some it is money or possessions, for others it could be family. Covey reminds us that the most enduring centers are principles. If we base our lives on correct principles, we have a more stable foundation to build our security, guidance, wisdom and power.
I have read several books that discuss creating a personal mission statement. While I think it is a great idea, I have never done this before –have you created your personal mission statement? Was it difficult? Do you feel it has helped you to focus on your goals? Has it helped in the achievement of your goals?
Habit three “Put first things first” – in other words, this is the day-to-day management of habits one and two. Now that we have the mind-set to be proactive (habit one) and the vision (habit two), we need to manage the activities to reach our goals. This habit is truly about time management and identifying the activities that are important, but not necessarily urgent – activities that are often over looked. Covey calls these “Quadrant II” priorities. These are often activities that if we did on a regular basis, they would make a big, positive difference in our lives – activities like prevention, planning, relationship building, etc. Have you identified any Quadrant II activities in your life that you need to put first going forward? A good example of a Quadrant II activity that I always forget to put first is exercise – it is something that I know if I did it on a regular basis, it would make an immediate positive difference in my life, yet it is easy to put if off!
Covey writes about the ability to say “no.” Often I over-commit myself because it is hard to say no. Recently I have begun re-examining all the invitations I receive and the relationships in my life. I now only commit my time to those people that are truly important in my life. Life is too short, right? I have found it easier to say “no” since I have begun evaluating the importance of how I spend my time. Do you have a hard time saying “no” when someone asks you for a favor or extends an invitation even though maybe it is something that you truly do not want to do
Covey outlines the way to put first things first by identifying the key roles in your life (i.e., wife, father, business person, board member, etc.), selecting goals, weekly planning, and daily adapting. I learned this method quite well when I worked for Franklin Covey…their planners were excellent for planning and scheduling activities. Have you ever tried to plan your week and worked towards accomplishing your goals in this manner? Is it working for you?
Questions for discussion:
- Have you created your personal mission statement? Was it difficult? Do you feel it has helped you to focus on your goals? Has it helped in the achievement of your goals?
- What Quadrant II activities have you identified in your life?
- Do you have a hard time saying “no” when someone asks you for a favor or extends an invitation even though maybe it is something that you truly do not want to do? How have you learned to say “no?”
- Have you ever tried to plan your week and worked towards accomplishing your goals by major role in your life? Any successes or challenges encountered when planning this way?
I’m looking forward to our discussion a t 9PM CST tonight CLICK HERE to join in.