Although most of you probably read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” back in high school, Covey’s book was never a reading requirement for me. Reading it now, at twenty-four years old I am almost upset that it is required in high school. At that age you’re going to miss a ton of great information and how it actually applies to your life. I doubt the seventeen year olds are looking to improve their self-awareness, and shift their paradigms; they have barely have enough time to figure out which ideas are their own, from their friends and their families. I know that when I was in high school my focus was on the dance team, maintaining decent grades for college and my boyfriend.
In chapter two, Covey expands on the second habit begin with the end in mind. He starts the chapter off asking you to visualize yourself at your own funeral. How would you like your friends, family and colleagues to remember you? Before moving on, I took some time to write it out, identifying the characteristics I would like to be remembered for. Above all, I would like to be remembered as someone who was kind and available, no matter who you were or what you were going through. Now, think on more micro level… at the end of the year, what would you like to have accomplished? We’re looking at the end of 2018, the ball is about to drop, bringing you into 2019; what victories did you see this year?
Beginning with the end in mind has shifted my perspective and helped to shape the way I have built my daily schedule. One of my goals for the year is to write and publish at least one children’s book. That being said, throughout the year I will set and meet benchmarks to ensure that this goal is completed. This tactic helps spectacularly when waiting at the Doctor’s office, when you have some quiet time in the morning on the commute to work and any other time where there may be a lull in your day. While it may be reflex to turn on the television, switch onto Hulu and catch the next episode of Younger, carve out time for whatever goals you have set for the year.
In my case of writing a children’s book, I have started exploring the Amazon platform, CreateSpace as well as begun drafting my story. The next step for me to is set some benchmarks for the year ahead. Each month setting a feasible goal to get me closer to my ultimate goal. When setting goals, consider networking in your neighborhood and resources outside of just google. Get creative on how you achieve your goals and make it work for you.
When you look back on your year, how do you want to feel? Like you have used your time wisely or that it was just another year that ran you instead of the other way around? Every day is a chance to take another step closer to your goals and ultimate dreams. This life is what you make it. Maybe your goal is not to build your own business or publish a book… maybe you just want to learn a new language. There are so many apps, virtual programs and local classes offered in this arena of education. Big or small, identify the victories that you aim to achieve and get moving! Begin with the end in mind throughout this year and make your time functional, meaningful and important.
One of my other goals is to improve my photography skills...here I come YouTube!