Years ago, when I working as a middle school teacher, my principal made some time to sit down with me to discuss a personal problem I was having. As he listened, he found a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on his bookshelf and opened to a diagram in the chapter that presents Habit 1 (Be Proactive). The illustration and explanation he offered from the book quickly helped me resolve my own problem. As I left from school that day, I thought about how quickly a simple book had shed clarity on my complicated thoughts. I had never heard of Stephen Covey before and the book was a best seller. My friends in business all knew it. Why was such practical information, commonly shared in the business world, different from what schools focus on. It’s like comparing Apples to …..PCs.
Now I am an empowerment coach I’ve learned (and taught) what Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and his life’s work have been about. Dr. Covey was a leadership expert. He helped millions of people reach their biggest goals in work, life and love first by asking them to clarify their personal mission in life and then setting their goals and plans to achieve it. Undoubtedly Stephen Covey’s work will live on for future generations to benefit from and build on.
Here are some effective tips to reaching your goals as explained in the book co written by Steven Covey’s son, Sean Covey, along with Chris McChesney and Jim Huling titled, The 4 Disciplines of Execution.
1. Focus on Two or Three Goals Get very clear on a few goals. Find the most important ones and focus on them. Be sure they align with your mission or your inner core. The fewer things you focus on, the more attention you can give them.
2. Concentrate on the Cause Not the Effect Rather than focusing on the end result, focus on the smaller steps that will help you to get there. By doing this you can manage each task better and you won’t get discouraged if your end result is not in place as immediately as you think it should be.
3. Keep a Scoreboard Keep track of your efforts. It should not be a data fest type of scoreboard, just a simple, easy to see tally. Keep it in plain sight too. It helps to share your efforts with others who can hold you accountable.
4. Report Regularly Find a partner, a family member, a coach, or someone who will weekly sit down with you to assess your progress and make new commitments. If you don’t meet consistently things could quickly fall apart.
Wouldn’t it be valuable for this type of information to taught in middle and high schools rather than wasting time in study halls? Imagine if these effective tips were habits learned early on.( Effective means that they work consistently, over and over again when used.) Imagine if students learned how to help each other achieve their goals. Well, regardless of when this information is presented to us, life if full of opportunities to set new goals and move ahead. There are Infinite Possibilities to create.