“Begin with the end in mind”
Those were the words of Stephen Covey in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In fact this is the second habit. This habit speaks to the need for self-discovery; to clarify deeply important character values, and to set life goals. It is to envision the ideal characteristics for each of one’s various roles and relationships in life. It is to define your vision, mission and to set measurable expectations.
Similarly, it does a heart good to begin each and every year with high expectations, resolutions, and noteworthy good habits. How about those plans of healthy eating, dieting, weight loss, getting into shape, going back to school to complete that degree, back to church, spiritual growth, applying for a new job or taking that trip to visit distance relatives and friends. Or even better yet, let’s do a makeover of ourselves.
What gets most of us is that we have good intentions to do things at the beginning of each year, start with a “big bang,” but after a few months into the new routine, things begin to play out, we lose our motivation and drive. It does not take long after that, we revert back to old habits and wasteful thinking. By midyear, much of what we gained has been lost and the New Year begins to look, feel and sound like the previous year. Soon, you begin to wonder about where did the time go… and what did I accomplish?
Perhaps the reason is simple…or complex. Perhaps the project, event or the cause is of little interest and therefore we lack the motivation to make it happen or to get involved. Or could it be that we are overwhelmed by the sure volume of what needs to be done and that we simply run out of time to get it done? Perhaps, we are spread ourselves too thin; have too many irons in the fire,”are not in control or have lost control and are not in the loop to what is happening. Maybe that is where we should start, to begin with the end in mind and only take on what we can do and nothing more … and be good at it. Trying to do a lot to please others, helps no one, but can only lead to frustration, burnout, and compassion fatigue. So where is that to do list?
Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at email@example.com, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015.