For June, I focused on the second habit of Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. This habit, still in the realm of personal victory, is to begin with the end in mind. He tells readers to “start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going so you can better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction”.
Here’s how I went about putting Habit 2 into effect over the month of June:
1. Made it my monthly goal
Habit 2 builds off Habit 1 in the following way:
“Habit 1 says “You are the creator.” Habit 2 is the first creation.” -Steven Covey
Just like last month, I put “Begin with the end in mind” as one of my monthly goals in my planner so that I could easily keep it in the forefront of my mind.
2. Worked on my Personal Mission Statement
Stephen Covey encourages in this chapter that the reader create their personal mission statement if they don’t yet have one. He states that a personal mission statement “focuses on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.” He further explains the benefits of having a personal mission statement:
Once you have that sense of mission, you have the essence of your own proactivity. You have the vision and values which direct your life. You have the basic direction from which you set your long- and short-term goals. You have the power of a written constitution based on correct principles against which every decision concerning the most effective use of your time, you talents and your energies can be effectively measured.
He provides some examples and goes on further about what a personal mission statement should consist of. Look to your role models for their mission statements. Follow the examples set by others who you find influential and helpful. Coincidentally, I happened to come across Kara at Boho Berry’s blog post about her mission statement which provided a link to a tool she used to help formulate hers. I wasn’t sure where to start so having a guide seemed like the right idea. I used the Franklin Covey Personal Missions Statement Builder, a guide Kara had recommended. It asks you questions about various situations and people and things in your life and at the end you’re left with a rough draft of your mission statement.
After I created mine I’d love to tell you I spent more time on it, editing it and adjusting it to best reflect my values in a meaningful way for me. But that didn’t happen. While I did do some minor editing to it at first, I have mostly pushed it aside and forgotten about it. I was in a down swing of culture shock over the month of June, and personal development just wasn’t doing it for me for most of the month. As someone who is trying to write about and share how great personal development is and can be, this may sound a bit strange. But I think it’s an important point too. It’s not always going to be easy. It’s not always going to be the right time to do personal development. You may not be ready, you may not have the mental or emotional capacity for it; you may think it’s ridiculous. You may have set backs, times when you suddenly lose all the momentum you had. And I’m saying this because it’s totally natural, and in my opinion, totally OK. I’m back on the upswing and back on the personal development horse, but I did fall off. But I’m moving onward and upward. And what’s important is that you find your way back to where you want to be. There is a Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times; stand up eight.”
4. Moving forward
Unfortunately this habit didn’t spend the month percolating in my head the same way Habit 1 did, but it was still there. Perhaps it was a bit harder for me to grasp how to apply it to my everyday life and thought process and that made it easier to push the work around Habit 2 aside. I had considered taking July and doing a Habit 2 do over, but I’m going to keep pushing forward. However, I have revisited my personal mission statement and am going to continue to work on that. It is a living document, and I know it will continue to evolve and change but I want it to feel right for my life right now.
I’m going to take the applications of Habit 2- creating and clarifying my personal mission statement and living that out- and continue to hold them in my mind as I take on Habit 3. Although it wasn’t the easiest or most successful month, July is off to a great start and looking promising! I encourage you to work on your own personal mission statement and see what you can learn about yourself and how you can apply it to your life.
I look forward to a better update next month!
Thanks for stopping by! Get home safe 😉