Begin with the end in mind

Anyone familiar with Stephen Covey’s seminal book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People will know that Habit #2 is Start with the End in Mind.

I’m not going to attempt to paraphrase his work but there are a few key points I want to highlight:

Beginning with the end in mind means being clear about who you want to be and where you want to go.

You need to set goals that are aligned with your values and life purpose

You need to complete your mental creation before you focus on your physical creation

So often in life we set goals that we then run towards successfully for a while before we start meandering, experience a few challenges and then, finally, we often talk ourselves out of trying. Sometimes we might even get there and then we suddenly feel a bit lost and ask ourselves “what next?” We can then often go back to old habits and later look back with regret.

The picture at the top of this article was taken this summer when I was lucky enough to holiday in the state of Maine in the USA and visited this lighthouse that featured in the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest had run across the whole country from Santa Monica. When he reached the lighthouse, he stopped, thought for a second and then ran back across the country. After over 3 years of running he eventually just decided to stop. Whilst few of us will ever complete a challenge on that scale, we often use a lot of energy in our lives chasing backwards and forwards for goals that we never quite achieve or sustain.

In my coaching practice I regularly work with clients to define their goals and help them identify an action plan to achieve them. We also work together to keep learning from any bumps in their journey and to use those lessons to tweak their plans going forward. Most importantly, we work on ensuring that the goals are aligned with their values and life purpose and manage any interruptions from their saboteurs that will impact their self-belief.

If you have a goal that you are struggling to achieve or if you are currently “goalless” then here are my top tips for success: –

1 – Clearly define your goal. Use metrics wherever possible so that there is a clear destination point identified and not just a vague direction.

2 – Take some time to sit and imagine life once you have achieved your goal. What will it feel like; what will be different. If it doesn’t feel right, then go back to step 1 and refine your goal as it isn’t right for you right now.

3 – Think about what you are prepared to change in order to achieve your goal and most importantly think about what you are NOT prepared to change. Bear both of these in mind when you build your action plan.

4 – Start with confidence and intention; honestly track your progress and learn from everything that doesn’t go right or feel right. Take the learnings and tweak the action plan until you achieve your goal.

Working with a coach will help you identify and achieve your goals. If you are interested in a free initial session to identify how we could work together then please contact me via here.

In order to help you define your goals and start your journey towards success I have also published a goal setting workbook that can be downloaded for free here.

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2 Responses to “Begin with the end in mind”

    • Hi Bill thanks for your comment. I don’t endorse specific eating plans BUT I do advocate that the real changes have to come from learning to have a sustainable healthy weight and so any diet that isn’t sustainable is likely to lead to a yo-yo weight gain. The most important factors are to have a clear goal, a motivation that is from your heart and sustainable habits that will support your goal.

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