Setting yourself up for success in 2015?

What’s the secret?  No great secret really…

Over the last 10 years I’ve played with a life planning and goal setting approach developed by Stephen Covey, born from his famous book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  At the heart of this approach is the need to a clear vision of where you are going and what is most important to you.  And to be quite honest, this is the particularly hard part because it requires you to really know yourself, your strengths and passions, and also the areas in life that you may never master, nor need to.  This is a whole topic in itself and I will leave that to another blog.

So how do you bring this vision to life?  Covey’s approach suggests that every year we should review and refine the roles and goals in our life.  Essentially, roles provide the structure for your goals to hang off.  

So, what are the most important roles in your life?  Is it being a husband, a daughter, a mother or maybe a friend?  Is it being a specialist in your work, or the leader of your team, or even a great team player (let’s face it the world needs lots of these people).  Beyond work and family, we can have roles in our community like a church member, or a sporting coach, or maybe a member of the Parents and Friends Association at a school.   How many roles can you think up that are relevant and important to your life, now and in the future?  In my experience as an executive coach, it is easy to come up with at least 10 important roles, if not a lot more.

So what would you do if I said you could only have 7 important roles in your life at any one time?  

And how about if I said the first and most important one has to be looking after Yourself – looking after your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being (which inspires Covey’s seventh habit: “sharpen the saw”).  That leaves only another 6 roles – choose them and frame them carefully!  I am convinced that at any point in our life we can’t do more than 7 important roles justice.

So over the summer break, I challenge you to reflect on the vision and direction of your life and the 7 roles that will help you get there for the next year.  And after you have done that, then we can talk about goal setting.


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