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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

One of my favorite books over the years is Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The book is essentially about mastering your life through fundamental governing principles/universal laws. I’m not sure why the book resonated so deeply with me back in the early 90’s, but I’ve been applying it to my journey ever since. For those who may not be familiar with the book here’s a little overview… with an occasional slant toward health and fitness.

Independence (Understanding your power. Habits 1 – 3)

Habit 1 – Be Proactive

Taking responsibility for your situation is empowering. Of course, there are things beyond our control, but your power comes from those things that are within you. We control our thoughts and behaviors and should focus on that over which we have influence. Rather than waiting for things to happen, proactively anticipate and act upon them.

Habit 2 – Begin With The End In Mind

Habit 1 advises changing your life to act and be proactive, habit 2 is about devising the plan. Knowing what you want and why you want it will have an extremely powerful influence on how to get it.

Your goals should align with who you are and who you want to be. They should be based on fundamental governing principles, not some whimsical fairy dust. Goal achievement requires a willingness to learn, grow and adjust throughout the journey. There are consequences to every action, so devise the plan thoughtfully, check it twice, anticipate obstacles and adjust as necessary.

Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.

- Norman Vincent Peale

Habit 3 – First Things First

This is the strategy of getting things done. Prioritizing those things that are important and not just those things that are urgent. In the 7 habits, Covey uses the Eisenhower Matrix as a tool for decision making.