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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Couples (Habit 2: Begin with the End In Mind)

The seven habits are not a quick and easy formula for success, but together they form a powerful model for personal change.

Adapted for couples, this series of posts is a respectful homage to Stephen R. Covey who died on July 16, 2012, age 79. Covey will be remembered as a transformational thinker on leadership and personal effectiveness.

His book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ his most lasting legacy. The seven habits are a step by step model that empower couples to be intentional, to make decisions and to act, to move towards a known destination rather than reacting to whatever is happening at the time. Emphasising the importance of self awareness before successful engagement with your partner, the model is a process of learning new habits to create personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

The seven habits can be divided into two groups – the first three focus on “private victory” and the second three on “public victory”, with Habit 7 rounding the previous six to work towards refinement, self renewal and continuous improvement. Covey says “Private Victory precedes Public Victory” which means that you must master yourself before enjoying success outside of ourselves and with our partner.

Habit 2: Begin with the End In Mind

Stephen Covey talks about how easy it is to get caught up in the busy-ness of life, working hard to climb the ladder of success, only to discover that all this time the ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall. By creating the future in your mind, you can imagine a course of action, pursue it and then conscientiously decide what you will do (and won’t do) with your time, talents and tools. This ensures your ladder is up against the right wall before you start climbing.

Through careful planning and constant assessment and re-evaluation of your plans, you know where you are going, you can plan where you are heading and you take time to see the bigger picture. This leads to greater personal effectiveness and synergy as a couple.

  • A practical approach to keep you on track is to develop a couple or family mission statement. Through developing this with your partner (or family) and by the process of defining and sharing your objectives and clarifying your vision and purpose – creativity, innovation and empowerment are activated. Through negotiation, the agreed mission statement demonstrates your commitment to a shared mission fostering mutual understanding and greater intimacy.

Tune in next week for Habit 3.

Read on for various resources to assist you at this time. Finally, please let us know how you plan to deliver your services in these challenging times.

For more information on the virus and the steps that can be taken to minimise its impact, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube:

Tune in next week for more discussion about relationships and mental health.

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