Begin with the End in Mind

Steven Covey best-selling authour of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People urges us to consider the end results before we take any actions toward our goal. Covey says to “begin with the end in mind” which means that we need to start each day or task with a clear vision of our targets and then be proactive to accomplish them.

Here are 8 steps to follow that will help:

1. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of your goal, of exactly where you want to be and when – then visualise it

2. Figure out where you are right now by using accurate data that helps give you a true picture of your position

3. Decided on a method to measure between #2 where you are now and #1 your target

4. Decide on what you would need to do (actions) to narrow the gap between the two positions in #3 

5. Identify what resources you will need and where you can find them

6. Break the actions down into smaller daily or weekly targets with deadlines

7. Implement your action plan and report your progress to a friend or colleague to help keep you accountable

8. Monitor your progress – if there is any issues go to #9

9. Adjust if necessary -revisit the process from #1

For example, you might decide you want to learn basic conversational French within one year to prepare for a conference you are required to attend in France for your company – the process might be something like this:

  1. My goal is to be basically conversant in French within the year
  2. I am currently at level A1
  3. To succeed I need to achieve a C1 level through my French exams by this time next year.
  4. I need to practise every day with other French speakers or French media
  5. I will meet some French speakers and watch or borrow French media through Alliance Fraçais or online, as well as, work with a French mentor/instructor
  6.  Every week for 12-months my actions will be:
    1. every Wednesday,  I will attend a 2-hour French lesson online with Dr Rita
    2. every Tuesday and Thursday I will practise my lessons for one hour
    3. every  Sunday and Monday I will watch a movie, listen to music or borrow a book from Alliance Fraçais for 3-hours
    4. every Saturday and Sunday I will try to attend French cultural activities or meet with a French-speaking friend to practice
  7. Every Wednesday after my lesson I will report to Dr Rita the people I met or the media I used and every 3-months Dr Rita will give me a practice test
  8. I discovered new cultural experiences, it opened my mind to new perspectives and enriched my life. I have planned to travel to other places in Africa or Europe where French is spoken.
  9. In addition to my plan in #6, I need to make online friends who speak French because I cannot meet enough people in my city when it is convenient for me. I will also go to my Aunt and Uncle’s house every Saturday and speak with them only in French while I help them with chores on their acreage. I will practise affirmations every morning to let go of my limiting beliefs about learning a new language.