The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Couples (Habit 3 – Put First Things First)

Manage your time and what you do in that time. Determine and schedule priorities and give more attention and time to the high priority, high leverage activities. Put first things first.

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. Coveys most lasting legacy – the 7 habits.

The seven habits are a step-by-step model that empower individuals to be intentional, to make decisions and to act, moving 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.

    Habit 3: Put First Things First

    If Habit 2 is about beginning with the end in mind, or imagining and establishing the end state, then habit 3 is about focusing on the important matters to achieving your mission. If you tend to spend a lot of time doing things that are not that important, Habit 3 recommends you identify what is important in order to keep you heading towards your destination. Putting first things first is about staying on track, taking the initiative, exercising willpower and getting the important things done.

    Think leverage and influence and do all things in a disciplined way. Balance the short and long-term priorities to ensure your effort is expended effectively. Implement and live the values and principles of Habits 1 and 2.

    If you don’t practice Habit 2, if you don’t have a clear idea of what is important, of the results you desire in your life, you will be easily diverted into responding to the urgent. The urgent things are often those that keep you away from focusing on what is important.

    A practical approach to keep you on track is to review your couple or family mission statement on a weekly basis. Try the attached weekly worksheet to help you focus your week on what is important to your relationship.

Tune in next week for Habit 4.

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