I took my daughter’s to the city twice this weekend. In part it was to celebrate (or mourn) the end of the school holidays – ironically, I have been back for two weeks. But it was also to give my wife space and time to get her Masters work done. I often take the girls into the city, but this time was different as the youngest was without nappies and a stroller.

This should be a joyous occasion. No more changing bums or pushing the stroller. However, there was a part of me that felt somehow out of whack. These habits have become a part of my everyday life. Like all habits, I am happy to change when needed and often push myself to do so, but the connection with identity is an odd one. A colleague recently highlighted this when she asked whether persisting with certain routines involving others was in fact for me. Although I don’t think I persisted with nappies etc for my own sake, it does leave me thinking.

Bookmarked The 7 Habits: Begin With the End in Mind | The Art of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay (The Art of Manliness)
Instead of thinking of mission statements as just a list of ideals, Covey suggests thinking of them like a constitution for a government. Back in my law school days when I wrote legal memos for attorneys, I’d have to lay out the law that governed the case I was writing about. Every time I did so, I had to make, at least in passing, a reference to the U.S. Constitution because the Constitution is the source of all law in the United States. Even if it was a state issue, I referenced the U.S. Constitution (Article 10, baby). With every legal decision, I turned to the Constitution first.
Brett and Kate McKay discuss Covey’s habit of ‘Starting with the end in mind’ and what this might mean for the individual.

They map out three steps to creating your own mission statements:

  • Step 1: Block off uninterrupted time
  • Step 2: Prioritize your roles in life
  • Step 3: Define the purpose of each role

The authors explain that this is about process as much as it is about product. For me it is about intent.

This is a useful resource alongside Adrian Camm’s steps to developing a learning vision.