Monday, January 20, 2014

Teaching our children some of the really important lessons

Over twenty years ago I started using a Franklin planner. The company merged with Stephen Covey’s company to produce the Franklin-Covey system. Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People had a large impact on the approach suggested for using their planner. One of the key components is to really ponder on your most important values and record them. These values help you recognize the various roles you take on in your life. Then as you do your weekly planning you reflect on your values and roles. This helps you focus on the things which are really important to you and helps you not to be distracted by things which seem urgent but are of little worth.

When I first started using this system and the planner I spent several hours pondering on my values and roles. I dutifully recorded them. Life seems to be hectic and unfortunately I get distracted, so I don’t sit down every week, but on average I manage to sit down a couple times a month to reflect on the most important activities in the upcoming days. I’ve found the Franklin-Covey approach a great help in keeping me focused and making sure I am working on what is truly important to me.

I believe having a system like this can help us be much, much more impactful than if we just kind of float along. In addition to teaching our children how to read, do math, know a little bit about history and so on, one of the really vital things we can teach our children is how to organize their lives so they will not flounder but move purposefully forward.

As our children have gotten older Janine and I have encouraged them to step back and make goals. We’ve asked them to take charge of their lives. We’ve worked to give them the tools and techniques to manage themselves. In one sense this may be one of the most important lessons we teach our children.

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