I was speaking with a client today and I remembered why I enjoy Stephen Covey’s work so much. The beginning of the year is a time of renewal – of fresh starts and new beginnings. Who we were last year no longer exists because January 1st is a day that many declare themselves to be something, someone different than they were. I have to interject here that that is a choice we can make everyday but I’ll save that for another day…. SO, as I was saying, the new year = a new start and with it, a way to attack (or embrace) our priorities in a new manner. Many of us utilize a ready, aim, fire approach to getting things done and then wonder where our life has gone. We spend the days doing, doing, doing but we don’t have more money, better relationships, fun (now THAT’s an f word we could use more of), greater energy… Why? Because we aren’t balancing our time to include what matters most. Covey proposes that when working on priorities, the first step is to "begin with the end in mind". I have been exposed to that concept in many different variations since first reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (www.FranklinCovey.com) years and years ago but Covey’s sticks with me – perhaps because his work first invited me into the concept. If one begins with the end in mind then our priorities shift. Along with seeking work that is fulfilling and financially rewarding, we also get the opportunity to "pencil in" our spouses for date nights and the kids for family night. We might also "pencil in" some time to give back to the community or mentor a teenager. You see, we often talk about all the time we don’t have but the truth is, we have plenty. We just choose to allocate it in ways that don’t fulfill us. Practice makes perfect but if this is a new year and there can be a new you, why not really go for it and look back on 2008 as the busiest, craziest, givingest (is that a Coach V-ism?), funnest, greatest, happiest, lovingest, most successful year of your life? Not just because you say so but because those around you SEE so.