• Krista Schaber-Chan

Stuck on Your New Year’s Resolutions? Check Out Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits

With the advent of the New Year, many people have already jumped aboard the popular tradition of committing to resolutions. However, as previous years have shown, most people are unable to keep up their ambitious goals and their resolutions quickly fall to the wayside. If you’re one of those people, consider looking to Stephen Covey’s classic bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, for resolutions that are ambitious, timeless, and attainable. Almost 30 years after it was first published, 7 Habits still stands as a remarkable piece of business and self-help literature. What about this book has caused it to resonate with so many people? Covey’s interest in how to be highly effective started when he began studying American success literature written since 1776. He realized that most of the success literature from the past 150 years focused on quick fixes to people’s problems—telling them that they would attain happiness and success if they just adopted a more positive attitude or used tactics to influence those around them or even made themselves appear more powerful. Instead, Covey argues that the root of most people’s problems is how they view them and the attitudes they adapt in response. Covey pushes you to stop having the way society has conditioned you to rule your life and instead have eternal principles of good inform the way you perceive and behave in the world. For the sake of brevity, this article will briefly summarize the most compelling of the habits, habits one and two, that focus on the internal changes you need to make within yourself. Habit 1: Be Proactive The first habit tells you to merely concern yourself with what you can control. Here, Covey upended the popular stimulus-response theory at the time which argued that all of your actions are in response to something else. In Covey’s book, he argues that, in between the stimulus and your response, you actually have the freedom to choose what your response will be. In simpler terms, this means you have the power to decide how you will react to situations. Whether it’s someone putting you down or doing something that bothers you, it is your choice—and your choice alone—whether to be hurt or not. Covey pushes you to only concern yourself with what you have power over, your own reactions and attitudes. As much as you want to change the people around you, you ultimately can’t control how they behave and feel without them wanting to change themselves. Overall, Covey asserts you should feel empowered to be a pr