To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going
If you examine your life right now, would you find that you are the person you’ve always dreamed of being?
Imagine yourself a few years from now, where you would like to be?
You have probably seen or heard these questions a million times, but you have never seriously considered them.
Until you have the right vision or aim in life, you’ll not be able to stay on the right track.
Think of it like running a race. Your lane is clearly marked and your only objective is to cross the finish line. You are so focused on the task ahead that you can see yourself already across the finish line.
In this post you will learn how to always begin with the end in mind. I will disclose what the idea is behind the concept and what impact it can have on your life.
So let’s dive in.
Always Begin With the End In Mind: What Does It Mean?
This concept was introduced by Stephen Covey in his book “ The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
It basically means that you figure out what end result you want to achieve after completing a task or project before you even begin. By doing this you will have a clear outline to follow from start to finish.
It is all about understanding your purpose and the objectives you want to aim for. What is your ultimate goal? What do you want to achieve?
Visualize your relationships, your career, your bank account, your family, your health and everything else that is important to you. When you know how you want these things to look, then take intentional steps to bring about those outcomes.
Why is “Always Begin With The End In Mind” Beneficial?
There are three main reasons why adopting this concept is beneficial to achieving your goals.
You’ll get incredible clarity in many areas of your life once you understand where you want to end up. Moreover, you’ll learn what to do, what not to do, the process, timing, and other aspects that are critical to your process.
When you adopt the process of always beginning with the end in mind, your purpose will define itself. You will visualize what you want your life to look like and the person you want to be and start operating as if those goals are already accomplished.
You will achieve your goals with more efficiency by always beginning with the end in mind. Because you already know what your end result will look like, you have already gotten rid of any grey areas or areas of uncertainty.
You will be able to plan and strategize the most efficient path to your objectives.
How to Always Begin With The End In Mind: 5 Strategies To Follow
Now that you understand the basic idea about beginning with the end in mind, let’s focus on how you can practice this concept in real life. Here are five strategies to follow.
Set SMART Goals
The recommended blueprint for setting goals uses the SMART acronym.
Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. This can be done on a large scale for your entire life or on a much smaller size for whatever project you’re working on right now.
Determine what you want to accomplish and why. You can visualize how accomplishing your goals will change your life.
- Will people treat you differently?
- Will you be in better health?
- Will you be financially stable?
- Will you have a better career?
By setting SMART goals, you will be focused and motivated and the chances of achieving your goals will increase.
Design Your Strategies To Achieve
Once you have determined your goal, it is time to construct your plan to achieve it.
Think wisely and set your starting point at your current position.
I have never been good at math but I did learn that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Do your research and then make a straight line between yourself and your goals with clearly outlined steps between.
A good method to use is the backward goal setting design. The idea is to start with the goal you want to accomplish then work your way backward from that point to create your unique plan.
Craft Your Mission Statement
Pick your pen up and put it on paper. Yes, treat your goals and objectives like a business and craft your mission statement.
Defining your mission in one or two sentences is the best way to define your goals, why that is your goal and how you intend to accomplish it.
The mission statement can be personal, corporate, or the mission statement for a project you’re presently working on.
Be Honest with Yourself
Dishonesty is a big reason many people don’t achieve their goals. It could be the lack of seriousness or the lack of honesty regarding their objectives.
What do you really mean when you say:
- “I’m considering my options”
- “I can’t seem to find the time”
- “It’s too expensive”
- “I’m still doing some research?
Are you lying to yourself because you are afraid to take action? Or, are you procrastinating because you are afraid you will fail?
The reality is none of those excuses would matter or even cross your mind if you really wanted to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
Be honest about your goals. Make sure they are things you want to achieve and not what society dictates or the people in your environment. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.
Until you are not committed to working hard to achieve your goal, success will run from you. Commitment plays a vital role in this process.
Sometimes you will find it difficult but never lose your focus. The end will justify the means (hard work and determination) in the long run.
When the life you have visualized finally becomes a reality it will all be worth it.
When you always begin with the end in mind, you’re on your way to becoming successful.
This is a great approach to figuring out what you really want your life to look like.
The five strategies mentioned in this article are a process you can apply to your life in general or specific areas of your life you want to be successful in like health, relationships, career, family and the list goes on.
I have given you 5 strategies, can you think of a 6th? Talk back to me and tell me in the comments.