Stephen Covey passed away just over two week ago, on July 16. He would have been 80 this coming October. Later that week, a great man named Herb, the dad of my friend, passed away. He, too, would have turned 80 later this year. This post is dedicated to Herb and Dr. Covey, and to their families.


Stephen R. Covey was a brilliant author and speaker in the personal development genre and among my handful of favorites. He was a true leader, spending his life helping others. His message was inspirational, with the potential to be transformational.

His most famous book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here is how I see the first three of his seven habits. These three are the ones that have had the biggest impact on me.

1. Rather than just letting things happen to you and reacting to those things, you can stop yourself and decide how to act and, therefore, take control of your life.

Then, once you decide to take control of your life, the next thing to do is…

2. Set goals. If you don’t know where you are going, how can you get there? (For a place to list your new habits you would like to adopt, click here.)

Then, once you have set your goals, the next thing to do is…

3. Prioritize. Make decisions for what you are going to spend your time doing, and how you are going to behave in all ways, based on the goals you have set. Key: do the most important things first.

I’ve read and enjoyed all of Covey’s books. My favorite is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, which he wrote with his wife, Sandra. I recommend it highly.

You can read a good summary of the original seven habits book on Wikipedia here.

It takes 21 days to form a habit. Covey’s habits are great ones to work to adopt over 21 day periods. Even better, slow down, breaking them down into smaller pieces, and adopt those smaller pieces as habits over 21 days. (For a place to track one new habit over 21 days, click here.)

Best regards,


p.s. What are some ways Dr. Covey’s work has impacted you? Join the conversation with your comments…