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August 19, 2016, 9:56 AM

Seven Habits That Help Students Begin Their Year Well by Tim Elmore


So how can we equip our students to lay the groundwork for a great school year? As young adults, kids can become victims of their emotions or the whims and opinions of others. They are at the mercy of outside forces… unless they choose otherwise.

  1. Make up your mind before you make up your bed.

You have to choose the right attitude. Fighting a victim mindset means we have to be intentional about our outlook. We must make up our minds to make it a great day before the day gets away from us.

  1. Choose to give.

This will sound cheesy to students, but challenge them to give something away anonymously to another student weekly. Get in the habit of generosity. Studies show that the happiest people are the ones focused on others.

  1. Determine your River.

Rivers and Floods is one of our HabitudesÒ for students. Most students are a “Flood” — they move in multiple directions without focus. Successful students must be “Rivers” — they find a single direction and flow toward a specific goal.

  1. Decide on outcomes, then work backward.

Stephen Covey used to say, “Begin with the end in mind.” Help students determine where they want to end up, what their target is at year’s end. Then, help them ask themselves, “What steps do I need to take to get there?” Finally, encourage them to take the steps.

  1. Schedule your priorities.

Successful leaders know: The issue is not prioritizing your schedule, but rather scheduling your priorities. The time to decide how the day or week will go is when calendars are still blank. Put your most important activities in first.

  1. Treat deadlines like accountability partners.

One of the chief reasons we disappoint ourselves is because we fail to meet deadlines we agreed to meet. I have found deadlines are lifelines — I treat them like a friend who’s asking if I will finish in time. Write them down and take them seriously.

  1. Choose who you lose.

Be intentional about your friends. Choose them wisely, knowing you can’t be close with everyone. You will choose who you “lose” as a friend by where you invest time. Keep the ones who make you better close to you.

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