The 7 Habits

The 7 Habits of Successful Families in Jacksonville

Dr. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective Families was customized to create the 7 Habits of Successful Families in Jacksonville curriculum. The unique workshops provided an interactive learning experience that promoted introspection and personal empowerment. Following the workshop, families had the opportunity to self-select from a list of referral services available to assist them in achieving the goals they set for their families.

Workshop Structure

Workshops are typically offered in four 2 ½ hour sessions or two 5-hour sessions.  That schedule allows for facilitator/participant bonding and an opportunity to implement learned concepts and discuss the outcomes in class. Meals are provided when sessions occur during normal meal times.

Referrals for Services

Following the workshop, families have an opportunity to self-select referrals for services that they feel will assist them in achieving the goals they set for themselves during the course.  Services are provided by over 50 Network Partners throughout the community.

What’s covered in the 7 Habits?


The Basics (Foundational Principles)

In this section, participants learn that the way they see the world (view or paradigm) influences the way they behave (habits) and the way they behave dictates the results they get.  These results, bad or good, then reinforce the way they see the world.

Participants also define their values – what is important to them – and assess if their habits support those values. For example, if you lack confidence in your ability to make decisions, you may fear making decisions and therefore procrastinate.  Failure to make a decision timely may result in negative consequences to your family. If you have defined family as one of your values, causing negative consequences to your family reinforces your negative self-image, starting the cycle over. To break the cycle, we must change our views by changing our habits. We must also ensure that our habits support our values.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

In this section, participants will learn about personal responsibility. They will learn to differentiate between things they can control and things they cannot. Accepting that you have no control over certain issues (a company’s downsizing), frees you to focus on things you can control (preparing a resume for a new job). Being proactive versus reactive allows you to be more in control of your time and decisions often allowing you to prevent crisis from occurring. Participants also learn to recognize negative controlling behavior in themselves and other family members. The pause-think-do model provides a technique for considering response options before taking actions that may be regrettable, such as striking a child or spouse.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

In this section, participants will learn more about values. They will learn why it is important to make decisions based on values instead of just current circumstances.  Decisions based on circumstances can sometimes negatively impact families in ways that can have long-term consequences such as a bad financial decision. Participants will learn the importance of having a plan for themselves and their family. Having a vision for their future increases the likelihood of making positive decisions.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

In this section, participants will learn about prioritizing and goal setting. They will learn to use a calendar for planning and keeping track of important dates. They will learn the difference between long and short-term goals and why both are important.  Time management based on values will increase likelihood that families will follow through with appointments as well as family commitments enhancing their efforts to become successful.

Habit 4: Think Win Win

In this section, participants will learn the importance of interpersonal skills.  Recognizing the value of marriage and family relationships, they will learn to consider the relationship as being more important than any specific issue or disagreement that may arise. Focusing on the relationship will allow them to work together to identify solutions to issues that may be barriers to success.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

In this section, participants will learn the importance of listening with the intent to understand another’s perspective as opposed to listening with the intent to respond or defend one’s own position.  Listening skills are important in marriage and family relationships to ensure open communication.  Proactive listening can reduce misunderstandings and encourage family members to discuss issues instead of internalize them and develop resentment.

Habit 6: Synergize

In this section, participants will learn how to value differences in family members. They learn the importance of family teamwork, working together to achieve family goals and drawing strength from family members to assist in achieving individual goals.  Synergy often requires learning to let go of stereotypical family roles.

Habit 7: Sharpening the Saw

In this section, participants will learn that it is important to take care of themselves mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Caring for themselves is essential to their ability to care for others. Participants learn ways to take better care of themselves and their family. For example, proactively going for a checkup at the doctor’s office can ensure a medical problem is diagnosed early possibly preventing a long-term illness.