7 Best Practices to Lead Your Life
Our plans for life should include a best-self strategy, which summarizes our answer to the question, how do I do my best? Two sources you can read and use are my (Dr. David Dyson’s) 7 Best Practices to PLAN and LEAD your LIFE and Dr. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Both fit on one page each, and the summaries have been distilled from decades of research and teaching. Between the two, you can use parts as is or adapt for your own summary strategy. I developed this summary strategy in 1987 and have edited periodically, including this week.
These 7 actions provide a core best-self strategy for preparing and persisting:
- LEAD Your LIFE. Choose to identify and fulfill your callings, gifts, and talents as your best-self—increasingly responsible, prepared, strong, resilient, and focused on areas of purpose and value.
- PLAN For LIFE. Pray. Listen. Act. Now. (P.L.A.N.) to answer life’s important questions: callings, gifts, and talents; mission and vision; values and beliefs; and best-self strategy. Discern and write choices for the life you feel called to lead in your constitution, legacy, and lifestyle vision.
- Create Your IMPACT. Identify IMPortant ACTions to fulfill your priority roles and goals in the 7 Areas of Life, considering how to develop callings, gifts, and talents. Write resolutions to contribute or change to fulfill callings and/or Master Goliaths—to “be, know, and do” with accountability to self and others.
- Balance Your Life. Choose time priorities for your 168 hours per week to fulfill roles for the 7 Areas of Life. Plan to invest quantity T.I.M.E. (time, inspiration, money, and energy) to create quality results with balance.
- Live Your Priorities. Make your calendar and checkbook reflect your priorities. Target blocks of time for whom and what matters most, maximizing your prime times, to create habits and instincts to guide you, even under stress.
- Act And Adapt. Take action, assess desired and actual Plans, Actions, and Results (PAR) and adapt thinking and/or behavior in the flow of action, persisting positively, choosing to make the best of circumstances.
- Renew And Improve. Periodically assess plans, actions, and results. Identify changes needed to character and competence. Assess quantity of time and quality of effort invested. If working your plan and not getting desired results, adapt time priorities and/or develop competencies. Spend a foundation of 5-20% of time planning and developing mind, body, and spirit, plus service capacity and stewardship of callings, gifts, and talents so we can succeed with significance as good stewards of our capacities. Invest in assessing and transforming attitude and ability needed to fulfill callings with commitment and courage.
This content comes from Dr. Dyson’s seminars for Life Leaders, lectures for colleges and schools, and a book in progress.