How to Build Your Own Life Maximizer

by Andy Wood on August 21, 2009

in Five LV Laws, Following Your Passion, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Increase, Time

PlannerIn a previous post I mentioned how I experienced a mini-revolution when somebody suggested that the simplest and most powerful form of goal-setting is simply making a list of things I want to BE, DO, and HAVE.  I went to town!  And wasn’t content just to itemize some things.  I wanted to learn from them.  I wanted to learn how to redesign my life before God so that when opportunities arose, like Joshua, I could take quick action.

For me, that meant creating a tool that would help channel my thinking and my actions in the right direction.  I began thinking of it as my own personalized planner.  I learned from Steven Covey about intentionally planning for the important, though not necessarily urgent, things.  I learned from Anthony Robbins about thinking about the states of mind/heart I wanted to experience each day.  I learned from the life of Joseph that if I cultivated faithfulness in the daily spaces and dark places, that one day the prison doors would open and Pharaoh would come calling.

So, beginning with the end of the day in mind, I asked myself,

“Self, at the end of the perfect day for me, what can I say that I have done”?

Here is what “God put in my heart to do” (Nehemiah 2:18).  Your answer to the question, of course, would be your own. 

At the end of the perfect day, I have connected with God, myself, and other people.  I have created something of value by thinking, imagining, worshipping.  I have encouraged somebody to hang in, move on, stand up, or turn around.  I have energized my life by the right food, rest, or exercise.  I have had the opportunity to express love, commitment, passion, or enthusiasm.  I have grown spiritually, mentally, relationally.  And I have produced by moving a step or two closer to a goal.

From that, I made myself a planning tool – I call it my Daily Life Maximizer.  When I use it, I plan by the week, but work it by the day.  For each day of the week, in a context of prayer and seeking the Lord, I give myself the following challenges, and ask the corresponding empowering questions:

Connect!

What can I do today to reach up toward God, reach out toward people, and reach in to connect with myself?  Connecting involves (1) Giving/receiving praise; (2) Giving/receiving gratitude; (3) Identifying/confessing mistakes, sins, or wrongs; (4) Asking for/receiving help; (5) Protecting, honoring, or staying loyal.  How can I express that in all my relationships today?

Create!

What can I do today to create something of value through music, writing, art, drama, or some other form of original thought?

Encourage!

What can I do today to encourage another human being?  Who needs a letter written, a gift received, a call or a visit?  Who needs to “feel” I am “walking with them” through their pain or joy?  Who needs to be motivated to hang in, move on, stand up, or turn around?  Who needs helpful and wanted advice?

Energize!

What can I do today to increase my energy level – either by food, rest, or exercise?

Express!

What can I do today to express enthusiasm, passion, love, or commitment to the things and people who matter to me?

Grow!

What can I do today to expand my knowledge, experience, or character through reading, study, or time with instructional people?

Produce!

What major step can I accomplish today toward a goal or project?

Now Create Your Own

All right.  Time to clear off a spot on your busy calendar and do some of your own Life Maximizing.  Start with this question:  “At the end of the perfect day for me, what can I say that I have done?” (Hint:  In describing the perfect day for you, answer the question with action words.)

Once you’ve done that, design at least one empowering question for each of your “perfect day” answers.  Use words or phrases like, “How,” or “What can I do.”

Then design a form of some sort – paper, electronic, whatever – that you can complete quickly.

This should go without saying, but for cryin’ out loud, use it.

Creating and living by a Life Maximizer helps you focus on the important more than the urgent.  It celebrates progress without demanding perfection.  It helps you design your time and your day in a way that you are aligned with your highest goals and priorities.  And, used properly, it keeps you from being distracted or wasting your life on trivia.

If you want, use my Life Maximizer.  Better still, ask God for wisdom to create your own.  Ask empowering questions, you’ll get powerful answers.  And when God finds in you someone who maximizes the time, you’ll also find Him entrusting to you His opportunities.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andrew Peacock August 22, 2009 at 5:16 am

Hi Andy,
Fantastic post. I love the way you’ve taken your ideal day and worked out your own empowering questions to lead you towards it. Well done,

Andy (P.)

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