I first became aware of values based planning around 1982 when I sat in on my first time management workshop as a Colorado FFA Association officer. The presenter led a group of student leaders through an abbreviated version of the DayTimer Time Power seminar created by Charles R. Hobbs. One of the things that really stuck with me was using the concept of unified goal planning using Unifying Principles, long-range and intermediate goals and then taking that all the way to the daily to be done list.
Unifying principles are your most vital priorities in life. They are those things you are willing to stand up for and even die for if necessary. Unifying principles are those values which you hold nearest and dearest and which ought to influence all that you do. They are true and right. Some call them values. Covey makes mention of these concepts in his 7 Habits book and seminars. Allen sort of dances around them in Getting Things Done. Ben Franklin explained his with his 13 Virtues as he strove to develop his character throughout his life.
Unifying principles contain the highest truth as you understand it and ought to be something noble to work for. From this starting point, long-range and intermediate goals are built as they relate to incorporating these highest truths into our lives and then inot the daily to do list with some level of immediate next physical action to implement a part of the unifying principle into our daily practice.
I’ve neglected this part of my planning for several years. However, I can look back at the times in my life when I was most effective and can see that I was truly working on living in my unifying principles and trying to be a better person. So I’ve spent some time over the past few days considering what I believe in again and working bringing my performance in line with those values.
Here are my unifying principles in general terms:
- Have a period of solitude daily
- Be an outstanding husband and father
- Optimize time/life management
- Manage money well
- Maintain a strong healthy body
- Be ethical
- Be honest with myself and everyone around me
- Be humble
- Live simply with a commitment to excellence
And because I know we all like photos of Field Notes, here is a shot of a Resolutions book I am devoting to planning.
And finally, here is the Resolutions book with my daily book for January (well, started with it this morning with today’s action list) and a couple of pens. The Uni Power Tank pen works well with the Expedition Field Notes. The Wing Sung 3008 fountain pen is just there for visual appeal. I rarely use fountain pens with my Field Notes books.