best prac·tice noun
noun: best practice; plural noun: best practices
1 commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective. 'the proprietors are keen to ensure best practice in food preparation, storage, and serving'
I’d like for this definition to also include that the term ‘best practice’ can apply to everyday procedures – procedures that are the most beneficial to the quality and vitality of any given person’s life.
‘Best practice’ can fit into every aspect of our lives. Through our businesses, our work and our relationships, we are constantly practicing to be our best selves.
I want to ask you, what do you practice and how do you practice it?
Once you’ve told me all of this I’d then like to know if we can make this next practice the best practice. How?
What is it that I need to do to make the next run of it my personal best?
In business, best practices are what an industry uses or does that allows for the best outcomes.
What works for your business and how do you practice it on a regular basis, to continue growing your success?
Same thing for goes for professional athletes, dancers and creators.
What is it that gets you moving your best? How do you continuously do that thing over and over again without getting tired? What is it that you do slightly differently each time you rehearse? What is it that makes it your best practice?
Where do you see results? Where do you see improvement?
You know what comes to mind? That quote by someone, somewhere that states,
Practice makes perfect.
Now, there are a lot of arguments that counter this strong statement, such as:
No one is perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. If you just practice the same thing over and over again you’ll never learn.
And this, in my opinion, is true.
I believe that if I practice the same thing over and over again, I will not actually reach perfection, I will just find repetition.
And yet, just because it’s impossible to reach perfection…does that mean we stop practicing? Apparently, (and absolutely) not.
The key to finding our ‘best practices’ and practicing to be our best selves lies in the way we do the things we do.
So my invitation is simply this: the next time you are practicing your cooking and making yourself or someone a meal, feel out whether you are using your 'best practice.' If you are great, continue on! And if you aren’t, no judgment necessary – just change it right there. Make it a small thing, a small shift in that instant. It could be that you clean and wipe your knife before chopping a new vegetable or meat to discourage contamination. There is your better practice.
When you are dancing in the studio ask yourself if you are using your 'best practice.' Where is your mind at when you’re at the barre? Are you thinking about how awful you look doing your grand battements? Remember again, no judgement – just change your thought pattern in that instant. Allow yourself to feel into your body instead and be able to beautifully embody the movement. There is your better practice.
If you are teaching a class or guiding people ask yourself what is your 'best practice' within your role? Are you doing those things? Have you included and engaged as many people in the room as you could? If so, awesome. If not, better still. Give yourself space to change what you are doing, or give yourself space to feel how you are doing things right. Then see what happens. Maybe it’s as simple as asking a question that would apply to the entire group so everyone feels like they can engage. Challenge yourself in ways by breaking habits that you know are difficult to change. There is your better practice.
Try to remember that you are practicing being your best. And doing that authentically and as consistently as possible will pay off. Those small, tiny, baby steps you decide to take in each specific instance will get you where you want to be.
Best practice comes into conversation in every industry, workplace or activity I can think of. It’s true on varying levels for bankers, for geologists, for mothers and fathers, for teachers, lawyers, restaurant owners, bakers, hair stylists – you name it – it’s for everybody.
It’s true for practicing yoga, pilates, meditation, sex, singing, inventing, studying, reading, writing – again you name it – it’s applicable.
We may not think about ‘practicing’ on a daily basis, but it’s important because it affects our everyday lives.
How we practice anything is how we practice living.
Here’s a nice little affirmation (if you’re into that and if you’d like a daily reminder for a while):
By being my best in everything that I practice, I am engaging in the best practice of all.
In our days we will continue to practice. We will continue to rehearse, not for reaching perfection but for exploring and feeling in each new moment, a new sensation. In each second attempt, a new viewpoint or insight. Something different will arise. It’s possible something better will show up, and it’s possible something worse may too. That is okay, because it will be what challenges us and teaches us for the next go ‘round. Through our best practices we may just find what we are seeking, needing or wanting. So no, you won’t be perfect. But you'll be that much closer to being your very best self.
If you would like more support on how to practice being your best self, and what that personally means for you right now – contact me HERE.