02 Oct Are You Living Your Values?
Are you living in alignment with your values or are your choices forcing you to live out of alignment?
Do you find yourself making statements like these?
(The words in parentheses are examples the values that are out of alignment when you say these words.)
“Workout? When? I don’t have time for that either!” (Health/Fitness)
“I haven’t had time to meet up with and connect with friends in weeks.” (Relationships/Connection)
“I can’t remember the last time I prepared a delicious home-cooked meal!” (Health/Pleasure/Creativity)
“I haven’t seen my children in days because of my schedule…” (Family/Children)
“My house is in chaos… the dishes and laundry are piling up as I speak!” (Aesthetics/Excellence)
“I haven’t been on a vacation forever…” (Adventure/Fun)
If you are nodding your head and shouting – YES – I have said some of those things… or a lot of them!
Shame OFF you.
NOW is the time to make a change.
Reevaluate. Reprioritize. Finally GET REAL.
The truth is that “Defining Your Values 101” is not part of the general curriculum in grade school, high school, or even college; then you jump into your career, marriage, raising children; and wake up one day feeling off – way off.
Ooooodles of people talk about “values” – including yours truly.
We remind you to live by them and run your businesses by them, but how do you really know WHAT yours are? Let’s be honest – it all sounds good – but really, why should you go through all of it? You know it is not going to be an easy task, so what could possibly be worth it?
I believe that when you understand and operate from your values…
Most noticeably, at least for my clients, and me–> decisions get clearer. You don’t need to flip coins to choose your options.
Imagine having an internal compass that keeps you pointed to your true North by helping you answer QUESTIONS like this:
1. Who should I surround myself (and my family) with this week?
Is that friend who only speaks toxic words into your life someone you need to share time with anymore? Are you coming home from happy hour with a sour attitude because “that person” you know you need to fire just spent an hour complaining about their life/marriage/job/(fill in the blank)?
2. Where should I do my shopping?
Do the stores you shop in align with your values, either by philosophy, ingredients or standards?
3. Does this meal get me closer to my goals?
If getting fit and healthy is important to you… well, enough said.
4. What time should I get up in the morning or go to bed?
If you want to get in meditation, yoga, exercise, writing, reading, or even more sleeping – look at your bedtime habits – do they match up?
5. Where should I hold my meetings this week?
If you are trying to live more stress-free AND debt-free, then scheduling “walking meetings” makes more sense than hanging out in Starbucks or Happy Hours every week, right?
By the way – an AWESOME added bonus is that it gets even more comfortable saying NO when you get clear about your values.
So, Superhero, where do you start?
I vote for keeping it simple and starting with these two steps:
1. Write down your VALUES. Are you thinking – when was the last time I did a values exercise? Can’t remember when, or if, you have even defined your values? Download the FREE Values Exercise and get rolling!
2. Review. Refine. Review Again.
Once you have your values list, write it down, or pop it in Evernote or whatever your note-taking tool of choice is. Every evening, review your words and ask yourself this question each time: Am I making decisions that are in alignment with my values? Use the questions above as a guide… As you go, be sure to make any corrections to your list!
I do hope you enjoy this process. Please remember – don’t rush it, revel in it.