Welcome to Day 19 in the series…
Yesterday we looked at the skills we need to develop so we can have courageous conversations around deeply held views and beliefs that are opposing. Today we will take a quick look at how to uncover what some of those values and beliefs could be for you.
To get us started, how would you answer the question “what are your values”? Sometimes it’s hard to articulate our values beyond big picture ideals – a happy home, successful career, my faith. Often, these ideals never get translated into the set of daily experiences that we need to get us there.
Unless we take the time and make the effort to articulate our values and goals, we’re at risk of filling our days with “stuff” and other people’s agendas, without a clear plan and direction for living out our values in our daily lives. This is how so many people end up with a mid-life crisis of some sort – waking up in middle-aged years to a career they no longer enjoy and a family life that is a long way from what they dreamt it would be. How did we get here???!!
You know, no one will ever respect our values and goals if we don’t respect them ourselves. We also will struggle to respect other people’s values if we don’t respect our own. The challenge most of us have though, is that we haven’t been taught to make a habit of clarifying our values and setting goals. But in today’s 24/7, always on, digital world it’s crucial that we develop these skills. Sometimes our very mental health depends on it!
To get you started, here’s a quick exercise that will help. Start by asking yourself this question – who and what do you value most? Then pull out your diary. How have those values been reflected in the last week? Last month? Last year? How does your relationship with your partner feature?
Pay attention to the things that grate – that emotional discomfort you may feel when you reflect on how you spent your time. Those are big clues on who and what you value. Then make a commitment to set your goals and priorities to do things differently this year. Don’t panic if you struggle at first to answer these questions. Often the answers are buried deep inside of us and it takes a few attempts to get them out.
Now, we run a whole 3 hr workshop to coach people through the process of identifying and articulating their core values and creating a customised plan that allows them to design the life balance they desire, so we’re not expecting you to master that in this short time we have together here. But it’s definitely worth making a start now by taking the time to ask yourself who and what you value the most and then reflecting on whether your priorities reflect what you value the most. If you’d like some help with this, check out our website for more information on available resources.
Tomorrow we will look at the next step in this process which is a different way of scheduling your week – based on your values rather than your “to do” list. That way you can be more “on purpose” about thelife you really want to live and the quality of relationship you really want to enjoy. So, see you back here tomorrow.