At this time of year, I’m usually looking forward to snowboarding and organising trips away for the forthcoming year. My values and things that are important to me include being outside, particularly in the mountains, and pursuing adventure. Although, my options are limited at the moment, it doesn’t stop me planning, and at this time of the year, it’s good to take stock.
Do you know your personal values? Do you know that these change over time? Do you know why they’re important, and how you can harness their power? Read on….
Why are values important?
Help you reach your goals: those goals aligned to your values are more likely to be achieved. A goal, by its very nature, will stretch and challenge you, so it needs commitment and motivation. If this goal is something you think you ought to do, or is imposed by others, but, crucially, doesn’t align with your values, the chances of you achieving it are less. Your goals should align with your values.
Help you find your purpose: values show you what is important, so this can lead you much closer to discovering your purpose.
Help you to be more confident: when you know what is important and what you value, it provides a sense of grounding and stability. Because of that connection to your own values, what others think becomes less important. This gives a stronger sense of confidence.
Help you prioritise: once you know what’s important to you, you can identify where to spend your time. Get rid of the energy-zapping ‘things’ that are not important. If two people ask me to spend precious weekend time; one to go out boozing for the evening; and the other to cycle along the coast, I find it easy to say, “Thanks for the invite, but no,” to the former, and, “Hell yeah,” to the later!
How do you know your values?
Think about what’s important to you: this is in relation to what you actually think, not what you think should be important. Disregard expectations from society, family or friends. It’s what you think, that counts.
Top tips: if you have 30 spare minutes and you’re surfing the net what would you be looking at?
What do you read? Any themes?
If you could do anything as a career, where the pay was irrelevant and you knew you would succeed, what would it be?
List or brainstorm: just write, or type, whatever comes to mind, do not make any judgement about whether it should be there. Some personal values include: learning, growth, honesty, love, wealth, success, fun, challenge and creativity to name but a few.
Look for similarities and group items together: brainstorming can produce a long list, so it’s useful to put several items together if they are similar. This will help with the next point.
Aim for a list of 6-7 things: the aim is to narrow down to a smaller list, so you can focus on the things that are important to you.
Prioritise: once you have your list of 6-7 values, prioritise them with the first item being the most important.
How to refresh your values?
Values change over time: Life experiences, good and bad, influence what we consider important in our lives. In my twenties, building my career was a strong value, but nowadays this is less important than my health. The challenges of this last year may make you think differently about what’s really important to you. Doing what makes you happy may take precedence over financial wealth.
Go through the stages of How do you know your values? This will help you to see if these have changed.
Enlist help: a trusted friend, coach or mentor can support
you, in teasing out your values. Sometimes, just having someone who can listen and ask pertinent questions, can help you work through what is important to you.
Start 2021 refreshing your values to help you find your purpose, achieve your goals and be more confident. Even though I cannot snowboard, I can be outside, spending time in mountainous terrain and hoping it snows! Whatever 2021 brings, I hope you refresh your values and spend time doing what’s important to you.
Ta ta for now,