In my previous post, Challenges and Gifts: The Balancing Act Of Age, I suggested creating a pie chart and then labeling the various pieces of the pie with areas of your life that are important to you. As you will see, this simple exercise helps to draw attention to parts of your life that you wish to improve.
If you want to ensure you are following your inner guidance to the life you want, the next step is to get very clear on your values. Here’s a link to a post I wrote awhile back on this very topic.
I suggest limiting your values to only five or six. That way, you will home in on aspects that are vital to your wellbeing. Then you can review these values every morning, making sure they remain at the forefront of your mind, and then again every night right before you fall to sleep. This nightly practice will ensure that you are keeping your life on track.
When I had a private practice as a career counselor, I would always do a values exercise with my clients. I’d have them whittle their list down to six top values and then I’d ask a series of questions:
- How do you think you acquired this set of values?
- Have they always been important to you are have your values changed over the years?
- Sometimes we have to make tradeoffs in life. Which values would you be willing to trade?
- Which of your top values will you absolutely refuse to give up under any circumstances?
After they’d answered all of my questions and named the values that are most important to their health and happiness (ones they would be unwilling to trade), I hit them with a zinger. I would then inquire, “If I asked you to pull out your checkbook and your calendar right now—in other words, how are you spending your time and your resources—would you be living your top values?” You’d be amazed at the number of people who were absolutely horrified to realize they were far from realizing the values that were important to them.
So make your own values list, ask yourself these questions and create the life you really want in 2019. Plus, consciously living your values will make you stay wondrously joyful, powerfully productive and delightfully feisty far into the future!