Last week I wrote about how to prioritise and so many of you wrote back and said, ‘I need to try this!’ It seems we’re all getting stuck in the hamster wheel of doing and we need to spend a bit more time prioritising what we’re doing and why.
Getting your values, the things that are most important to you, clear in your mind (or preferably out of your mind and on to paper or screen), is a really simple way to quickly identify your priorities. Once you know your priorities you’re much more likely to spend your time doing the stuff that’s important and meaningful and goal pursuant than if you’re just reacting to what pops up in front of you. Because let’s face it, there is no shortage of stuff popping up and demanding our attention is there?
But what if you’re having trouble really understanding your values? When you’re faced with options such as being a present parent, preparing healthy food, caring for the important people in your life, ensuring financial stability for the family, exercising, paying the bills and , fulfilling your dreams, how do you know what’s most important? Isn’t it all important?
Values lists, known as Values Inventories, like this one that I shared with my subscribers last week can be very helpful to quickly identify the things that matter most to you. To complete it you take a look at the list of commonly held values and circle five or so that really strike a chord with you.
Late last year I took over 200 people through this exercise in a series of face to face courses. I asked for volunteers to share their top five values. Many did and in every session the lists were almost completely different. No two lists of values were alike, even in groups of people who worked for the same company for many, many years and lived in the same local area and community. Our values are personal and largely unique to us.
Today I have another exercise for you; another way to tap into your values and to prioritise your daily life accordingly. This exercise involves creating a vision of your future.
This is what I’d like you to do:
Pick a point in the future that you’d like to focus on. It could be a week, a month, a year, even five years. Close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath and imagine what you'd like life to look like at that moment in time. As best you can, imagine your surroundings and your feelings. Visualise what you have achieved. Create a sense of what life is like at that moment.
Next, open your eyes and make some quick notes about what you visualised. What did you see, what did you feel, what had you achieved? Who was there? Where were you? Describe as many details as you can.
Take a look at what you've written. Do you have a clearer sense of what you should be doing today to get closer to that moment in time?
This is a variation on a positive psychology exercise known as Your Best Possible Self. Studies have shown that visualising your future like this contributes to increased motivation, greater sense of well being, enhanced optimism and better coping skills.
How did you go? Does this exercise work for you? If you tried last week’s exercise of tracking your day, tell me what you found out. I love sharing this stuff and I love hearing about how it helps you even more.
On 1 March my short online course ‘Find Your Groove: The Introduction’ opens for your participation. It’s two modules delivered over one week and in it we work together to uncover your strengths, your values, your talents and your interests in order to create a complete picture of what’s right with you. It’s a quick and simple way to open your eyes to all that you bring to the world and exactly what you have within you that will make you successful in whatever you aim to achieve.
It's an introduction to my full course, 'Find Your Groove' which will open for registrations again in April but it's also an entirely standalone course that will give you a whole lot of insight into how you operate all on its own.
You can find out more (and register) here. It’s only $79.95 for a whole heap of content including questionnaires, exercises, presentations and a workbook. I’m looking forward to working with you.