Now that we are firmly into 2020 many of us will have made and kept, or perhaps forgotten, our New Year’s Resolutions. Lee Pycroft, Health & Beauty Editor at Lady Wimbledon HQ looks at goals and values, and how they can help you determine what is truly important to yourself, thus bringing happiness and contentment to your life. Lee has put together a helpful guide to get you on your way.
Defining What is Important to You
Whilst I believe in the sentiment of resolutions and the importance of goals, knowing your values provides more of a sustained feeling of direction in life. Goals are action based, involving things we want to achieve in the future, whereas values can lead us back to what is truly important to us, and can be drawn upon at any time to help guide us in our decision making.
The beauty of knowing your values is that they help you make key decisions that will align with who you are at your core. A decision that is not aligned with your values can cause inner conflict rather than the feeling of being more balanced and connected.
Therefore, it is invaluable to combine the more temporary achievement of a singular goal – such as a resolution – with a sustained effort to realign yourself to your core values. To accomplish this, it requires having a meaningful conversation with yourself and asking yourself this question;
“What has been most important to me in my life?”
Follow this with a period of quiet reflection.
This is the question I asked myself when I created my own values list. The key is to look for the emotional state you want to achieve, rather than the means by which you experience it.
For me, love has been the most important of all. Relationships, in all their varying forms, are a means through which I experience love, but love is the feeling that drives them. If you think that your childlren, home, money or job have been most important to you, ask yourself what the feeling is that they give you. Maybe it’s connection, contribution, safety or security, or making a difference.
Ask yourself this question 10 times and write each word down until you have a list of values that are most important to you. Don’t overthink it – just keep going. It is often the final words you write that will resonate the most.
Now you have your list, examine it. Think about whether the order truly reflects what you value most in your life as it is today. If not, prioritise each one, so that the top of your list is the most significant and the bottom the least.
When doing this, consider what phase of life you currently occupy. Tailor the list to accurately reflect how you want to live today. If for example, love is a value, and seeing your family is the means by which you experience it most, then maybe before accepting the next job promotion, it could be helpful to evaluate how much more time it may mean you are away from them. Equally, if the thrill of adventure has always been important to you, consider whether in your current situation, placing a higher value on health and family may serve you better. Now, after careful consideration, rewrite the order of the importance of your values.
Finally, for each of your values, list 3 ways that you can experience that value every week in easy, accessible ways. This is a fun way of expanding how you usually achieve your desired emotional state. Taking time to review your list each year will help give you a guidance map that keeps what is meaningful and heartfelt alive, prioritised and tailored to the time at hand.
Now that you have reflected on your list, look forward to a happy and content future.
Health & Beauty Editor