Values – what you hold as most important in your life – these are the things that, in large part, define you and guide your time choices. Yet quite often, we have not reached clarity about our values. They are guiding us, but at an unconscious level.
So, clarifying your values is a great way to come to know yourself better and to make sure that when you spend your time, you are spending it on what matters most to you!
Today, I share 5 Tips and Insights that will help you clarify your values and, perhaps, revamp your time priorities based on that new clarity!
1. Values help you define who you are.
Values create the frame for your life. They influence your actions and help you define not only what’s important to you, but also what’s absolutely essential. Values help you answer big questions like:
• “Who am I?” and
• “How do I choose to use my time?”
2. Your values may be consistent or they may change and evolve over time.
Your values may remain relatively consistent through the span of your life, perhaps gradually becoming more clearly delineated but remaining basically the same. Or, on the other hand, a major life event might lead to a fundamental change in your perspective. From that new vantage point, what matters most to you might undergo a complete change.
Then again, your values may undergo small and frequent revisions as you meet the challenges and changes of successive decades. In any and all of these instances, you develop an inner guidance system to direct you through your day.
3. Values clarification helps you determine what’s significant in your life.
Through self-exploration, values clarification offers a way to gain knowledge and perspective about what’s most important to you. Through open-ended questions and exercises, it presents options, dilemmas, and challenges that guide you to your individual truth. This is a very enriching path to pursue!
4. Peeling back the layers helps you focus on the essence of a value.
As you develop new insights about what you hold important, you might choose to delve more deeply into the core of a particular value. Let’s say you place a premium on honesty. What does that look like in practice? What kinds of questions come to mind? Do you speak your mind no matter what? And what if it might devastate someone else? How do you frame your honest communication?
As you mature, the nuances deepen and the essences emerge.
5. By observing yourself, you’ll notice what’s most important to you.
This is so true! Try standing outside of yourself and observing how you move through a day. Are your actions consistent with your conscious beliefs and values? Do you make your decisions from a grounded, integrated place? Note when certain values strike a deep, resonant chord and help you prioritize your options. Those choices that both simplify and enhance your life are your central values.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.