Does it feel like you never have enough time or energy? While you can’t create more time, you can increase your energy and the way you use your time. How? You need to clarify your personal values – what’s really important to you – for these give you the power to do all that you do.
Your energy comes from four main sources – your body, your emotions, your mind, and your spirit. The good news is that you can systematically expand and renew your energy by intentionally eliminating practices that deplete you while increasing behaviors that support you.
We’ve all seen lists of priorities in life that include things like money, health, relationships and personal growth. However, listing priorities is just scratching the surface of your self-awareness. Personal values are the deeper reasons why something is important to you.
We’d like to encourage you to take a few moments today and write down your thoughts as you read this. Our experience is that, when you take the time to really consider and reflect upon what you truly value, and then write those things down, you’re more likely to have the courage and confidence to make choices based on those values. There’s something about actually writing down values that makes a person more committed to aligning with them.
But first, let’s examine why this is beneficial for you. What are some benefits of clarifying your personal values?
It renews your purpose in life. Let your internal compass guide you, instead of making choices based on circumstances and social pressures. While you no doubt would like to please others, it’s important to live up to your own expectations. Living a life in line with your core personal values brings purpose, direction, and happiness.
It helps you make the best choices. If you haven’t clearly defined your personal values, you can end up making choices that conflict with your priorities. And when your actions conflict with your core values, the result is unhappiness, frustration and ultimately stagnation.
It makes life simpler. When you’re sure of your core values, decision-making becomes much simpler. When faced with a choice, you simply ask yourself: “Does this action align with my values?” If it does, you do it. If it doesn’t, you don’t.
So, what’s the best way to bring your energy in alignment with your personal values? Let’s consider these in the order that is easiest for most people to make adjustments. The exciting thing is that even small changes will greatly increase your energy level. (We’ll give suggested personal values in parenthesis below to get you started.)
We know that good nutrition, exercise, taking breaks, and sleep are essential facets of self-care. Yet, for many people, the divide between knowing and doing is huge. That’s where an examination of your values is so vital. It gives you the all important reason WHY. For example, because you want to walk your daughter down the aisle when she marries, you’ll give up the tobacco, fatty foods, and start working out regularly. The core value of having a great relationship with your daughter fuels the energy to improve your health. (Responsibility and self-respect.)
We’re surrounded by distractions and ways to procrastinate. These distractions are costing you a great deal in time and energy. They are draining and prevent you from growing and taking action that really matters. What personal value can you reflect on that will give you the energy to become fully present in what you’re doing and who you’re with? (Commitment or authenticity.)
We’ve discussed many techniques for improving your emotional state in past articles. A regular practice of expressing specific and detailed appreciation to others is a powerful way to fuel positive energy. And when negative emotions emerge you can learn to clear your past and reframe your story. What personal values will allow you to tell your most hopeful and personally empowering story? (Humor or compassion.)
Haven’t you noticed that you feel more energized and focused when you see value in what you’re doing? What personal values keep you in alignment with what truly gives meaning to your life? (The spirit of service and giving back.)
We invite you to further clarify your personal values by taking advantage of our Life in Balance: The Seven Keys program. It will help you systematically hone the specific skills that contribute to a deeply satisfying and effective life.