The new year is a time to look back and look forward. Re-evaluating your values is a good exercise to prioritize what is important to you now. As life flows onward, our situations and values may change. I am going through this exercise now. I am re-evaluating my own personal values and those related to my business…which, by the way, should be the same. The activity is usually to go through a huge list of values, beliefs, characteristics, and choose the ones that are relevant. Of course most of the choices are important and the first cut is a big list of selections. The next few passes, which we are ultimately instructed to hone to five, are to choose the values that you absolutely can’t live without.
Five most critical and most important values that we cherish and use as our guiding light. Five values that influence how we live, how we do business, how we make decisions and against what we measure our behavior.
My top values – my hearts and stars (see the graphic map) – for this year turn out to be Health and Fitness, Communications, Relationships, Creativity, and Trust (in no special order). As I live this year, I will use these values to make business and personal decisions. For example, health and fitness has always been important to me. If I am not active, I feel sluggish and unmotivated. Many times I work out problems or generate creative solutions by getting on my bicycle or walking. Being active outside makes me happy, energized and productive! What does that mean to my clients? A healthy and fit me is a good me to work with to get creative stuff done! My values may attract like-minded businesses as we both have the discipline and drive to energetically move forward producing creative projects.
What are your hearts and stars? What are your five most critical values? If you google “values exercises” you will find several resources helping you select your critical values.
After you determine your values, look at your behavior. Are you living your values? I say I’m healthy and fit, and thrive in the outdoors. When I’m sitting in my chair or staring at a blank canvas needing a jump start, I have a stern conversation with myself. “Self…Get up! Get out! Take a half-hour walk at least! Get moving! You said you would.” Inevitably I do get out and come back pretty energized. Examine your behaviors. Are they aligned with the values you set for yourself?
At the bottom of this graphic map clip it says “Now and in 2 years.” Look at how you are living your values. You may want to project how you’d like your life to look in two years. You may be able to predict that your situation will change and you’ll want to adjust some of your values and activities. Will some go away? Will some expand or retract?
Happy 2018. May you be guided by the principles and values you select!
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