“What’s most important to you?”
When I ask this question of a new coaching client, they often have to think about it for a moment. I can see their eyes move into memory to come up with an answer. Sometimes their answers sound uncertain. Their voice might inflect upwards, as if to answer with a question, or seeking my approval.
How knowing your values will improve your life
The best values exercise I’ve ever used is Steve Pavlina’s, Living Your Values process.
Living Your Values, Part 1 - Steve Pavlina
I've read many books that stress the importance of understanding your personal values, getting clear about what's most…
I recommend you give yourself a 1–2 week window to do this process the first round. To do this well, and determine your core values, you need to invest time in the process. You also need time for review and refinement.
This might sound like a lot, but how long do you expect to live? Is it worth investing time in yourself to decide what’s most important in your life?
Your values may change…
As you live and grow, your values may evolve as well.
I now review my values a few times per year. Once you’ve done this process the first time, a review only takes an hour or two. Often I find a word that better expresses and connects with my current focus and goals.
As your goals change, so must your values
Read that aloud,
As your goals change, so must your values.
This was the most important lesson I learned from Pavlina. I used to have issues around money (as many people do). This had everything to do with my mindset and nothing to do with my skillset.
In the past I had subjugated my values around money. So guess what? Without the core values of Abundance or Prosperity in my life, I wasn’t receiving the amount of money I wanted.
It wasn’t until I realized that money offers more freedom that I was able to accept the value of money. I had to ask myself,
“What would having more money ALLOW me to do or be?”
The answers were easy. I could go on more vacations and weekend trips. I could invest in more courses and trainings (an important value in my life is learning). I could invest in my health (regular massage, acupuncture, etc.).
With the help of another coach, I created a single page that I see on the wall in my office every day. The idea here is to list your top three values. Three is optimal because it’s easy to remember. You than have a supporting paragraph that explains each core value. The paragraph will uses words that are “sub-values”, i.e. they support your core value.
When you first do the Pavlina exercise, you might have 20–50 values, but that’s too many words. When you look deeply at each of those values, you’ll see themes. You can then organize your values into columns with a header, or a main value at the top. This is the process of refinement.
When you have your list it’s helpful to keep looking at it several times per day over a few days. You’ll know when it feels right. You might move things around until you find the right word that resonates with you.
What are my Top 3 Core Values?
Remember, our values do change over time. You change, right? Life changes, we change jobs, people come into or leave our lives. All this “change” means that we must change.
Financial Independence — Travel — Self-Expression
I am financially free to experience an outstanding life that Christiaan and I both enjoy. We afford travel and enjoy new experiences. I am the fullest expression of my highest self.
Health — Wellness — Love — Peace of Mind — Joy — Nature
I live with vitality and joy, and move with ease. My purpose is clear when I’m happy and have peace of mind. I spend time outdoors to re-energize and connect with nature.
Impact — Creativity — Writing — Speaking — Insight — Learning
I love learning and creating ways for people to transform their mindset and improve their lives. My work feels natural, exciting, and invigorating. I enjoy sharing my awareness with others to help people think more critically.
Your core values are who you are
Whenever you have to make an important decision, review your core values. If things don’t line up, then you know it’s not a good choice for you.
When I read my values I see how they are interconnected, like three circles of a Venn diagram.
The better my health and well-being, the more energy I will have to learn, create, and write. This will help me to have an impact on the lives of other people in the work I do as a coach and a writer. This will lead to more freedom, financial independence, and self-expression.
Do this instead of a New Year’s Resolution
Remember how I said your goals affect your values, and vice-versa? If you don’t know your core values, I challenge you to do the Living Your Values exercise before you consider your goals for 2019, and the rest of your life.
Darren helps people let go of what’s holding them back to LIVE OUT the best of who they are, using their unique gifts to make their world a better place.