Living a life in-line with your values

If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you will have seen that recently I walked you though my super simple structure for documenting, tracking, and achieving your goals….both personal and professional. I like to keep things simple and for goal setting, I simply use Excel. Well, this is another example of keeping things simple, but simple does not mean meaningless. Quite the opposite. When we are talking about values, they must be clear, precise, well-articulated and defined. Also, they must be meaningful to you.

See, I never stopped to think about my goals before. I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve, what I thought success was and would then say ‘yes’ to most things that came my way. Then I discovered how important understanding your values was, when I compromised something (upon reflection), very important and meaningful to me, in the pursuit of a shiny object. You see….children for me was the biggest trigger to stop and reflect upon what was truly important to me and to not compromise those values for anything, because when you do, you end up in a place that lacks joy, happiness, reward and meaning!

What are values? To me, values are individual beliefs that should dictate the actions we take and the decision we make every single day. Say yes to things that align and you will end up where you are meant to be. They should align with our idea of success. If not….it is someone else’s idea of success.

I encourage all of you to invest the time in becoming clear on what your values are. I would suggest you land on somewhere in the vicinity of 5 – 7. There is no set number, but if you can only think of 1….keep going. If you are up 27, perhaps stop and do the exercise again.

I encourage all my clients to complete the Barrett Values Assessment online. A really simple set of online questions that produces a report that is incredibly accurate and reflective. I would suggest using this as your basis for analysis. Note, it does cost around $20US. If you prefer not, you can simply Google ‘top values’, ‘what are values’, ‘what are peoples values’ etc. Read through the lists and reflect upon what draws you in, what feels right, what resonates. This exercise must be done without distraction.

In Excel I would like you to list the following (contact me for direct guidance):

Top 3 values:

List the three values you believe to be your strongest. The three ‘core’ values. No need to be in any specific order, just pick the 3. Then across the spreadsheet you write the following titles and answer underneath.

  1. Why is it important to you – Describe why this makes your top 3. What it is that drives you and therefore your actions.
  2. Are you living it? – A simple yes or no.
  3. How? Demonstrate – If you are, document how you do it. This is like that of a journaling exercise.
  4. What is stopping you from living it? – If you are not, then why? What is stopping you or what do you believe is stopping you. Here therefore you have your first action item. What do you need to do differently or change, to ensure you’re living in line with this value each day.

3 values you would like to live more:

Below the three you noted above, I want you to document three values you would like to live more. Three that you believe are imperative to you living your true life, being happy and achieving success. Being the person you truly want to be.

  1. Why is this important to you? – Think of this once again as a journaling exercise. Reflect upon why this is of such importance to you and what it means.
  2. One thing you could start doing to live it more? – What action or actions do you need to take to live this more each day. Be self-aware.

Values analysis can be confronting, emotional and hard work. This is why many people do not like to invest energy or emotion into this space. But, if you do, you live a life of fulfillment, joy, and genuineness.


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