“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are” Roy Disney.
As mums, we’re so hectic in our daily lives; juggling balls and wearing many hats. However we can actually streamline our lives when we ask ourselves what’s really important to us, and live by our values. Our values are a core part of who we are, the principles we want to live by and the qualities we want to cultivate in our lives or in our work.
For example, at work your values could be being efficient, approachable and a good team player. Your colleague may rate financial security, competition and responsibility. At home you might value connection, fun and spiritual faith, while your friend may find learning, love and humour more important. There is no right or wrong. We are all just uniquely, wonderfully different!
Our values will be fairly stable over time as they are core to who we are, but our priorities can shift. Perhaps before children you were more focussed on career satisfaction but after children you value work-life balance or community connection more highly.
What job should I pursue? Should I start my own business? Do I go away with my husband without the kids? Should I compromise or stand my ground? If you have a clear idea of your values, decisions like these become easier to make. You can use your values as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.
What are my values and what to do with them……?
Here’s a process that you could follow if you like the idea of using your values to guide you.
- Write down your values. If you’re not sure what your values are, think about examples from your personal or work life when you were happiest – what were you doing? Who were you with? When were you most proud? When were you most fulfilled or satisfied? You can also find inspiration from published “Values Checklists” such as http://www.thepositivityinstitute.com.au/images/bibilo/PI-CoreLifeValuesList.pdf
- Prioritise them. A useful list for you is to work out your top 5 personal and top 5 work values.
- Test for discrepancy: Ask yourself if there is a difference between your values and how you are living or what you are doing in your life right now?
- Get proactive. What can you change right now? What could you do differently in the future? Are there any big life decisions on the horizon where you could use your values as your guide?
Life’s too short to not be yourself. The investment you make in reflecting on your values now can make a big difference to your life, in a hugely positive way.
Best wishes from Flourishing Mothers
Adapted and inspired by Flourishing Mothers from the work of Martin Seligman, Kennon Sheldon, Russ Harris and mindtools.com