What Do You Value the Most?
If you want to know what you truly value, take a moment and examine how you're spending your time.
At my husband's work, he, periodically, is required to write down every single task he does throughout his day. It's incredibly tedious, time consuming, and kind of unproductive, but he is given a clear picture of how he spends his day. He can look at that time study and see where he could be more productive and efficient.
If you and I sat down and wrote down every single task we accomplished during the day, the week, or the month, would we find that our values and our schedules/tasks sync up?
I've found that in my quest for a simpler, slower, and more intentional life, that my schedule doesn't always line up with my values. Now, either that means I need to change my values to line up with my schedule, or I need to line up my schedule with my values.
If I say I value my friends and family, but whenever I'm with them I'm lost in social media someplace and not paying attention to them, do my actions really speak of my value? What am I really valuing in this situation?
If I say I value my children, but seem to always tell them to go away so that I can finish a cleaning task. What will they think I value more?
If I say I value a clean and organized home, but my home is constantly in a state of shambles because I'm choosing to spend my time somewhere else. Then is this my true value?
Do you see what I mean?
In the first example, I might feel like I never truly see my friends and family. Maybe I feel lonely and even unknown. In the second example, I might feel stuck when I notice my kids are growing and changing and I'm over here working on dishes for the umpteenth time today. In the third example, I may complain about the constant state of busyness I'm in. I complain about never being home and being able to have a nice, calming, clean, and relaxing place to come home to. Why is this? Because the way I am spending my time isn't lining up with what I'm truly valuing.
Need Help Examining Your Values and Living Them?
Are you longing for a change and the ability to make some life-changing goals that you'll actually keep? Here's my question for you? Why wait? You can have your new beginning today, right now, in this very moment!
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How can we begin to make changes so that our values line up with the way we spend our time?
Let's first make a list. Write down three values (you can write more or less).
Now, pull out your calendar. How can your calendar begin to reflect these values?
If you wrote down something like "I value my friends and family." Then look at your calendar and intentionally pencil them in. When you get together with these valued people, make a point to put away your phone and to choose activities where they have your complete attention.
If you wrote down something like "I value a clean and organized home." Then look at your calendar and schedule the time to clean and organize your home. Maybe that means staying home for a weekend so that you can do a thorough cleaning. Maybe that means you work everyday to declutter, organize, and deep clean. Whatever works for you, schedule it.
If you wrote something like "I value my children." Then look at your calendar and plan some fun family activities or parent/child dates. Maybe plan a day each week where you take your young children to the park or out for a hike. Maybe you intentionally choose a shared loved hobby and tackle them together. Maybe you take your kids for a ride and show them where you grew up as you tell them stories from your childhood. Then choose a time each day to check in with them and catch up. Maybe this is just before they go to bed and over a cookie or two.
In one week, look at your calendar and consider how you have spent your time. Are your values and schedule syncing up? If not, consider changing your calendar to better match your values. Keep this goal in your mind and re-evaluate regularly.
Let's intentionally work to spend our time on the people and things we value the most.
If you need help examining your life and setting goals (values), be sure to check out our 4-day Simply Examine series.