Knowing Your Core Values

December 2012 Insights

I hear it all the time, “there are just not enough hours in a day”. “How can I get it all done” or “I can’t seem to get it all done”. I completely understand, there are days when I actually feel winded, like I’m running a marathon and I need to catch my breath. Most women would agree that time is the #1 roadblock in their lives preventing them from greater fulfillment. Our dedication and commitment to others often overrides our ability to take care of ourselves-creating obstacles with our work, relationships, health & well-being, fun &enjoyment, and really just balancing our lives as a whole. I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to manage all that we do in a day and still consider our own self-development. However, I do believe there is a more effective way to live our lives and although that is different for every woman, there are two common elements every woman should consider to enhance their management of time and ultimately achieve greater success.

The first and what I believe is the most important element to effective time management  is knowing your core values. Values are priorities that tell you how to spend your time. They are the principles people live by and ultimately what drives people forward. Becoming well acquainted with your core values enables you to gain tremendous clarity and focus that ultimately will help you make more effective decisions and take committed action sooner.

Think of it this way, values can act as a compass to put us back on course every single day. Once we spend a day, it’s gone forever. If we waste that day investing our time in actions that don’t produce the results we want, that loss is permanent. For many of us we can easily get distracted from our ultimate goals because we have so much on our “plates” and there is only so much time in a day. If we don’t consciously use our values to stick to a clear and consistent course to help determine our daily priorities, we will naturally drift off course and shift all over the place. Thus, producing limited results in both our accomplishments and level of emotional satisfaction.

So the first step in maximizing and managing time is to find out what is truly important to you in your life. Taking the time to define your values can help you prioritize your “to do” list.  Often we lose sight of what is important to us and find ourselves falling into the trap of living by other people’s priorities/values or need reminding of what is “your” definition of the best life you can possibly live. And although priorities sometimes will shift depending on one’s life’s circumstances, generally values hold the test of time. So checking in with your core values to see if you are representing them in your daily actions will inevitably provide you with a compass on how to manage your time most effectively. Allowing you to feel confident that you are putting your best effort into areas that have the greatest impact in your life.

Click here to check out the VALUES CLARIFICATION exercise for a step-by-step guide to create your own personal values hierarchy. Though I use this exercise in much more depth with my clients, it’s a great place to begin. I believe value clarification to be the cornerstone of most of my work with my clients for two reasons. The first is because most people have never taken the time to consider their true core values, let alone  define how they can represent them so that their priorities align with their daily living.  The second is because ultimately it helps them intelligently connect to their overall goals by creating a personal emotional buy-in. There is no greater motivation for staying on task then knowing the outcomes of your actions will provide you with greater happiness. No matter why a client comes to me or how far along they are at obtaining their objectives it always circles back to their core values and knowing they are living the best life they can live.

Do the Values Clarification exercise today and call me to set up a complimentary session. We’ll go over it in depth and prioritize your “to do” list together.

Look for Part II of Time Management/Balance in next months newsletter. There I will cover what I believe to be the second most common element to effective time management,  assessing how you spend your time and exploring strengths and weaknesses in the those skills required to successfully manage your time.

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Empowering Questions to Consider When Managing Your Time:

  • How true is it that you have no time for yourself?
  • What are you saying yes and no to?
  • What values are you representing in your daily actions?
  • How can you prioritize your “to do” list so that it aligns with your core values and ultimately supports those aspects in your life that are most important to you?