Am I the only one who has broken out into a sweat while trying to spit out a “No” and hold back a “Yes”? Sometimes getting it right feels…impossible.
You and I have recently crossed the threshold into a whole new year of decision making. Sigh! January provides a timely motivation to review what’s most important to us and why our values matter. That’s why I’m offering you another look at a popular post from last year, written by Becky Turner, a Personal Coach and Coach for Non-Profit Executives.
Becky Turner speaks into our decision-making process with some tips on how to cut out the confusion and angst when it’s time to voice our yes or no.
Blogger: Becky Turner
Embracing Your Values Cuts Out the Confusion
I remember when it was a huge fashion faux pas to go out in public and not have your shoes match your purse.
Brown heels meant a brown handbag. Silver slides meant a silver clutch. White flip flops meant a white tote bag.
If time got away from me and I didn’t have time to change my purse, I was usually doing it in the car. And then heaven forbid if I showed up to an event with unmatched accessories. I felt totally not put together. I felt disconnected.
I encountered this same feeling in my late 20s when my daily activities did not line up with who I was or wanted to be.
I was busy doing lots of things but they were not things that mattered most to me. I was closing the deal but not taking the time to call my mom. I was getting the 3 mile run in but had no time to read the Bible. I was buying what was in front of me never thinking about the auto insurance bill due in a month and for sure not thinking about my retirement. I was staying up-to-date on all my TV shows but not taking the time to go grocery shopping so that I would have healthy food in my house.
All of those activities were satisfying for the moment but in the end I was still not put together. Worse, I didn’t know what was missing.All of those activities were satisfying for the moment but in the end I was still not put together. Worse, I didn’t know what was missing. Click To Tweet
Until someone handed me Hyrum Smith’s The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management.
This book changed my life because for the first time I sat down and wrote out my values. Here is the list I created in 1997:
Value #1: I love Christ – I spend quality one on one time with Christ [through prayer and Bible study] and share Him with others.
Value #2: I have integrity – I live a life above reproach both morally and emotionally.
Value #3: I am cheerful – My attitude is upbeat and encouraging to others.
Value #4: I seek Truth – Only true understanding will set anyone free from bondage.Only true understanding will set anyone free from bondage. Click To Tweet
Value #5: I love my family – I nurture the relationships with my family through prayer, contacting them and sharing with them.
Value #6: I love my friends – I nurture the relationships with my friends through prayer, contacting them and sharing with them.
Value #7: I strive for excellence – I do my best in all things so that God can be glorified.
Value #8: I am financially secure – Money is a means to an end and I handle money frugally. Debt is none or a minimum.
Value #9: I am an influencer – I seek to positively influence all those around me to either show them Christ or to bring them closer to His presence.I seek to positively influence all those around me to either show them Christ or to bring them closer to His presence. Click To Tweet
Value #10: I am productive – My works will demonstrate my faith.
Value #11: I am physically fit – I avoid bad habits (i.e. fried foods) and practice good habits in eating and physical exercise.
The amazing thing about this list is when I wrote it, 95% of the values were not true in my daily life.
Oh, would I say I loved Christ or my family or my friends? Of course! But those values were not played out in my day by day, moment by moment life.
Today, over 20 years later, they are all true, 95% of the time, and my soul is at peace and my daily activities (my shoes) are matching my values (my purse.)
What about you? How are your daily activities matching up with your values?
Have you established your values?
Do you have your values in writing? In a computer file? On your phone?
If not, I encourage you to write down your values. The easiest way to determine your values might be to think a bit of a morbid thought, “What do I want people to say about me at my funeral?”
Those responses reflect your values. Those are the character traits and lifestyles you want to develop in your life.
Once you have your values list, take time to prioritize them so that when the difficult decisions come your way, you have already made that decision when the emotions were not high.
For example: If a friend were to ask me to lie for them. Loving my friends is important but not as important as my integrity. So, as much as I love them, I cannot lie for them.
Now, someone may say, “That is so wrong. Help your friend out.” My response is always I made this decision on my values and no one can judge my values.
I still have to live with the consequences [of my decisions], but I know that one of those consequences will not be the uneasy feeling I had in my 20s when my daily tasks were not matching up with my values.
I have walked with dozens of people as they have established their values and not one time did anyone say they regretted it. Rather, they are grateful because they are at peace AND at the end of each day know they are living their best life.