Life Values


I have been following Michele Taylor’s 12 day’s of Christmas posts (well playing catch up really, as I haven’t been able to work through each post’s tasks as they were published)

So, after reading day’s 1 and 2 I sat down with my list of values and started work…

First I was naughty, I didn’t just choose 10 values that are important to me as suggested, I first just ticked all the one’s that matter to me, just to see how many there were 58 on Michele’s list that matter to me – ohh shucks, knocking them down to 10 is going to be hard – and I won’t be finished even then.  Although even at 58, I could probably say that most of the ones I didn’t tick also matter to me too. I have a lot of values I guess…

So, first of all lets mark the most vital ones I couldn’t live with out – hopefully that will be 10 or less…

When I reached 10 I deliberately stopped, as I would have ended up marking more, saying to myself – but that is important too, and to be honest I probably would have ended up back where I started. My 10 were (in no particular order)

What’s next? check back with the Michele, whittle these down to 3 that will inform my planning for 2012, ohh no! I know which 3 are top easily but I don’t want them to be the focus of my planning as they already are, do I cheat and chose the next 3?

The clear top 3 (which I am sure most people will agree with) are

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Relationships

but like I say, these things already focus my planning and life. So I think I need to look at the next 3 – wouldn’t you agree? (Is Michele rapping my knuckles with a ruler for breaking the rules? lol)

Hmmm maybe the next 3 also do the same anyway…

  1. Learning
  2. Challenge
  3. Creativity

I’m sure my readers will agree, my blogs, goals and day to day life are already heavily influenced by these things anyway? right.

This is much harder than I expected, I’m back where I started and now I’m supposed to choose the number one value – well it’s already chosen Family (if you go by list 1) or Learning (list 2).

So what do these values mean to me?

Family

My family, in particular my children, have always been a key priority in my life. Considering I never thought of myself as the ‘mother’ type and even now I don’t actually like children that much (I know cruel admission, but I’m nothing if not honest!) I think I have done a very good job of being a good mother to my children. As they are both pretty much adults themselves now (17 and 18) I’m sure they would be the first to tell me if I wasn’t!

I know I’m not all that close to the rest of my family, but my children are always first and whenever their needs have not been at the forefront of my mind (which has happened occasionally when I am unwell due to my mental health) I am very quick to berate myself and punish myself for my perceived failings. Yet, all the while no matter how much I think I haven’t been the best mother (what mother ever thinks she has done well enough?) I know deep down that I have done the best I can and it shows in the fact that my children are growing up to be sensible, well behaved, well mannered (mostly) and generally good kids (I’m not likely to have the police knocking my door saying my children have been in some kind of trouble – unless they are on the receiving end of it).

Even more, I am proud of how they are coming on. I may moan occasionally that I don’t think they are making the best decisions, or could have tried harder in school etc but I know that even there by not being too heavy on their backs I am allowing them the room and freedom to grow and be their own people – not little moulds of me.

This is especially important for my son, who having Aspergers would struggle later if I kept allowing him to be wrapped in cotton wool and held back by his previous schooling experiences and his Dads old attitude of not letting him go off and do his own thing – he is finally growing up now I have removed those barriers. He may not have his dad around any more to be a role model of male behaviour but it wasn’t exactly the best role model anyway – showing in my son’s lack of interest in hygiene and work ethics – just like his dad.

My daughter on the other hand has always been a little more herself, her heart condition has never held her back. Either way I am very proud of both of them, and it’s now the time to allow them to further spread their wings and hope they make it in this wild and savage world, whilst always remaining the flexible back bone they can rely on when they need me 🙂

Learning

I often class myself as a jack of all trades. In my eyes I am an over-educated, inexperienced, underachiever. But, one thing you can’t knock is my determination. I may have only had 3 paid jobs in my life, each only lasting less than a year, but to even achieve those with all I have been through is a huge achievement (even though I often put myself down again about not having held a long term position).

Still no matter what I do or don’t achieve in my working life, I haven’t just sat around claiming benefits and doing nothing all these years. I have been involved in charitable and voluntary work for over 15 years and spent the same amount of time learning. And I still do both to this very day, despite having been a full time carer for my family since 1993 until my husband passed away in 2009 (and I guess I really am still my son’s carer even now, even though I try to let him get on with things more now as I said above).

Learning is vital to me, every day we can learn something – about ourselves, others, the world around us. Whether you spend time studying as I do or whether you learn in other ways. Life is always a learning journey and I for one am glad of that. To not be learning would be hard for me to handle!!

Next steps

So, having identified my life values, Michele’s next suggestion is to enquire how well we are enacting these in our lives using the life wheel. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with that area right now (not how successful you are).  For me I score as follows:

Family – health 9, wealth 4, family & friends 7, hobbies & fun 3, relationship 8, physical environment 9, work 4, personal development 6.

Learning – health 9, wealth 9, family & friends 8, hobbies & fun 8, relationship 8, physical environment 8, work 7, personal development 8.

Questions to ask yourself on areas that score low:

• are those, indeed, areas where I am dissatisfied?
• are they compromising the balance of my life and therefore my overall sense of well-being?
• do I have a sense of what the dissatisfaction is about?
• what would it feel like, for me, to be hitting the 10 in that area?
• what would it look like for me to be hitting a 10 in that area? This is an invitation to be clear about the changes you want: in other words, specifically, what would be different?
• can I start setting goals around that area to find more satisfaction: for example, what number would I like to be at in 3 months, 6 months, a year? What are the steps I need to take to achieve that?

I guess the main one I really feel dissatisfied with is ‘hobbies and fun’ in my family, so I will work on that 🙂

Basically I don’t think we spend enough quality time together doing things as a family. We eat our evening meal together everyday and catch up then on what the others have been doing (college, work etc) but we except when we go on holiday we don’t do much else together other than meals.

To remedy this and as my family goal for 2012 I plan for us to do at least one fun thing together as a family at least once a fortnight (Being almost grown-up the kids like to go off and do their own things most weekends and are in college all week). Whether we go bowling, to the cinema or something else, we will do something – so long as everyone wants to! (I’m not about to force people to do things to meet my needs!). I have also added this goal to my ROW80 goals so I can keep track of how I do with it 😀

In thinking of Learning, I don’t think I am dissatisfied with anything in that area (all scored 7 and above), so I will just continue how I am doing. I have new courses lined up already for the year and studying is already part of my ROW80 goals.

What about you?

What are your life values?

Do they guide your goals for the year?

If not why not check out Michele’s Blog for some tips on how to incorporate your values into your planning!? 🙂 Michele Taylor’s 12 day’s of Christmas posts

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6 comments on “Life Values

  1. Thanks for the mention, Sarah. I’m so pleased you found this a useful process. Let me know how you get on with your goal…!

  2. For what it’s worth, I have found that the best “culling” system for me and my clients was Stephen Covey’s value program. It is now part of a larger system, but I still have the Ascend system and use it regularly. (You can see it in his 7 book series, too.)>

  3. Great post!
    have a long value system: honesty, cleanliness, family, friendships, etc. But, the guidelines I have for a happy life:
    God
    Love
    Family
    Work ethic
    Understanding practice of attitudes
    Practicing self hypnosis for relaxing and reducing pain
    Strong Support system
    Treating people right (what goes around comes around to me! and/or could be called Laws of Attraction.

    The above list has made me happy. I do not believe in negativity, nor looking at the past tragedies Hatred and bigotry are not part of me.

    Love
    Charlie
    Hello World!

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