Have you ever set a goal and put in the work to make it happen, only to finish feeling unfulfilled and frustrated? Follow these important first steps to make sure your actions and efforts are aligned with your values!
It’s far too easy to say yes and rush ahead towards that exciting goal without taking the time to check in with ourselves.
If we don’t check in on a deeper level regularly, we just mind find ourselves checking off the boxes and wondering why we feel so empty when we achieve what we set off to do.
Many of us set aside time in the beginning of the year to set goals we’d like to accomplish. Fewer of us however check in on those goals monthly or even quarterly to get a feel for how they relate to the rest of our lives.
As you have probably experienced, big life transitions can de-prioritize what you once thought was most important. COVID-19 for example has forced many of us to scramble and pivot our businesses to keep them afloat. For some of us, this new variation of our business may suck all the joy out of what we once loved.
The question then becomes do we stick with the plan and continue, or do we change course and set some new goals?
One of our favorite ways to take inventory is to simply take a sheet of paper, and write “What’s Working” on one side, and “What’s Not Working” on the other. You can do this exercise on a broader sense of your life, or narrow in on something more specific like your career or a relationship.
We’ll use career as an example.
Next just let your words flow and start listing what is going well: what feels good, what makes you happy, what are you proud of or grateful for? This side might include: flexible schedule, enjoy working with people, making steady paycheck etc.
On the other side list out what’s bothering you: what irritates you, what consistently bothers you, what doesn’t feel aligned? This side might include: dislike early morning shifts, frustrated that no one cleans up after themselves, frustrated I can’t reach more people, income is capped unless I want to work unsustainable hours each week
Taking the time to list these out can help put into words those things that have been nagging at you. You can then determine which areas you might be able to change and which you may have to accept. If the right column is miles long, perhaps it’s time to look into other career options!
How do you want your day to day to look and feel? Envision your ideal day. What time do you wake up? How do you start your day? What do you eat for breakfast?
Give yourself 10 minutes to walk through your ideal day. Be as specific as possible. Do you want to get outside at least once each day? Do you have a daily workout? Are you lunching by yourself or others? What do you do after dinner?
Compare your current schedule with your ideal schedule. Are there ways you can shift your current practices to reflect your ideal schedule? For example, if you know that you are more productive after a morning workout, can you schedule your day to start later or wake up earlier? If those don’t seem manageable, how about adding in a 10 minute yoga flow or stretch session to at least get some movement in?
Do you know what your core values are?
Knowing your core values will help you solidify your self-identity, and streamline your decision-making process so you can confidently direct your life in a way that feels aligned.
If you haven’t taken the time to identify your core values, complete our Core Values Finder to help narrow down your top 3.
Once you have your top 3 values you can begin to use them as a compass in navigating your life. For starters, you can make sure to incorporate your values in some way. This doesn’t mean you have to quit your day-job to become a singer if you love singing. But perhaps you decide to take singing lessons or make sure to sing on your way to work every morning.
We find that the more we can weave our values into our daily lives, the more aligned we feel. We also find power in sharing these discoveries with others and saying them outloud. Not only will you strengthen your confidence in your values, you’ll also get new ideas from them on how to incorporate more of your values into your life.
If you’re ready to make moves with your values, make sure to complete our Core Values Alignment worksheet to create momentum in living a more aligned life!