When I first started becoming more intentional about the life I wanted to lead, I realised it involved lots of questions. Many, many questions, otherwise how would I know? One of the very first was:
What do I value?
When I’d wake up on yet another work day and drag myself out of my cosy bed to have a shower, eat breakfast and then run for the bus to work, I’d think how nice it would be if life were different. If I didn’t have to get up with an alarm clock five days a week. If time was my own. I still think about that actually, how nice it would be not to have to leave the house at a certain time each day, but the difference is I look forward to my days now (and I’m working towards not having to go to an external workplace within the next six months). A key reason I’m really happy with my life is that I’ve intentionally worked on shaping my days to be full of ease and beauty.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t situations; of course, even someone with the most perfect life in the world would still have stuff to deal with most days that they wish would just go away (for me: filing paperwork, keeping up with boring admin, doing my tax stuff, getting into a good daily routine sometimes, having days when I do not have a handle on my food).
But for the most part I can honestly say that I enjoy (almost) every moment of my life. And it all started out working out what I value; it was how I decided what belongs in my life and what doesn’t.
One day I sat down and wrote out everything I value and figured out exactly what belongs in my ideal life. I came up with a list by asking myself 'what do I value in life?'
Having this list is soothing to read through because it focuses my mind on what matters most to me. If I had to narrow it down more so that I could keep a handful of values top of mind, I’d probably choose a top three from this list. I started out with one long list of values but then saw that many went together such as Partnership, Family, Pets - they are all relationships that I value. So I can narrow down the list by grouping like things together.
Simplicity is number one: if I had to choose a single value to live by it would be simplicity. Health is up there too. It's amazing how easy it is to eat differently when your health is at risk. And it is obvious to me now because Health is a value for me. As much as I like being slimmer, I don't see 'Being Skinny' on my list so it wasn't as much of a motivator as Health obviously is.
Using this list of values as a springboard is a really useful and fun way of reminding yourself what’s important to you. Have you ever thought about your values? If you had to pick one or two off the top of your head, what would they be? I’d love to hear.