There’s never a bad time to reevaluate your life to help you understand if your values, vision and goals are aligned with your true essence. When discord arises in life, it doesn’t always mean a complete distancing from the situation is required but it does require a deeper look to determine what changes may need to be made before making a decision.
You can determine your current values by looking at the time, money or energy you expend on the things, activities and relationships in your life. You can then take that knowledge to decide what changes are required to put you back into alignment with the values you actually want to nurture and define you.
Here’s a general list of the things, activities and relationships we assign value to.
Family & friends
Fun & recreation
Career or Life purpose
Romance & intimacy
What you’ll need:
1. On your drawing paper, write 0–10 in horizontal lines 8 times, leaving a few inches of space between each.
2. Label each line with one of the 8 list items above.
3. For each list item, use a colored pencil and draw a semi-thick line to the number that indicates how much time, money or energy you expend in that area. This indicates how much you currently value this aspect of your life.
4. Use a different colored pencil and this time draw a line indicating how much more or less you would like to expend time, money or energy in this area. This indicates how much you would like this to be a value in your life.
After completing the valuation process, in your journal, discuss any insights you received. Write what is going on in each area that makes your current value what it is. Perhaps you’re not spending enough time in an area. For each value set, write about what would need to change in order to begin living according to the values you want to embody. Just because something is at a higher value doesn’t mean you want it to remain there. For example, if you currently value work over your family, you may want to change how much time you spend working to create more family time.
Let’s take romance & intimacy as another example. If you’re currently at a four, what is or is not happening that makes it a four? Do you perhaps spend a lot of time criticizing or wishing the other person would change? What would you need to change in yourself to be at a 7 in your intimate relationship and how could you go about implementing those changes?
One thing to keep in mind when going through this process is that not everything can be at a ten, because in reality nothing would be getting the attention it deserved. You cannot be everything to everyone all the time. Choose the things that are the highest priority and make adjustments accordingly.
I’d love to hear how this exercise goes for you.