Want to Love Your Life in 2022? Start with Values
It’s a time of year for making resolutions (and maybe breaking them already) and setting goals. But where I like to start is values.
Your core values define what matters most to you. They might include family, learning, wonder, adventure, and community or independence, kindness, faith, and generosity. There are so many options. Looking at an extensive values list can be the first step to identifying your core values.
So why does it matter? Why start with values?
How Values Help You Love Your Life
When you are really clear on your values they help you define what your personal version of a good life looks like. When you lean into those values, you find yourself energized and engaged.
Two of my values are learning and connection, and I’m living both this year by entering a year-long program at Stanford. To make room for what I value, I had to choose to cut back on other things. For example, I’m not offering workshops right now, because I want to make the most of this learning opportunity. I may have to say no to other opportunities. But I’m saying yes to reading, writing, learning, deep conversations and connecting with new people and ideas. Already it’s been intense — and energizing and engaging.
When you use values as a guide and a filter, they help you flourish.
Being able to name and define your values is an essential starting point. Try 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love (it’s free) to help you identify your top 5 core values.
Core values may stay pretty consistent over a lifetime, but at times you may prioritize certain values over others. In addition to learning, I also value nature. If I don’t spend time in the natural world or at least seeing the trees and sky, I’m going to be pretty miserable. But this year, I might spend a little less time hiking and more time in class or inside reading. It’s a slight shift of priority that might change again next year.
The other thing that can change is how we choose to live a value. This year learning is happening a lot in a formal setting, but I’ve always valued learning and took classes, read about topics that intrigued me, listened to podcasts, asked questions. Even if you are living the same values, how you live them in this season of your life may change.
Once you’re clear on the values you want to lean into this year, you can choose goals and make decisions that align with those values.
Are you spending time, money, and energy on the things that matter to you? Try listing three ways you are (or could) live each of your values. Each week, as you plan your week, note where you are living your values and what activities don’t support them. If you plan intentionally to incorporate your values, you’re likely to find yourself loving life a little bit more.
3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love
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Hi, I’m Melanie!
I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.
I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.
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