Understanding and Prioritizing our Values, while saving time and energy to invest in what truly matters to us
Many of us know what is important to us, what we value. However, have we prioritized our values based on their level of importance? We want to dedicate our time and energy to what matters to us the most first, and distribute remaining time and energy to other values accordingly. I know that this may sound like a lot or be confusing, so let’s pick this topic apart and make it digestible and easier to follow and understand.
What are Values?
In one of the prior blog posts and podcast episodes I discussed the topic of values, what values are, and what do they mean to us. We all have values that are important to us. For some, it is family and everything that evolves around our family, such as: health, money, lifestyle, fun, and security. For others, it may be career. Therefore, what we would consider very important to us are thinks like: working for a right company, career advancement and growth, location, personal development, and people. These are just some of the examples of values that we may place as the most important to us. This does not mean that these two values listed are what most people have on their list of values that they care about, some people may value completely different things in life and, therefore, their list of values could be rather extensive. You may be asking yourself, well can I value family and career at the same time? The answer is, absolutely. However, even though both family and career are important to you, they would never be placed on the same exact level of importance, one would typically be more important or valued than another. That is where the importance of value prioritization comes into play.
What is Value Prioritization?
Value prioritization is prioritizing your values based on their level of importance, where two different values never equal each other on the importance scale. Value prioritization helps us to understand our values better and laser-focus our energy and time on most important values first, versus spreading it across multiple values at the same time, potentially missing on what’s truly important to us, when it is most important to us. Value prioritization is not a static list of values, it is ever-changing, growing or shrinking list. Values change over time, so should our value prioritization list, where the most important values stay at the top and rest of the values are organized based on their level of importance.
Goal Setting and Value Prioritization
Even though goal setting may appear to be similar to value prioritization, they are actually different or at least how they are defined. Value prioritization focuses on prioritizing your values based on their level of importance to you at a specific point in time, whereas goal setting is a roadmap to achieving each goal that you have set, which may or may not be related to your values. For example, your most important value may be family, however, one of your goals is to go on vacation to Bahamas. Are they related? Not necessarily, unless your goal is to take your whole family on vacation to Bahamas and spend time together. Goal-setting, if done correctly, and in accordance to your top values can serve as a vehicle to fulfilling and living out your most important values.
As in example with family vacation, taking your whole family on vacation may be one of many things that you can do to invest your time and energy in what matters to you the most – your family. Perhaps, the other goal you may have is starting your own business. How is this goal ties to your top value – family? You have freedom in creating your own schedule, spend more time with your kids, attend important school events, which otherwise you would be unable to attend, creating the lifestyle you want for your family. So, hopefully these couple of examples helped you to see how smart-set goals can help you in achieving things in life that support your most important values versus being goals without meaning or value behind them.
Why is value prioritization important?
If you had ever felt that you are doing a million of different things to support what you viewed as important, and then feeling as if you have not accomplished much, with feeling of being spread too thin, with no energy left to enjoy what is really important to you, then you are most likely spreading you time, energy, and resources on many different wants and needs, versus one or two values that are most important to you right now, and spending the remainder of energy and time left on other less important values. This does not mean that other values on your value prioritization list are not important. All this means is that you should be investing most of your time and energy in what is important to you first, and then distributing remainder to other wants and needs that you may have. It’s a way to live a simpler and more fulfilling life that many of us desire.
I hope you enjoyed reading this module and found it to be very useful for you or someone else that you may know. Please feel free to share this post if you know someone who may benefit from reading it same way you did
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