How to know your values, create a vision and nourish it for success
Welcome to this second blog that aims to help you to make the most of this year! You can read part one here
- The paper clip test
- Open ended questions
- Fast and slow thinking
Step 1 – define your values
Before you know where you want to go, you need to take a minute to understand who you are, and what is important to you. Otherwise, you could drive yourself this year into a place that you don’t want to go to. Or even worse, get to somewhere, and realise that it wasn’t where you wanted to go to at all! Both of these are very common and easy to do.
So take some time now to define your values, what characteristics are most important to you. To help you, think of the answers to these questions.
How am I just normally? Without even trying, what comes naturally to me and is important to me?
And secondly, what kind of person would I like to be when I get go where I want to go?
To help you, here are some examples for you to pick from
Now try and write 5, then get that 5 down to your top 3, then finally to your top 2 most important values.
You now know how you would like to be, as a person, which values your will be living when you get to where you want to go.
I will show integrity and love
I will be be confident and fair
I will be honest and patient
I got inspiration for this exercise from the wonderful work of Dr Brené Brown.
You can find out more about her here https://brenebrown.com
So now you know your values, and who you want to be this year, let’s take that to into crafting a vision for you and your people in your life.
Step 2 – create a vision using the six boxes
I took inspiration to create this exercise from an article I read over 15 years ago. In it, a young woman had written in to ask advice after breaking up with a partner and being heartbroken. I’ll never forget that the woman responding gave some brilliant advice:
“It may hurt now love,” she said,
“But he was only ever one part of your life. And losing him does not negatively affect the other areas of your life, where you have so much else going for you.”
I remember being so impressed by the idea that our lives have several distinct different parts to them, and not just one aspect.
So when you are creating your vision for your life and where you want it to go, as long as it holds true to your values, you want it to be multi-dimensional. It should include all the important areas of your life, not just one big important thing, which you hinge all your hopes and dreams upon.
So take out a blank piece of paper and a pen and divide it into six boxes. These are the main areas of your life. Write one in the top of each box. I’ve done this with a lot of people, and most people have 4/5 most important areas in their life. If you need to add more boxes, do so, but make sure you have at least 4 and no more than 10.
Here are some popular category ideas to get you started:
- Health and wellbeing
Now imagine you are sitting down with a good friend and reflecting on your year, what would you want to say about your progress in those 6 areas? What would make you feel proud? Write these things in each box.
Often, when I do this with people, they talk about feeling great and relationships improving and projects moving forward. Feel free, if you have specific goals with numbers and dates, to include those. But goals and targets come afterwards. It’s quite easy to set up lists of what you have to do. It’s much harder to take the time to think about and cultivate a vision for you you want to be as a person; and what you want your life to be like in those specific areas.
It’s a wonderfully exciting thing to do, because once you have written down something for each area, you’d will begin to have visions and pictures and ideas in your head of what those things are going to be like. My clients often get rushes of energy and inspiration when we touch on their vision for the year; because as long as you are putting the effort in, and you now know where you want to go, chances are that you are A LOT more likely to get there.
And the best part is, it can adapt and change with the year, no matter what happens, as it’s your vision for your life: no one can take it from you.
Step 3 – know how to feed your vision
So you’ve defined your values and who you are and how you want to be.
You have also set out the vision for your life in the 4-6 areas and are feeling excited.
Now it’s just a matter of taking action, right? Yes, but not quite.
This is the moment when my clients love to plan out their actions and what they are going to do to make their vision real in their life: smart goals, deadlines, changes, improvements etc etc. And it is true that taking the focussed action, consistently, will move your vision forward and make it more and more real.
But there’s one thing that you might miss out, and a lot of people do, which is just as important. And that’s to feed your vision.
When I do these vision sessions with people and they talk about it, it’s is incredibly exciting for them: how they are going to be, to feel, the benefits for their whole family, it is wonderful! But afterwards, it can be very easy to get caught up in every day life and leave the vision as just words and pictures on a piece of paper. And then they could lose sight of the vision, begin to forget it and stop taking the actions to make it real.
So I always tell them this,
you need to feed your vision!
You need to consistently keep it in your mind, keep getting excited about it, talk about, keep it alive. Think of it like a language – if it is not spoken, it becomes dead.
So here are 4 ways to keep feeding your vision so that it becomes a real, integral, living breathing, experiential part of your life:
- Look at pictures that stimulate where you are going, what you will be achieving, who you are becoming. These can be pictures of places, your ideal body, sales targets, emotions you would like to feel etc etc.
- Take time, at least once a week (Sundays are a good day for this) to step into your vision and day dream about it. Walk around, see it as it will be, and imagine how good it will feel. This is a wonderful way to experience and motivate yourself with what is to come for you.
- Speak to someone you trust regularly, every week, about it. Talk about the vision as if it is really happening. Make plans, get them to ask you questions about it. Allow this real life experience with another person to feed and expand your vision.
- Finally, recognise that on the days when you can’t see it, and don’t believe your vision is really becoming real- it still is. It’s like the sun on rainy days, it is still there, just waiting to re emerge. Your vision is the same. If you have a bad day or moment or experience, that does not mean your vision is gone. Sometimes, it can be becoming more real, through the actions of others who may be helping you, when you are not actively even doing anything. That’s an exciting thought!
Going forward into the best days of your life
The best days of your life are truly ahead of you. If you are open to that being true for you, then it can happen for you.
Thinking of it like keeping a door open. As long as the door is even slightly open in your mind, then wonderful opportunities, people and possibilities can come through.
Take the time to
Know your values
Look at your vision
Nourish your vision regularly
And the best moments of your life for you, your team, your family and your business are on the way to you….it’s just a matter of time.
Go make that vision real!
And enjoy the journey…