Why You Need to Know Your Values Now, Not During

What’s the first thing you do when you open up a new game that you’ve never played before?  Read the directions!  We want to know how to win, what rules to follow and any tips and tools the creator of the game is willing to give us.  This is what life is supposed to be like but often is not.
 
Most of us go into brand new life situations without a set of directions… or core values.  We don’t identify and commit ourselves to the things we say we want and believe in most.  Whether it be parenting, dating, marriage, looking for a job, choosing a hobby, making a close friend we need to know what our must-haves are and what our deal breakers are BEFORE we go in to it.
 
Many people think of an idea, decide it’s a good idea then jump in.  While there are qualities to jumping in versus talking about something to death and never jumping in having a guide that we commit to (our list of values) is critical for any new life decision to be a pleasant experience let alone a success.

If you’re parenting you don’t just hand over the keys to your teen and say “have fun!”  No way.  You have a conversation and lay out expectations, boundaries, and safety protocols.  If you’re looking for a job you know how much money you need to earn, what hours you can work and sure it can sustain you before accepting.  When going into a relationship, or even thinking about a relationship you need a list of must-haves and deal breakers.  

The reason for identifying core values before making a decision or starting a new life chapter is to ensure your own happiness and success.  The problem though is that many people don’t want to hold themselves accountable to these values.  It’s harder this way.  It takes intention and requires time, sometimes sacrifice, forethought, and even self-discipline.  But it usually keeps us out of trouble.

The other side of this coin is not identifying core values and allowing people and circumstances to influence your decisions.  If there are no convictions there at the very beginning then there doesn’t need to be follow through.  We can do what feels good and what seems easy.

But here’s the thing… while living life according to a set of values does take discipline, intention and forethought it protects us.  For example, when we consider parenting it’s critical we consider what kind of home we will raise our kids in, what kind of example we want to be, what expectations will we have for our kids.  If we don’t consider these values we end up in a home of confusion, chaos, miscommunication and tension.  We end up thinking “how did my family get here?!”  It’s because you didn’t start out with your values to lead the way.

If we go in to life situations with our set of directions (just like playing a brand new game) we have a much better chance of figuring things out and knowing how to end on the winning side. 

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  
Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.

Written by Lisa Smith

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