I was hitting up the internet for help with some questions, and ended up listening to Anthony Robbins’ “Career: Find Your True Gift”. Although I’ve yet to come to a conclusion on that topic, in listening to his interview with Steven R. Covey, I was prompted to figure out what my values are. Not knowing quite where to start, I went looking for some help and found this list.
From there, I started with a “short” list of 24, narrowed that to eight, then prioritizing shrunk that list to six, then I constructed this values statement:
My values are to use my creativity to maintain a positive outlook towards my endeavors. These endeavors currently include maintaining my health and helping others see that getting to and maintaining their health is a key to so many of their life’s desires. I also view personal growth as another key to a more satisfying, balanced life. For me, growth is a stepping stone to a sense of belonging, compassion and empathy for others, and ultimately self-actualization. Strength is something I have striven for my entire life. However, my views of what strength is, have changed in the last few years. Strength is not just a physical trait or mental toughness, but also the ability to be vulnerable and ask for help. I believe all of this, and much more, leads to the creation of joy! I've come to see joy not as a state of mind, but a state of moments. I believe I can be joyful over a moment without it requiring that I am also happy with my life in entirety.
This statement feels really true for me. Health and it's close relative, fitness, have been important to me since my adolescence. I need to employ my creativity to come up with a plan I will stick with to ensure my health, mobility and ultimately a more joy-filled future. I have a strong desire to continue to learn and grow, strengthening my natural areas of weakness and employing my strengths to assist. And while I have so much to be grateful for, I can always use more joy-filled moments.
Do you have a values statement?
If so, I'd love to know what's important to you and why. If not, perhaps this will inspire you to write a values or mission statement. It's never too late, and our values change throughout our lives any way!
Last year, after spending more of the last 10 years at, or just over, the line at which the medical community would consider me overweight, I finally found a way to take 20 pounds off. It took changes to both my diet and exercise in terms of type and timing. It also was a process that took more than 9 months.
By the time I moved to Fort Collins the first of the year, the changes I had made had slowly devolved as the to-do lists grew for both houses, and the time table in which to complete them had shrunk. After a severe bout of flu on returning from a much-needed vacation, and the necessary time for my body to return to normal afterwards, I had substantially reverted to old, bad, habits. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that, although my body shape has changed, I had gained back half of the weight I had worked so diligently to lose. I looked back at journal entries from the prior year and saw my current short-comings.
Of course, each of our bodies is different. What works for you may not at all work for me, and vice versa. The first glaring change to make was cutting way back on sugars and dairy, even the goat dairy that’s better for us humans. I also need to get back to taking probiotics, drinking Kombucha and eating fermented foods every day.
Of course, the other required change is to make more consistent efforts on exercise. This spring, I had started counting yard work as a workout. Although I might feel even more tired afterwards, it’s just not a workout. Neither is housework. I need to realize that the house and yard work will still be there to take care of on the next day, heck, the next week. Workouts, not physical labor, keeps me fit and trim to a level that will allow me to continue to do things I love for more years of my life.
Questions: I'd love to hear what works for you. Do you do it consistently? If not, are there ramifications? How quickly do you notice both positive and negative changes?
Change is hard. It’s been more than a week since I instituted the “no food in front of the TV” change. I’ve done well with it. In the late ate afternoon, I often need a snack. If I’ve been on my feet or bike seat much of the day, I seem more likely to succumb to a snack, on the couch, and with a quick fix of TV entertainment. By dinner, I’m back to being fine with the dinner table.
This brings me to my third big change. It was supposed to be the gradual elimination of coffee from my day. Coffee in the morning is almost more of a ritual for me than a dependence. Of the 4 scoops of grounds I use to make my two mugs-worth, only one scoop contains caffeine. Coffee is a way to start my day slowly – sitting, sometimes reading, sometimes writing on my Surface, sometimes making a list of what I want to accomplish over the next few days, some days, it’s all three, others, I get distracted right off the bat and it’s none. Without that ritual, I go straight into thoughtless doing. Before I know it, the morning is gone. At that point, making a list seems futile, so I don’t. I’m more likely to spend the day overdoing it in the yard and overworking my shoulder before I realize it. No meditation, no exercise, no thoughtfulness, just doing.
I need to come up with a third big change, or perhaps let that one go. After all, I’ve changed a lot of things in my life in the last 12 months.
Or perhaps, instead of taking something away, adding something positive to my day, like meditation, might be a better choice. Hmm, some further deliberation is required, and perhaps a re-reading of that chapter.