Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all the things you NEED to do, let alone enough time for the things you WANT to do? Don’t worry, although many people are often in the same boat as you, there are some tips you can start using today to help encourage values-based decision making (AKA: making time for what is important to you)!
Start off by working on clarifying what is important to you. Ask yourself who and what matters to you. Many of us will begin by listing the people or things that others or society think should matter to us, but this exercise is really to help you reflect within on who and what actually matters to you.
Once you have begun clarifying who and what actually matters to you, then you can begin to mindfully notice the choices you are making on a daily basis. Notice if these choices are bringing you closer to fulfilling your values (also known as “towards moves”) or further away (also known as “away moves”).
Once you get a sense of how often you make towards/away moves, you can start to actively challenge barriers that come in the way of making more “towards moves” (including thoughts!).
I have identified from Step 1 that my health is important to me.
In Step 2 I notice that I’m really good at making excuses to not to go to the gym.
For Step 3 I would begin to challenge any barriers or thoughts that may come up as I make my plans for the gym.
For example, I am driving home from work and was planning on attending the gym right after I got home, but tricky thoughts began to appear like “I deserve a night off” or “I am too tired”. I would begin to challenge these thoughts by asking myself – would skipping the gym bring me closer to the life I want? Or further away? Most likely – if I did skip the gym – I would be going home and watching TV on the couch instead. Thus, I begin to challenge these thoughts and realize in the short term that avoiding the gym may make me feel good, but in the long term – to me – watching TV is not that important and is not bringing me closer to making time for what actually matters to me!
So go ahead and get started! Begin implementing the above tips, and see if making time for what matters to you contributes to a more fulfilling and rewarding life!