“Decide upon your major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it.”
~Brian Tracy

Whenever we take clients through values work we start with an eye-opening exercise. First, with reflection and visioning, we ask them to list and prioritize their values, and to capture on paper the portions of their lives that are most meaningful and valuable to them. Next, we ask clients to think through their average day or week (or even better, to pull out a calendar that details how they’ve spent their time). And then we have them compare the two.

It is, unfortunately, very rare that our clients see their values and priorities matched by the allotment of their time. They may find that they value family, yet spend too many hours at work (and too many hours at home doing work). They may prioritize creativity, yet not see that reflected in their days and lives. They may have decided long ago that they want to contribute meaningfully through volunteer work, yet have not made time to volunteer.

The only way to align our lives with our values and priorities is to actively align our lives with our values and priorities. To choose actions and activities that support what we value. Even if we find we only have five minutes a day for what really matters to us, that five minutes a day is more than not having five minutes a day…and it starts to add up. When we make time for what matters – for our purpose, for the legacy we want to leave – we find more ways to make time for it. We may find the creative project at work that we never knew existed. Or the ways to carve out family time when we thought we had none. Or a chance to volunteer – or to get our entire team or office to volunteer – that would have slipped past us if we weren’t looking for it. We may even find a way to align with laundry.

To live the life we want to live we need to choose to do so. To organize our activities around what we value. To make time for what’s important for us. Start now – take our Values exercise, find your values, and align your day.

Do what matters to you. Make time for it.

Where can you align your days and activities with your values and purpose? What do you need to shift?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in aligning your life and work with your values, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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