Posts Tagged ‘Values’

New Year Is Time To Review and Reflect

January 15, 2012

Now that it’s a new year, it’s time to reflect upon what happened last year and look forward to the future.

The new year is here. It’s time to reflect back on events, situations and challenges of the past year while anticipating the new year ahead. We may find ourselves thinking, “If only” or “I wish I would have made a different decision.”

On the other hand, perhaps we are content with all of the choices you made and goals you achieved in the previous year. If so, great! Hopefully, we made time to acknowledge and celebrate our accomplishments.

When reviewing the previous year and planning the new year, look at the direction your life is taking. How are you doing? Where are you at in life?

Reviewing and reflecting on how we are currently making our choices in life can often influence what goals we are setting for ourselves. When we know our values and beliefs and commit to those, we will find the choices we make are less of a struggle. We will enjoy living a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

You can feel more prepared for the new year by making either some small tweaks or more major shifts with your decision approaches and goal setting.

So, grab your journal or laptop and let’s begin to plan. Be sure to allow yourself a time when you won’t be disturbed. I find it can be helpful to get out in nature. Try heading to a local outdoor spot likeAlta Vista Park in Redondo Beach or Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooking the ocean; this will provide a peaceful surrounding. Here are a few effective tips to get you started:

  • Reflect over the areas of your life you are happy with. What events, situations or people led you in this direction? Become aware of when you tend to allow your logical mind to guide you in your choices or when you are more inspired by your authentic interests or intuition. While our logical mind certainly helps in choosing right from wrong, using our unique talents and skills allow us to be most successful and happy in life. What supports, encourages and motivates you to stay on your current path? Is it trust, faith and belief in yourself, or is it persistence and patience? Imagine bringing these qualities to all the areas of your life and all the decisions you make. Would your direction change? Take time to celebrate your achievements from this past year.
  • Reflect over the areas of your life you are not content with. What events, situations or people led you in this direction? Become aware of how negative self-chatter or limiting beliefs may have played a role. Perhaps you allowed other people’s opinions and beliefs to overshadow your own true values. Choose to learn from these situations and gently remind yourself that they are now in the past. You can move forward by focusing on new actions to take. Write down where you want to go. Choose new actions you would like to see yourself develop. What type of actions would allow you to feel self-empowerment and have more confidence and courage?
  • Reflect on your commitment to your path. You should stick to it—no matter what. How will you overcome obstacles? What self-care actions can you commit to when a crises arises or a challenging situation? What options do you have when someone challenges your beliefs or values? How can you commit to your personal values in all areas of your life—work and personal?

Honoring our values allows us to create goals that are meaningful and live a fulfilling life, and the new year is filled with an array of possibilities.

Read more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.


Recognize then Replace Negative Patterns

November 29, 2011

A friend called me as she was leaving Spectrum Club in Palos Verdes the other day to tell me what an amazing workout she just had. She said she was happy to be back into her exercise routine after recovering from an injury.

Quick check-in—have you ever noticed how your emotions reflect your actions?

When we are feeling fulfilled in life, our emotions and actions are in alignment—we are living our values. At times, however, certain situations in life will cause our priorities to shift. This is OK for a period of time. Then, it is time to get back on track so we actually feel in alignment with our values and are living them as often as possible.

My friend, for example, had made exercising a priority until she was sidelined by an injury. Getting back into her routine brought her back in alignment with her values, and thus made her happy.

Our values form the foundation for all that we do, think, believe and accomplish. Our values dictate our actions whether we are aware of it or not. Our values—such as spending time with family, getting enough exercise and creating time to learn something new—are what make up our unique self. Our emotional wellbeing always reveals whether we are actually living these values.

During difficult situations and the time that follows, sometimes the way we deal with things fall into a pattern. Depending on the pattern, sometimes our priorities become distorted, preventing us from feeling fulfilled in life.

Whether you are dealing with a difficult situation or a transition in life, here are three quick steps to clear out any patterns that may be blocking you from seeing the results you would like in your life:

Review. You can become aware of any patterns that are holding you back by taking some time to review a few areas in your life. Have you found yourself in a pattern of always choosing security over happiness? For example, sometimes we get too comfortable where we are, and we tend to choose security over happiness. This may be present in our careers, relationships and goals.

Perhaps you can sense a pattern in a few areas in your life where you’ve remained stagnant because you are comfortable. Yes, it is important to have a job—especially these days—but ask yourself if your values are real and meaningful to you. You will find satisfaction in a job that is associated with the degree to which your personal values match those of your coworkers. Both people and organizations have values, and they need to be shared values.

Maybe you’ve been doing the same exercise routine for years because it is familiar and safe, and you’ve avoided setting any new goals for yourself. You have fallen into a comfortable routine that has become monotonous, and you are no longer seeing beneficial results in your workouts. You’ve noticed your motivation for exercising is beginning to wane.

Release. Once you are aware of the areas in your life where you are holding back, take some time to let go of what is blocking you from living your values. This may involve going deep and having the courage to really look at your life. Is your career in alignment with your own values?  How about your closest relationships? Research has shown that we tend to find meaning, fulfillment and success when we are supported in our relationships, groups and organizations that share our values.

Perhaps you may need to look at how you view yourself in your life and release the need to be a perfectionist. Are your workout goals unrealistic and causing you to over exercise, leaving little time for friends? Are you working overtime, struggling to make every assignment perfect? Could it be possible that trying to be perfect at everything in life is stopping you from being balanced in your time with friends and family? Maybe you have fallen into the pattern of trying to please everyone and win approval, sacrificing your own happiness. Releasing a pattern that isn’t effective is key.

Replace. Reflecting on what will replace your old, worn out pattern is necessary to determine the results you would like to see in your life. Recognizing and changing your pattern can be a long process, depending on the pattern and how badly you wish to make a change. Be patient with yourself. Slowly let go of the old pattern as you adjust to your new one. Soon the old pattern will dissolve, and you will begin to see more results with your new behavior.

A client of mine mentioned how she feels she is in a vicious cycle of feeling negative about herself because she exercises hard, but her diet keeps slipping—badly. Sadly, she doesn’t see consistent results in her efforts and becomes frustrated. She was aware that she had emotional eating patterns and wanted to release the negative cycle and replace it with a self-nurturing activity. She made a list of self-care acts to choose from whenever the urge to fall back into her vicious cycle of overeating and over-exercising returned. Instead of giving in, my client would choose instead to indulge in a good book or take a walk on the Esplanade.

Life has difficult situations that will challenge our priorities. Sometimes this can feel uncomfortable because all of a sudden some of our values may appear to be shifting. Instead of worrying, we just need to take some time to review what is really important to us. When our values are clear to us, better patterns can be formed.

What type of ways have you found to effectively replace negative patterns in your life? Feel free to share.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.


What Are Your Core Values?

September 1, 2011

Last week, we learned the benefits of knowing our personal values. Clients have often told me that although they understand the importance of having values, they are not sure what theirs are or how to discover their top core values.

Your personal core values are standards that greatly influence your attitude and character. They are deeply etched into your emotional and mental make-up and are not easily changed. When you wander off your path or lose direction, your top core values will bring you back on track. When you are fully clear on these values, you attract people with like minds who share the same desire to lead a purposeful, authentic life.

Choose a time when you can be alone and not rushed to reflect on the following exercises; I find thePeninsula Library in Palos Verdes to be a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed. You may wish to keep a pen and paper nearby.

  • Ask yourself some simple questions: What are you passionate about? What do you absolutely love to do? What motivates your achievements?
  • Think back to when you were 10 or younger, and come up with two or three experiences that allowed you to feel fully alive in the flow of life. Focus on the type of experiences that were positive moments. Then, list two or three experiences from when you were 11 to 20 years old. Repeat for ages 21 to 30 years old, and so on until you have listed two or three experiences for each decade up to your current age. Include what you did, where you were, how you felt, and maybe even what the outcome was, depending on the experience.
  • Think about the experiences. What made you feel deeply fulfilled?
  • Ask yourself what core values you displayed during for each of those times you listed. Write a word or two that shows the core value that you fulfilled in each example.
  • Make a list of eight to 10 times in the past two to five years when you know you were doing your best. These are the times when you felt you were living your authentic, real, true and best self—your true, authentic core values. Go through this list and write a word or two that shows the core value you experienced each time.
  • Try going to the opposite extreme—consider a situation where you struggled or felt frustration, hurt or anger. Go back to as far back as you can remember, using the same age decades, and list two or three experiences. Even just one negative experience can help shed some insight for this exercise. Looking back at these types of experiences allows you to recognize any authentic values of yours that were violated or ignored. Many times, we don’t seem to recognize our authentic values until something becomes a threat and keeps us from honoring and living these values.
  • Once you have completed your lists, highlight or underline key words and phrases that jump out at or resonate with you. Next, write these words and phrases on a new page. Take a look—do you notice any pattern or theme? Generally, there will be three to five words or patterns that show up repeatedly. These indicate your top core values.

It’s not uncommon for some to find that their core values are not reflected in the way they’re living their lives. This can often be the most uncomfortable part of the exercise. Sometimes closing the gap between your core values and the way you currently live your life requires big life changes.

When you don’t know what your top five values are, life can seem like a senseless race to fulfill one seemingly important goal or another, leaving you increasingly unfulfilled, drained and out of control. Once you are aware of your top five personal values, however, you will find that you are living a more fulfilling and successful life. You can rely on these top values to guide you when making major choices in life.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.


Read more about core values in my book Uber Empowerment.

Define Yourself Through Your Core Values

August 27, 2011

Do you often find yourself questioning or thinking about day-to-day issues differently than you usually do? This is listening to your inner guide. Whether or not we realize it, we all have a set of personal core values.

While we were having a conversation at H.T. Grill in Redondo Beach, a friend of mine confirmed this. He said that although everyone in his family is a doctor or dentist, he knew his purpose and passion was in sports marketing. He pursued this and is living a successful and fulfilling life.

Most of us have lived our lives doing what is expected of us by society. Each of us learns from what surrounds us; however, we have to ask ourselves whether what we learn really affects our own personal values. Often we can feel conflicted when it comes time to make customary decisions about personal preferences, time and money. When we take the time to process what is really important to us, we can live a life by what we truly believe in.

Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces. Out values are influenced by everyone we know and everything that has happened to us in our lives, including parents, friends, peers, your reading, religion and more.

When we live by our values, our lives become those of our choosing and not directed by the decisions of others. Our values help us build and maintain our identity as unique individuals. Having well-defined personal core values helps us avoid making choices that work against who we want to be. Our values become a clear set of guidelines for our words and actions, consistently moving us in the direction aligned with our highest priorities.

There are many benefits of living by our own core values:

  • When you seek alignment between your words and actions you will feel more fulfilled. Far more important than just articulating your deepest values is demonstrating them. When your values and integrity are in alignment, you will feel fulfilled. Over time, solid neural pathways develop that stimulate certain attitudes and habits, which produce seemingly instinctual “right” actions. These actions are not based on animal instinct; right actions result from human desire and practice.
  • Reduce stress and prevent discontent, conflict, frustration and lack of fulfillment by consciously choosing the values by which you want to live. If living a healthy lifestyle is important to you, you will want to consciously choose to eat healthy, exercise daily, ensure you have quality sleep and manage your stress by maintaining balanced life.
  • You will find you make better decisions in times of confusion or conflict. The main benefit of knowing your values is that you will gain tremendous clarity and focus. By defining a list of personal values that are truly your own, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions. You’ll focus more on what matters. Discovering your values improves the results you get in those areas that are truly most important to you.
  • Your personal core values should encourage you to fulfill your purpose in life. Great personal values that are read daily will uplift and motivate you to take on the day’s challenge. Sometimes it can help to reflect on your personal values while enjoying nature such as a walk or run on one of the many trails in Palos Verdes.
  • Be part of a growing contribution and choose work and community activities that bring you fulfillment and success.

Keep in mind that values should be long lasting; this is about creating your future. Expect that your values will evolve as you grow, mature and gain life experience. This is not about following the latest fad. If you expect a personal core value to change next week, it likely isn’t a top core value.

Next blog post we’ll discuss how to define or redefine our core values.

Find more inspiration in my Uber Empowerment Books. Get a sneak peek at some of my Uber Empowering Quotes in this video and you will find more empowerment quotes in my books.


Additional empowerment on defining your core values is found in my book Uber Empowerment available on Amazon.

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