How we choose to spend time is often influenced by others’ priorities. Ever regret an activity because the pressure to say, yes, seems greater in the moment?
To achieve a meaningful life, it is important to establish one’s own personal values or priorities. When we truly understand our priorities, how to engage the priceless asset of time becomes much easier. Time is precious and establishing personal priorities creates ease in knowing how to spend it and with whom. The choice of creating a meaningful or meaningless existence is much simpler when personal priorities are clear. Importantly, time spent enjoyably, without regret, impacts the quality of your health!
Numerous studies find that “regret” physically harms the body: “The emotional distress of regret can trigger biological dysregulation of the hormone and immune systems that makes people more vulnerable to develop clinical health problems – whether a cold or other potentially longer-term health problems,” according to Carsten Wrosch, Ph.D.
To establish a meaningful existence and spend time successfully, creating personal priorities is an important first step. According to Kevin Daum, strongly established values [priorities] are there to guide behavior [and life] choice. [They] help you…. select friendships, relationships, and business partnerships… and wisely manage your personal recourses such as time and money. Simply put… decision guidelines that keep me true to myself.
Examples of values or priorities can include: Integrity, faith, service, honesty, peace-of-mind, responsibility, adventure, family, balance, growth, kindness, confidence, ambition, competency, health, control, discipline, individuality, equality, freedom, accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality, efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness, discipline/order, generosity, persistence, optimism, dependability, flexibility, [and] change.
When prioritizing your personal core values, it is important to think about criteria you will use to make your selection… here are some criteria that might help in selecting your personal core values and priorities:
- Prioritize – Based on YOUR feelings. If you have more than 5 priority values, eliminate some.
- Inspire – Personal values should encourage you to fulfill your purpose in life.
- Unique – Your values need to speak to you. Don’t hesitate to use values learned from others, but your core values should help define who you are… reflect the priorities for your life.
- Provide guidance – Priorities lend help in your everyday decisions, particularly with relationships.
- Long-lasting – This is about creating your future. Expect that your values will evolve as you grow, mature, and gain life experience.
- Meaningful and rewarding – Values provide the measures that help us live meaningful lives that fulfill our given purpose. Living a life of meaning brings us joy.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” – Ghandi
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