Goal Setting in 2011: Step 3 Listen to the Music of Your Soul

Welcome back!  I hope you are finding this process insightful and interesting.  Today's step is one that I particularly enjoy and I hope, as you work through it, you do too.

Ready to play?  Set your papers aside from yesterday and begin with a fresh sheet.

Some Food for Thought:

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams.  Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible to do. " -- Pope John XXIII

"Living with integrity means:
* Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships.
* Asking for what you want and need from others.
* Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension.
* Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values.
* Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe."
-- Barbara De Angelis

You've may have heard what I am about to say time and time again:  Know your values.  But do you know why it's important to know what they are?

Here's my $100.00 opinion...GRIN... because values are at the root of what is most important for you.  They play a HUGE role in assisting you to live your life in integrity. 

Your values influence your thinking and guide your actions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year whether you realize it or not.  So doesn't it make a lot of sense to spend some time to figuring out not what you think should or ought to be important but what is TRULY important to you? 

One of the quickest ways to get a handle on what your values are is to look at how you spend your time.

I'll use an "activity" I engage in from my life as an illustrative example. 

I spend a lot of time writing. Posts for my blog. Stories that accompany some of my art pieces and jewelry that I sell. Stories that I tell at adult storytelling evenings or storytelling "gigs".  Occasional articles for publication in professional journals.  Oh and not to forget some of my art tutorials,,, GRIN.  These examples are a good cross section that illustrate the importance and priority this activity takes in my life. Writing is definitely important to me.  No kidding eh??? BIG GRIN

So what are the values at the root of this activity?  First and foremost for me is sharing because I believe that it is important to share knowledge. 

Another value is fun/pleasure.  Researching a "subject" and learning something new from it is a pleasurable activity for me.  I have more fun than a barrel of monkeys discovering something I didn't know before.  Just ask hubby... he gets the biggest kick out of me when I share some new discovery I've made with him.  Sometimes I am so excited, my words trip all over themselves.  There are certainly other values beneath this activity but those two values, sharing and fun, are at the top of the list for me.

Asking yourself  "What is truly important to me?" and then listening for the answer, is the first step in creating a list of values.  For example:  If having a loving relationship with your spouse or a significant other is important to you, the value might be "love".  Another example:  "I want to be a successful artist",  the value might be "success".

Determining what is important to you and creating a hierarchical list of your most treasured values is well, very valuable indeed! LOL. 

Think of values as the compass you carry which guides your way through life.  When you know your values, prioritize them and base your daily actions on them, you are well on your way to living the best, most fulfilling life you can make for yourself.  It is the difference between living your life from a reactive state (from the "Outside-In") to living your life based on your life purpose and values (from the "Inside-Out")


What's really, truly important to me?

What do I daydream about the most?

What do I love to do?

What is most fun and meaningful for me?

What kind of people do I love being around?

What five values are most important to me?

How do I want to be known in the world?  I want to be known as someone who....(finish the sentence)

What natural strengths, skills, abilities and talents do I want to use this year to make my life sing?

Shared Wisdom

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.  There is lots of movement but you never know if it's going to be forwards, backwards or sideways."  -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Use what talents you possess.  The woods would be very quiet if no birds sang there expect those that sang best. " -- Henry Van Dyke

"The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have not what you don't have." -- Woody Allen

"If we aren't willing to pay the price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all." -- Barack Obama

See you tomorrow as we move on to the next step in this process:  Listen to the Songs in Your Heart