149. How to find what matters to you (uncovering your personal values)

How do you want to spend your time? Your energy? Your space and money? When you decide in line with your values you will feel intentional and purposeful with all your little and big decisions. 

Knowing your personal values helps you learn more about what matters to you, how you want to show up and how to make confident choices in your day and life. 

But many of us are out of touch with our values, or we have lost touch with them when we entered into motherhood. I want to help you uncover what matters to you, what your personal values are – and I want to do that without the overwhelm that comes from looking at a blank slate. 

Knowing your values helps you with:

  • Handling the world of ‘too much’ and decision fatigue (episode on that here)
  • Saying your BEST YES, owning your decisions
  • Feeling like you are living with integrity, purpose and contentment 

In this episode, we talk about

  • Times when we aren’t in touch with our values, how we lose touch with them, how we adopt other people’s values instead of uncovering our own
  • Three simple exercises to find your personal values
  • A simple conversation you can have with your loved ones to talk about your values in the season ahead
  • How to approach setting values for this season ahead
  • How to determine if it is your personal value or just one you think you ‘should’ have


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Episode Transcript (unedited)

Hey friends, it’s Shawna, you’re here to go in life coach from simple on purpose.ca Welcome back. Welcome to 2022. Welcome back to the podcast, you might know that I have taken a break from the podcast this past month, it was a much needed break. For me, I think, actually my first ever break from the podcast since I started in 2018. And I was sharing with you guys over the past couple of episodes. And in the email that I was in a really demanding season this past month demanding of my time and demanding of my emotions. And a big factor in all of that is that I had all three kids home and you know, I’ve kind of built up my life to align with my kids being in school and doing things during their school hours. But they had all been home since the flooding we experienced in British Columbia. Our Town was really affected by that. So since the middle of November, I think they had about 12 hours total of school time, since the middle of November that they’ve actually gone to school. So it’s been really hands on here. And, and it’s been, you know, a month of some hard things. But there’s also been some awesome things too. One of the most awesome things was thanks to grandma and grandpa. We went away on New Year’s Eve for the night, we went to the city spent a night in the hotel ate some great food. And that was something that I had been looking forward to this entire month, just counting down those days. Because I knew I needed that rest. I knew I needed that reset. I’d been operating in stress mode, really for the better part of the month. And I was just really feeling quite worn out. I knew I wanted to be showing up better. I knew I wasn’t showing up. As a mom, I want it to be specifically like all of the other things on my plate, I pushed to the backburner. And I was just being a mom. But I felt like I wasn’t even doing that very well. And that brings me to the topic of this episode. Anytime I talk about quote unquote, showing up, how you show up how you want to show up, I’m talking about living in line with your values, acting, talking, reacting, planning, doing things that are in line with what you value with what matters to you. And if this episode already feels kind of vague or stuffy, I hope that you’re going to stick with it. Because I want to help you see how values are so applicable and so real. That they help you in your everyday life with your everyday decisions with your everyday sense of integrity and contentment. So much of my coaching is helping women uncover their values, values, matter. Values help you make decisions in how you spend your time, your energy, your space, your money, your values are your guides. Because the reality is we have too many options. There are too many ways we can spend our time or money too many things to buy too many things to say yes to. If you want to hear a little bit more about too many. Go listen to the episode on decision fatigue, I’ll link that in the show notes. So values help us they help us make our best yes, they help us know what to decide. We want to feel committed in our decisions, we want to feel secure of our decisions. And when we know our values, we can start to make decisions with more confidence and more security on them. I think the reason why values matter the most and I kind of hinted at this, when I was opening up is that they help us feel like we’re living how we want to live. You know that feeling I explained being home with your kids being stressed, short and snappy and and you’re feeling frustrated with your kids, you’re but even more so you’re frustrated with yourself for not being very patient or loving or fun. And that feeling that tension, that discomfort that is called cognitive dissonance. It’s that tension you feel when the way that you’re living and acting is not in line with what you really value and really believe. It’s like what my real self is doing versus what my ideal self wants to do. So that feeling that feeling like you’re living, how you want to live, and maybe you notice it in different areas of your life. Maybe you notice it in motherhood, you value patients as a mum, but you’re not being patient. Maybe you notice it in how you take care of your health do you value health, you value your health your body. But day after day goes by and you aren’t really eating the things you want to be eating to be healthy or moving in the ways you want to be moving you you’ll start to feel that discomfort Right? Or it could show up in how you act in your marriage or your job. And I know we try to avoid this tension this feeling or ignore that emotion. I’m going to do a whole other episode on that on this topic on cognitive dissonance. But what I think the important thing to remember is that emotion is there for a reason that tension, that frustration you feel it’s there to bring you back to your core to what you truly value what you truly crave. Because when you feel like you’re living in line with your values most Given the time, when you’re living in line with your values, most of your time, we’re not shooting for 110%, we’re shooting for like 75%. When you are there, you will feel a stronger sense of who you are and what you want, you will feel more integrity within yourself. You, you won’t really need to chase perfect, but you will feel purposeful. And this is why I’m always bringing women back to their values. What’s important to you? How do you want to show up? What matters to you? So that brings us to the starting question of okay, What even are my values, because if you are like I was when I was at home with babies and toddlers, you might not have a clue what your values are. Maybe you don’t even know what day it is, or the mop is. Or maybe that was just me. I’m still there, I still lose track of both of those. But what I felt I was just restless, but overwhelmed, just drifting along this autopilot, not much sense of accomplishment, even though I felt busy all the time. So even if I had known, and I’m sure I did, I had known my values at one point in my adult life, like going into adulthood, and kind of forming them in my early 20s. But by the time I became a mom, that life and that identity I had built up wasn’t the life and identity that I had anymore. Now that I was, you know, at home with kids, I had to make a new one. So all of those values that I had worked hard to identify and build up my life around, I had really lost touch with those. And it is natural that we lose touch with our values as our life shifts. And also what happens as we’re entering our late 20s, early 30s is we realize how much we’ve been programmed to operate in the world, so much of how we’re showing up in the world, our views on things, our core beliefs, our limiting beliefs, they were really formed over those early years of watching our caregivers and the authorities in our life, and the culture that we were surrounded by. And one of those big parts is values as we’ve adopted. Others values we’ve adopted our parents values are the values of our workplace, or maybe even the values of people we follow on social media. We’ve adopted other people’s values, and we’re not really in touch with well, what are our values? If I’m living by someone else’s values that I’ve just, you know, taken as Hami downs, and told myself, this is how life is well, what do I want my life to be? What are my values, if you feel like you’re out of touch with your values, I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much. I think it’s really natural. And I would encourage you that this is a blank slate that is available to you and not to make it overwhelming. And to help you not make it overwhelming. I want to give you some ideas on ways that you can start to really determine your own personal values, your personal values, and they should be yours. They shouldn’t be anyone else’s. They’re not your spouse’s, they’re not your parents. They’re not your kids, like we have family values that are that’s different. But I’m talking about your own values, how you want to live your life. So I have three fun ways that you can think of values that you can do these exercises and learn about your values from them. And I think these are common things that I turn to when the new year comes. These are common exercises, I use pretty much as the year wraps up. So the first one is more of less of. And I shared this prompt in the simple Saturday’s email and in the Facebook group. And it’s so simple. This little prompt helps you just get a rough idea of what you want to be intentional about this year with your time and your energy. It’s two simple questions. But as you answer them, you’re going to uncover some really helpful themes for yourself. The two questions are this. What do I want more of this year? What do I want less of this year? And if you were to pause here and set a timer for 90 seconds to answer this, I think you will find some really helpful answers for yourself because this question helps you uncover not only what you want, but also a little bit of what you need, you’re going to start writing down naturally, things that you know you need more of and less of this year. And if you’ve been resentful and exhausted this year, this season, this is a great question to be asking yourself, what do I need more of and what do I need less of? The next exercise is the theme word. This is really popular. Lots of people talk about it. Lots of people share their theme words with me, which I really, really love. And when people pick a theme word, a word for the year, this is kind of the word I’m going to live by, like peacefulness or intention or simplicity. Lots of people share these kinds of words with me all the time. But what I hear when I hear their theme word is there value, that that is not just a word that they’re picking, but it’s actually the value that they’re going to be working on. And I remember when I started all this intentional living work about seven years ago, I picked The word action, an action felt like the opposite of how I’d been living, which to me was complacent, complacent with my life, my relationships, my home, my body. So I wanted to flip that around and kind of be drastic with it. And I wanted to be someone who would take action. And this was my motto. And I would try to put it in practice in, in lots of different ways, little ways, in big ways. And it kind of became my guide for how I started to make my day to day decisions. So if I was like, alone at the end of the night, or it’s quiet at the end of the night, am I going to sit and eat chips? Or am I going to sit and fold laundry? I picked action, I picked laundry, and then eat the chips after, when I was home with the kids, would I stay inside even longer and kind of keep everyone busy? Or would we just head outside and go somewhere? I picked action I picked getting out. When I’m walking past my bedroom, and I see my bedroom dressers just full of stuff full of clutter, it’s just piling up. Am I going to keep walking past it? Or am I going to do something about it, I picked action. And I felt like it was a deep, deep pole in my heart that I needed to do this, it was almost cleansing. For me, it was almost a way to stop that autopilot and stop how stuck I felt like I had been for so many years. So you could zone in on their theme word, one really crucial value that you want to exercise this year, you could apply it to all areas of your life, you could apply it to just one area of your life. And the final exercise I want to tell you about is to set a vision. You’ve heard me talk about it before in the life on purpose workbook. And in life coaching, I have women go through each of the nine areas of their life and set a vision for what they want it to be, how they want it to feel how they want it to look. And when I start coaching with someone, I have them kind of do this work upfront and send it ahead to me before our first calls together. And I read through that. And I start to learn a lot about this woman I’m coaching just from reading through the vision she has for the nine areas of her life. I can see what’s important to her. I can see the themes, I can see her values I can see sometimes even her Enneagram number I can pick that apart from actually answers these questions. And you can start to see themes in here, you start to see your value shining through the vision you have for the areas of your life. This was a very apparent thing to me when we were decluttering our kitchen for the first time years ago. And we got rid of truckloads and truckloads and truckloads and truckloads of stuff from our house. And our kitchen was part of that we got rid of so much stuff, extra cups and pans and appliances and duplicates of so many things. But after we had done this huge declutter of the kitchen, I looked at it and it still felt full to me, it didn’t look like one of those minimalist kitchens on Pinterest with the little drawers and necessities and spotless counters. And, and I could do that in other areas of my home. But I wasn’t able to do that in the kitchen. And I started to feel like kind of a crappy minimalist. But as we were doing that we were also working on our family values and the family visions we had the vision we had for ourselves as a family, the vision that we had for our home. And I realized through doing that, that we’re a family that connects over food over gathering around the table. And I was really sinking into this vision I had for our kitchen being this place where many people come and sit and eat this open door policy where friends can drop by anytime for coffee, where all the kids can come in with all their friends. And they can just come in, there’s always a seat and there’s always a snack. And I realized that our values for our kitchen were very high. So it just made sense that we had a lot of kitchen stuff, because we’re a food family. In starting to understand my vision for how I wanted my kitchen to feel how we wanted our family to be operating, I could see my values shining through my values of community of food of gathering. So it’s always about doing this work and then looking for the themes looking for maybe the words or the concepts that you’re using quite often. And you’re going to find some there. But I don’t want to just leave you there, I have some worksheets that can help you with this as well. They’ll live your vision, live your values, worksheets, they’re free, I talk about them often stop by the show notes and grab them for yourselves. If you want the expanded version of all of that there’s the life on purpose workbook. It’s available on Amazon. And if you want the even more expanded version of that. There’s the online self paced course the life on purpose roadmap, and that helps you really dig into all of the motivation, all of the factors, all of the planning that goes into living intentionally. So those three exercises, I really encourage you to try them. And they’re even really great discussion points when we went out for New Year’s Eve dinner. That was a question that me and Connor talked about, what do you want more of this year, less of this year? It was just a really simple way to kind of be like a no stop, reflect and kind of like look ahead a little bit without it being this big process that we usually go through with a life on purpose workbook. So those three ways, I hope that you will try them out, find out what’s going to matter to you, this season this season coming ahead. And I, I like to think of values a little bit shorter term. And I think that’s really helpful. Because I don’t want you to feel like you’re locked into the set of values for your entire life, I think naturally, you’re going to uncover some core ones, that will always be there. But many of the values that you want to be working on are kind of stepping stones to help you through this season, kind of the project for this season. So I would encourage you to consider it, what are my values for the next three months and look at it that way. And also know you can always swap it out, you’re not locked and loaded guys, you might try a value like productivity. And as you’re doing it, you might find that you feel like this is a form of striving for you. And maybe you’ll ask yourself, Is this really my value? Or is this one I think I just should, quote unquote, should have, you might want to swap out that value of productivity for something else, like innovation or purpose or simplicity, there’s, you know, there’s lots of ideas there, you don’t have to be locked and loaded into one if you find that it is draining you instead of energizing you. And finally, remember, this takes practice. It’s not about nailing it 100% It’s about starting at the 10% and working up to 11 and then 13. and working your way up. It’s like when they redirect traffic and you have to learn a whole new route to work. You have to keep reminding yourself and keep redirecting yourself. This is kind of like redirecting your neural pathways that you have to learn a new habit a new way of thinking on autopilot, which is what habit is thinking on autopilot. This is supposed to be fun, it’s not supposed to be defeating. It’s something that you keep being intentional with being loyal to keep redirecting yourself back to it.

So 2022, I am so ready for 2021 to be gone forever. And I hope that this new year you will touch base with me. There’s two places that I would love to hear from you once Instagram, tag me in your posts, I love to hear what you’re listening to what you’re trying what you’re learning. Take me there at simple on purpose.ca. And the Facebook group. If you are in that group, remember, it is your community. And I encourage you to use it. Don’t just wait for me to post something go in there. Share your thoughts, share your questions, share your ideas, because that is a community of women who are all working on the same thing, living simple on purpose. So I hope that you will share kind of what you’ve learned about your own values through any of these exercises, and what you want to be working on in 2022. I hope you’ll share it. So I can be encouraging you along the way that our community can be supporting you and encouraging you as you be more intentional with how you want to show up in 2022. Alright, let’s wrap up with a simple pleasure. And this is a very seasonal, simple pleasure. In my opinion. The simple pleasure I want to share is puzzles, doing puzzles, yes, it’s still really nerdy. But it is just so simple and so pleasurable. Because every time you get that puzzle piece in there, boom, you feel great, you get that little hit of dopamine. And it’s just this constant like surge, this constant rush of things matching up and working and kind of deducing what goes where by looking at the photo. Okay, you got to look at the photo. Don’t be so hardcore. This is a puzzle. It’s fun. It’s we’re not setting any world records here guys. We’re just having fun. But over the years as puzzles have been brought into our lives, by my in laws, mostly at Christmas time. It has just been something that our whole family does, like it just sits on the kitchen table. You can have some popcorn while you’re doing it. The kids can just like hang out there. You don’t have to have the TV on like some nights especially last Christmas. Connor Nye would pour a nice drink, put on some good music and sit and do a puzzle together. Because you know 30s are great guys. You’re in your 30s you can do all that and there’s no shame there’s no shame in the puzzle game. Alright friends, I hope that you find some simple pleasures today. And I hope that you will touch base with me connect with me on Instagram or in the Facebook group. Have a great week.

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