Now that you have your values established (click here for Part I of this lesson), let’s talk about where we go from here. After our values are determined, we don’t really have to keep creating new ones for every situation in your life. Most often, the values that are important to you will cross over into your whole life and can be applied to everything you do. You might have to tweak them or perhaps add a value here and there but for the most part, they will sort of remain the same over a period of time.
When should you rethink your values list? Here’s what I do – when my life changes (such as when I changed jobs or became a mother) then I create a fresh set of values that reflect what is important to me in my current situation. When I learn new things that make me want to rethink what I am spending my energy on – I revisit my values. Think about your values as something that grow and change along with you as you go through life.
Now let’s look at Steps 1-3 on your worksheet (again, click here for Part I of this lesson and to get the worksheet).
#1 – Ask: What Do I Want to Have Happen?
This is the golden question when it comes to “Planning With a Purpose” and managing our time wisely. Instead of thinking about what do I want to do or where do I want to go, we ask, “What do I want to have happen?”
Think about something that you would like to change or improve or do better at. It can be something in your personal life or maybe something you want to change in your family. The example that we used during our activity was: “I want my children to do their chores better.” OK, that is an issue that many parents face and there are a million ways to go about it. Another one was, “I want to spend less time on the computer when I could be doing more productive things.” We also heard, “I want to play with my kids more.” Or how about, “I want to clean out my laundry room,” “I want to not nag my husband so much,” “I want to work smarter not harder,” “I want to be more patient with my mom as she grows older” or “I want to be better at making healthy dinners.”
the "Meal Planning" display during our "Organization Fair"
What do you want to have happen? Write down something on your worksheet that you want to change or improve about your life. Let’s just take one thing at a time – there is no reason to try and tackle everything at once because we can get discouraged or overwhelmed. And remember, what you want to have happen might be completely different than what someone else wants to have happen in their lives. That’s OK. I highly recommend you not to compare yourself to others but just focus on what feels right for you and your family.
Now that you have identified something that you want to have happen (and this thing can be big or small, affect just you or other people, or be in any area of your life), let’s look at #2 on our “Planning With a Purpose” worksheet.
#2 – Ask: What is the Best Way to Make That Happen?
This is where we get down to the nuts and bolts of “Planning With a Purpose.” It is the how-tos that get us from where we are and where we want to be. We are all unique. Everyone has a different style, a different way of going about things. So that means that the best way to make something happen might be different for you than for someone else.
Do you see how when you ask yourself what you want to have happen and think about what you value, that the way you want to spend your time starts to change? If you want your children to learn to do their chores better then that might mean you need to spend more time teaching them to do it with you. If you want to spend less time on the computer then maybe you need to track how many clicks you are making with the mouse or how many minutes you are browsing the web and give yourself a limit.
the "Family Calendaring" display at our "Organization Fair"
Or if you value family time and you haven’t taken a family vacation in two years, perhaps it’s time to plan something to do together. Or you could even designate one night a week to the family where you don’t schedule anything else – it takes sacrifice and dedication but if it’s what you value and it’s what you want to have happen….it seems like it would be important enough to sacrifice a little bit for.
One fabulous woman in our group brought up the point that sometimes what you think will work doesn’t so you have to try something else. How true that is! Making what we want to have happen a reality often takes time, creativity and the ability to tweak and change our approach along the way until it morphs into something that actually works for us. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work with your first idea! Try something else if you need to and just take the good of what you are already doing with you.
#3 – Think About What Feels Right for You and Your Family
I’m going to say it again….everyone is different. My sister may have a fabulous way of taking care of her yard but it seems too complicated for me. So I need to not feel like I have to do it her way. Maybe I keep asking around for other ideas, maybe I look online, or maybe I just adjust or simplify what my sister is doing to fit my needs.
I have started using allrecipes.com. They send you a recipe in your email box each day. Sometimes I want to print them out and try them (more on that another day). This has caused me to realize that I need a new way to file my recipes. So, in”Planning With a Purpose,” this is my Step 1: Organize my recipes so that I can use allrecipes.com better.
For me, I thought that a 3-ring binder would work great so here is my Step 2: Get a 3-ring binder and have each recipe in a sheet protector. Figure out how to use half-sheet sheet protectors as well so I don’t have to retype all of my recipes that are on cards.
I’m still working on that.
All along I have thought about Step 3 – how to make this work for me and my family. I will show you my finished product later but for right now, it is sitting on my desk, waiting to be finished as I figure out the best way to go about it. The interesting thing is that during our Organization Fair, my friend LeeAnne addressed this same problem. Her area that she created a display for was “Organizing the Kitchen.” One aspect was recipes. She had a pile of recipes (just like mine) and a binder next to it.
She had gone through and typed up every recipe that their family used and put them in her binder. I was so surprised that she had done this because it was almost exactly what I was in the middle of doing as well! But here’s the difference. She had typed them all up. I don’t want to have to do that so I am trying to figure out a way to either create my own divided sheet protectors or find the right ones online to purchase so that I can just drop my recipe cards into the half-sizes or use the full sheets if I print something out from online. Options. That’s what I need.
The point is to do what is right for you. We both had the same idea but we are going about it in two slightly different ways according to what works for each of us. Maybe your neighbor has one child in dance group that meets 3 times a week for 3 hours at a time and costs $400 to participate. Maybe someone else works 16 hours a day. Whatever someone else is doing doesn’t mean you have to do it, too. And even in your own families – if one child is involved in something and you realize that it is taking too much time away from the rest of your family, it’s ok to pull back, reevaluate and say no to the next “opportunity.”
Once you have your values in place and you ask the golden question, “What do we want to have happen?” then it becomes much easier to make decisions of how we are spending our time. That, my friends, is the ultimate skill in time management.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions then please feel free to email me or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing how it works for you!
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