Spring is celebrated as the beginning of the life cycle. It’s a fresh start – a time of renewal and new growth. This season gives us a boost in energy to make exciting plans, begin new projects, and create new connections.
At State of Liberty, we’re looking forward and preparing for spring, the season of planning. In order to plan effectively for the year ahead, it’s a good idea to clarify what’s important to you, and a good place to start is by exploring and connecting with your core values.
Why Are Core Values Important?
When we’re busy and living at a frantic pace, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and forget about your dreams and vision for the future. Your core values provide a reassuring inner guidance system, helping you navigate decisions and plan with clarity and confidence.
Understanding and connecting to your values gives you a feeling of direction, purposefulness, and ambition. The more your plans and goals are aligned with your core values, the easier they’ll be to achieve, enabling you to live the life you love.
My Core Values
My core personal value is freedom and my partner Jim’s is stability. At first, these two values seem like polar opposites. When we shared our values with each other, the conversation could’ve been very frustrating and difficult. My freedom can cause Jim to feel unstable and anxious, while his stability could make me feel constricted and bored. But after taking the time to listen to each other describe our values, we discovered they actually complement each other and are totally aligned.
Inspired by Amanda Steinberg’s philosophy in her book ‘Worth It’, we call these values our ‘roots and wings’. Stability gives us our roots and freedom our wings. Building solid roots in our lives supports all the projects and adventures we want to explore with our wings.
What’s Important to You?
Your values help to guide, inspire, nourish and support you, your loved ones, and the environment you live in. Dedicating time to identifying and understanding your own inner values and those of your partner, family, and friends can create ease and understanding in your everyday life.
It’s a process to create a lifestyle that is deeply, personally yours and that suits your values and personal needs. It can take a while to unfold in its own unique way. A lovely way to start exploring your core values is to take notice of the times when you feel most inspired.
We’ve put together a list of values you can download and print at home. As you read through the list, choose ones that evoke a feeling in you, ones that make you feel excited, energised, connected, or grounded. Circle four values that feel most important to you.
Exploring Your Values
Once you’ve chosen your values, explore them further using one of the following techniques. Alternatively, try all four and see if your values change or feel different.
Talk – Discuss your chosen values with a friend. They may be able to offer new insights and a fresh perspective on the values you’ve chosen.
Write – Take some time to journal. Writing freely for 5-10 minutes, note down anything that comes to mind when you think about your values. This can be both positive and negative and it doesn’t even have to make any sense. This sort of brain storming process can be very revealing and often helps clear the mind. For more inspiration, read our post on the benefits of journaling.
Create – If you’re more of a visual person, you might find it helpful to create a mood or vision board, either offline using photos and images from magazines or online through Pinterest. Think about what your values mean and how they might show up in your life. Look for images that reflect this and pull them together to form a collage.
Meditate – Although people often use mediation to clear the mind, it can also be a useful tool for exploring concepts or ideas. Try to focus your attention on each of your values in turn and see where your mind wanders. You can learn more about meditation here.