Hopefully in this first week you’ve noticed some space opening up in your life. After talking in week 10 about taking a more balanced approach to filling that space, this week we’re going to pull back the lens even further to assess where your life is headed overall.
The best way to do this is to assess your core values.
What is your North Star?
Living a values-driven life is a key component of wellness, but it’s something we haven’t been able to focus on until your detox started. (It’s difficult to get in touch with your deepest hopes and desires when you’re being interrupted by technology hundreds of times a day!)
Your values are not the same as your goals. Values are like your North Star, guiding principals that point you in the right direction on the road to life. They’re words like, “authenticity,” “kindness,” “success,” or “playfulness,” while goals are more like check-lists of worthy accomplishments, (Get a job I love! Have a baby! Visit Fiji! etc.) that happen during the journey.
When your values and your daily habits/behavior are out of sync, it can cause a lot of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in your life, (for example, if you value “family,” but rarely spend time with yours because you’re always wrapped up shooting the perfect Instagram pic or playing your favorite online games.)
So this week I’m asking you to take a moment and figure out what’s really important to you. This will help you be more strategic when you add technology back into your life in a few weeks, choosing tools that help you stay pointed in the right direction, rather than jumping back into a noisy void.
Identifying your core values
Grab a piece of paper and complete the following steps.
- Step 1: Identify times in your life when you were happiest. What are the values you associate with those experiences?
- Step 2: Identify the worst experiences of your life. What values would you associate with overcoming or moving on from those experience?
- Step 3: Assemble a list of the values you compiled from steps 1 & 2.
- Step 4: Augment that list with additional values that may not have come up thus far. (Can’t think of any? Use some of the words in the above graphic as starting point or Google “list of core values.”)
- Step 5: Organize your list of values by themes, trying to limit the groupings to a maximum of FIVE values.
- Step 6: Select one value from each themed grouping as the one you think best represents the theme or best represents you.
- Step 7: For each value you selected, write a short description of the actions by which you want to fulfill this value in your life, (i.e. your value commitment.) For example, if you value “honesty” maybe that means you try to be truthful at all times, you don’t brush it off when other people lie to you, or you conduct yourself in a way that feels authentic and honest.
I encourage you to really take your time with this exercise and give it some thought.
This week’s exercises
- Complete the values exercise outlined above and consider your results. Do your values support/reinforce your pre-detox digital habits/behaviors? If not, what changes should you consider making when your detox ends?
- Compare your list of values to the goals you outlined in Week 1. Do your goals support your values or is there a disconnect? If there is a disconnect, how can you adjust your goals in order to make them more values-driven?
- Continue your digital detox for a second week, adding activities related to deep work, deep thought, hobbies, face-to-face time, and exercise/nature to your list of alternate activities (i.e. things you can do instead of being online).
- Continue to engage in deep thought for at least five minutes a day.
Next week we’ll continue to expand on this conversation by looking at how your values are affecting the content you consume online and off and introduce the concept of your “mental food plate.” I look forward to seeing you then. Thank you for stopping by!
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