The past few weeks I have been working with a new wave of clients on prioritizing their values. Through the process of coaching and helping them understand why values are so important, I began to realize that I had gotten off track with living in alignment with my own values. In doing so, I started to experience burn out, was not getting to my daily Pilates class or my coveted walk in the park with the dogs. My business development was suffering, I was not operating at my best and my health was declining. Most of all, I certainly wan’t having any fun!
I began to take inventory of my values and noticed that they had changed slightly since the last time I had reflected a few years ago. That makes sense. The only constant is change and as I continue to shift, why wouldn’t the things that were important to me shift as well?
A few of my top values remained in tact with self-care being at the top of the list and it was clear that I wasn’t honoring that value. Freedom was still a priority as I have always been an entrepreneur and valued having autonomy, however, I noticed that one of the things that I valued the most, my dogs, was beginning to be a source of angst as opposed to a source of joy. This one alone was disturbing to me as anyone who know me knows that my dogs are one of the most important things in my world.
As I sat and reflected, I asked myself, what value was not being honored and why was it impacting my relationship with the dogs and time with friends.. And there it was…..that one word. TIME. I didn’t have enough time. Time to go to the gym, the park, play with the dogs or see my friends.
All I did was work and when I wasn’t working, I was taking care of the dogs, and when I wasn’t taking care of the dogs, I was cleaning or trying to catch up on paperwork. By the time that was all taken care of, I was too tired to do anything else and I just got into this vicious cycle.
Once I started to take inventory of where my time was going and what I could do change the cycle, it became very clear to me that TIME had to be on the list of my top 10 Values. If I just had more time, I could get to the gym or if I just had more time I could…..and the list goes on.
But there are only 24 hours in a day so how can I create more time? I took inventory of where my time was going in an average week and how I could make my schedule more efficient. I realized that traveling to a clinic once a week that was not generating enough business for me was not a good use of my time. So, I provided notice and bought myself 5 more hours a week. I looked at how long it was taking me to clean the house versus how many hours it would free up to see clients if I wasn’t cleaning the house and it’s not rocket science, I hired a cleaning lady and bought myself another 7 hours along with eliminating something that I did not enjoy doing at all - cleaning and laundry!!! Then I looked at my two little high maintenance Angels who require weekly grooming and the Gods shone upon me as I ran into a woman in the neighborhood that used a Mobile Pet Groomer. They come to your house, groom your dogs in your driveway and I don’t even have to leave the house - hurray, there goes another 3 hours a week and more time for me to play with my little darlings.
Now if you do the math, one would say that I just bought myself 15 hours a week, however, it turned out to be much more. Not having to “do it all” on my own, gave me more space and energy to be more productive in doing what I do best and left me feeling energized at the end of the day.
TIME has now become a enormous Value for me. When I have TIME to do the things I love, the things that are important to me and access my best self, life is magical ! What values do you need to honor in order to ensure that life feels balanced, effortless and magical?