Does your calendar reflect your values?

Many of my clients feel hectically busy.  They are running from meeting to meeting and project to project and when they do an excellent job at one thing, they get rewarded with more work.  Although this scenario may fit with conventional definitions of “corporate success” it does not fit with what my clients genuinely want for their life, or calendar.  What about you?  Does your calendar reflect what is important to you? If your calendar (and life) needs a fulfillment tune up, here are four tips:

1)    Define your values, or what is essentially important to you.  Values shift and evolve depending on your life stage and life experience.  If you haven’t done a values refresh, start by considering what is important to you right now.  You can do this on your own, with a coach, or by journaling about when you feel the best, and what matters to you.

2)     Put the important stuff in your calendar first- Ask yourself:  If my life was going to truly reflect what is important to me, what needs to go into my calendar first?  For example, if health is important to you, your workouts and healthy meal planning needs to go into the “non-negotiable” category of your calendar first.  If you value achievement, you need some time for getting key projects done.  For most achievers, it’s a bit of both.

3) Figure out what you need to say no to. If you are going to say yes to living your values, determine what you need to say no too.  If you are going to have a life filled with fulfilling relationships, connection, and health, it may mean that travelling 50% of the time in your job is a no-go.  Figure this out early on, so you don’t feel trapped by your choices.

4)     Recognize that living your values isn’t always easy, or everyone would be doing it.  Be gentle with yourself and don’t sweat it if you tip the scales once in a while and your values slip.  If this happens, adjust quickly and be thankful for the experience because in a round about way these unfulfilling moments are equally important for clarifying what you do want in your life.