What is the compass you use to guide your decisions? If you had to pinpoint the underlying principals you use to navigate life, what would they be?
Most of us have a few big guiding principles which, ideally, reflect our values and our priorities – but sometimes our compass may have lost its bearing. What better time to check than now, as we enter a new year? Keep reading and find out what is driving your decisions?
1. Do you focus on what you want, or on what you want to avoid?
You can answer this question by thinking about the language you use and the things you focus on. When setting goals, are they about what you want or what you don’t want? When you play sports or board games, do you focus on winning, or on not loosing? When you meet new people, do you focus on being liked, or on hoping they won’t dislike you? Do you stay home because you are worried someone might judge you, or you might get anxious, or do you notice the worry and focus on how important being with friends is to you?
2. Do you focus on what is important and healthy for you, or on how others would react? (aka “not rocking the boat” or “keeping the peace”, focusing on what would be best for others, even at your own expense sometimes).
If you aren’t sure, consider how comfortable you are “doing your own thing”, this can be with regard to fashion, hobbies, opinions etc.
3. Do you focus on the outcome or on what you are learning along the way?
This is an interesting one to consider because it impacts how willing people are to make mistakes, take risks, be adventurous and try new things. Those of us who focus on the outcome, tend to (but not universally) be more conservative, whereas those of us who focus on the learning, are more comfortable living our mistakes, and moving on.
These questions highlight some of the basic process that directs our choices, now consider some of the values you may be applying them to-
Most people make their choices based on one or more of the following, to differing degrees. Note which ones you would like to think guide your decisions the most vs which ones actually do inform your choices the most. (ignore the numbers next to the bars)
Or maybe some of these are a better fit. Notice which ones jump out at you as you read through…
So back to the beginning…What principals guide your decisions? Do these line up with your values and who you want to be in 2014?
Let me leave you with what I believe to be the most important question to ask yourself over the course of 2014…
What is the healthiest thing for me to do given this situation?
We might not always like the situation, and we may not even always act in line with what is healthiest for us, but ideally, we always know the answer to that question and just asking it increases the chances that we will live it!
Happy New Years’ everyone!