Knowing what to say Yes to is difficult. Being able to distinguish between what is often two good choices is therefore essential to achieving more.
So how do you make that decision?
There are a few different approaches to decision making that are useful. One such approach is a values based decision making system.
What is a values-based decision making system?
This system involves running each decision through your core values, and only taking action on the choices that support your values. By basing decisions on core values, you will never find yourself in a situation where your actions cause you discomfort, because if the choice doesn’t feel right, you won’t do it.
This approach to decision making is able to be applied universally to every situation in whichever area of your life that is required. It also helps reduce the decisions to the same criteria, which makes it easier to evaluate when other options affect a different part of your life. For example, a career decision of working overtime can be evaluated against a health or social option much more easily.
How does this work in practice?
At Business Minded, some of our core values are Presence, Balance, and Growth. Each decision made must support one of these values for the action to be beneficial. For example, working late is run through the Balance value. If I haven’t been able to spend time with my significant other, or managed to get to the gym for a workout, working late is not conducive to finding balance in my life. For that reason, I will say no to working late in order to say yes to the gym or the girlfriend.
The decisions we make don’t have to be monumental either, this could be as simple as abiding by the presence value, and not picking up my phone during time with friends and family. This small action helps me be more present, and hence strengthens my relationships with those that I value.
How do I find my values?
We do not all share the same values, and that is good. Our values are what make us interesting and unique. To find your values, simply look inwards. There are things that you feel are important, and these are where you find your values. Soul searching can be hard though, so an alternative method is thinking about what other people do that irk you. Identifying what upsets you helps shine a light on the behaviors and traits that you value.
I know my values, what now?
Once you know your values, run each decision through them. Is saying yes going to drive success for you based on your values? If not, what could you do with your time, money, or energy instead? Using a values based decision-making system will help you stay true to who you are.
A values based decision-making framework is, well, valuable.
When you focus on doing things that support who you are, you’ll find more enjoyment in everything you are doing. There are so many options and choices in how we spend our lives. With the constant bombard of opportunities and requests of us, filtering each opportunity through our values will help clear out some of the noise. We might not always be able to avoid negative choices, such as having to work to meet a deadline when we’d rather be anywhere else. But when we are conscious of our values, we’ll be able to make choices that further reinforce who we are, and what we stand for. And I think we can all agree, living life on our terms is certainly important if we’re to make our life a successful one.
What are your values? Write out a few core values that define who you are, and use them to evaluate the choices that come your way. Remember, whenever you say “Yes”, you are also saying “No” to something else. Let’s make sure that the things you actually do help make you the person you want to be.