I first learned about setting up values from The Minimalist podcast, episode 69. Here is a full list of ideas. It’s an important barometer on how to progress through your life. When I am really struggling with big and small decisions I try to decide if my choice aligns with my overall values.
My values at this stage of my life are family, humor, sustainability/simplicity, and health. So I want to make sure all of my choices regarding my time don’t affect my family time negatively, I want to have fun or be surrounded by humorous people. I want to make sure my shopping/consumption isn’t wasteful or adding unnecessary clutter in my life. I do fairly well with these decisions. I screw up but for the most part, I’m happy with my decisions. Then there’s health. This is where I struggle the most. I’m not sure if it’s my sugar driven childhood or the exhaustion of parenting. I do not make decisions based on the value of living a healthy life. I’m really working towards another value that I hope to have someday, freedom. Once we reach financial freedom that will drive all of my decisions. Right now we are saving what we can so someday we can be in charge of time. This value never crossed my mind until I had kids and a new, deep desire to be available for them when they needed me. Working full time does not allow for that kind of freedom.