My son Jack recently joined Cub Scouts here in our community. His “den” leader is an older man, sort of a grandfather type who is very wise and shares some interesting information with the boys (did you know that if you're in need of the police, you should dial 311 and not 411?). When a boy becomes a Cub Scout, he receives a book about what it means to take on this role. An early part of the book is about following a “set of values.” They encourage the boys to know, commit, and practice these values. This got me thinking about how Smart Women know, commit, and practice their own values.
When I was growing up, I don't remember many conversations about values. I was told to always say please and thank you. Always tell the truth. Always be on time. Respect your elders. These were the basic “values” in our home. Good stuff to be sure, and ideas that I pass on to my own children today. However, the world has changed since I was a little girl. Women today play so many roles. We are creative beings with Big Ideas, Dreams, and Goals. We take care of our spouse or life partner, children, aging parents. We run large and small businesses. We are active in our communities. We are the “glue” that keeps everyone and everything together. (I went to visit my Mom and sister for a few days and before I departed, I handed my husband Greg a 3-page single-spaced document of what needed to be done over the course of 5 days to keep the family running smoothly!)
Women today need to create the time and space to think about what truly holds value for them. They need to know, commit, and practice these values. If you need some support in identifying your own values, I've included some ideas for you below:
1. Self-care – Do you take time to value and honor yourself? Spa days, lunch with nutritious friends–you know, gals who champion you and make you laugh. Quiet time just for you to journal, meditate, take a walk or exercise? This is typically the last thing women do–take care of themselves, so I'm putting it first on this list!
2. Couple – Do you make time for date night with your significant other? Time to re-connect is so important. When I get busy and overwhelmed with everything, this can be the area that I neglect. I take my husband for granted sometimes. The reconnection is so important (especially if you have children!)
3. Children – Do you have date night with your children? Greg and I started doing this recently and it has been a valuable experience. We take turns spending time with each of our children alone. Jack and I went to the Dodger game last week and the bond between us was strengthened so much just from that one outing.
4. Family – Having quality time with family is essential. I feel fortunate that both my parents are still living and in good health. Although the East Coast is their home, I make time to call and plan to get together as often as I can.
5. Business and Career – What do you value about your business? What's the purpose or mission? Why did you start your business? What value are you providing to your clients and customers?
6. Community – What do you value about your community? Is there something that you are passionate about? Are you serving in some way that feels right for you?
In my Women's Success Circles, we focus on values and what they mean to each woman. The six mentioned above give you a guideline to get you thinking about what's important. Sometimes we know what they are and we can even verbalize these values. Do you commit to them? Do you practice them? That's the bigger question. Women oftentimes will say “yes” to something because we want to help others. The challenge is it may not be something that's on our “values radar screen.”
I invite you to think about what your values are. Know them. Commit to them. Practice them. You'll feel so empowered, energized, and inspired when you do.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
Copyright 2009 Joy Chudacoff
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Comments & Feedback:
Self-care is like an “emotional deposit” — we all need to make regular deposits there — can’t keep depleting the bank.
Date night with children is just as important as date night with spouse … one of my most cherished memories growing up is the Wednesday night horseback riding lessons my Dad took me to as a young girl. Whenever I told him how much those nights meant to me … his eyes always filled up! Thank goodness I took the time to remind him.
Joy, you are such an inspiration!