SYL: Week Two

One of the projects I’m doing this year is a 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life challenge. This is the 6th week of the challenge, and I’m working to catch up. The challenge is about making small changes in your life one week at a time. Topics discussed include:

Inner/Mental Clutter 
Time Management 
Our Stuff/Possessions 
Household Management 
Health/Beauty/Wellness 
Relationships and family 
Money and work 
Holidays and rituals 
Reflection  

The Week Two challenge is: Define Your Personal Values. I really enjoyed this week! Coming up with a list of my top five personal values was a lot harder than I imagined… ranked in order, no less! It took me almost an hour, and a lot of thought. In the end, I found that 3 of my 5 values have been important to me my entire life; 2 have been variable. 

My favorite thing the challenge coach (Deb) wrote was why finding your values is important: 

What happens when you are clear on what your values are?  

• You get in touch with what is important to you in life  

• You begin to see where your focus should be 

• Once you commit to and “own” your values you can, more easily, figure out what to let go of in your life 

• You can approach your life with intention 

• You have a framework or guide to stand on as you decide how to parent your children and the lessons you want them to absorb

I also like that I was reminded that these are my values, not what values I think I should have. I wrote them as if I was the only person who would see them, and I love the result. 
So here is how I went about this. First, I went through and listed all the words I felt strongly about or liked, gathering ideas from here and adding a few of my own. I later found more words here and here, and there are a ton more via Google… turns out, this is a popular exercise!
I narrowed my list down to 15, then when I got down to 7, I looked up the definitions for each. That helped me narrow it down to my top 5. And from there, I ranked them. And turned them all into nouns, because as we know,  I am OCD.
So without further ado, these are my top 5 personal values.

genuinenessgen•u•ine•ness (noun)

  1. possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin
  2. authentic; real

creativity 
cre•a•tiv•it•y (noun)

  1. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.
  2. originality, progressiveness, or imagination

family

fam•i•ly (noun)
  1. the ones you live with, laugh with, and love
  2. the people who know you the best and love you the most
  3. is forever

contributioncon•tri•bu•tion (noun)

  1. the part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance
  2. given (money, time, knowledge, assistance, etc.) to a common purpose
  3. for me: contributing to our family; providing original content to my friends, creatives, and blog readers; and creating meaningful designs that provide solutions & a unique vision

beauty 
beau•ty (noun)

  1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)
  2. an individually pleasing or beautiful quality; grace; charm
After I did this exercise, I was so pumped that I asked Joshua to do it. He spent some time with it, and eventually came back to me with his own set of values. We tried to guess each other’s (I guessed one of his— loyalty, he guessed two of mine— creativity & family). It was really fun!

Joshua’s top 5 values:
loyalty, leadership, efficiency, discipline, service

I love him. 

SYL: Week One

One of the many projects I’m doing this year is a 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life challenge, which I randomly found on a blog called Home Life Simplified. The challenge is 5 weeks in, but I’m just starting it now… and luckily, this past week was a catch-up week, so I only have four weeks to catch up on. 
The challenge is about making small changes in your life one week at a time. Topics discussed will include:
Inner/Mental Clutter 
Time Management 
Our Stuff/Possessions 
Household Management 
Health/Beauty/Wellness 
Relationships and family 
Money and work 
Holidays and rituals 
Reflection  

So these are my responses to the Week One challenge. I’ll be catching up over the weekend, so if you’re also joining in… let me know so I can read your progress, too! And if you’re not interested, well… move along then. 

What energized you? 
Starting my business, planning our wedding, moving & getting settled into our new lives in Virginia.
What made you feel happy?
Joshua, Gypsy, & Lady; our wedding! Felice’s wedding; Nikki’s wedding. Hmm… and the holidays spent with our family & friends.
What made you feel at peace?
Bedtime, every night, cuddling up with husband— the place I feel safest in the world. Even if he hates the word “cuddle.”
What positive people lifted you up?
Ooh! Good one. Positive people, hmm? Megan, definitely. My mom. Alison. And again— Joshua. It’s hard to be positive and to find people that are positive. Sometimes I think I am more empathetic than positive… but these people somehow always look on the bright side despite the obstacles in their way. And believe me— they have had some big ones.
What filled your tank?
I think just starting our lives together, knowing there is so much ahead and so much to be accomplished. Getting things in order, getting our belongings together, and starting our own family… that was and is everything to me. My family has always been the fuel to keep me going.
What worked to bring your family together?
Oh, definitely our wedding. Our whole engagement, even. From the bridal shower to the bachelorette to the rehearsal dinner to the reception… it was full of family, close friends, and wonderful memories.
What is something that made you feel excited to dive right in?
My business! Though it didn’t go as planned, and wasn’t as successful as I had hoped… it was and still is a driving force to keep me going, with the hopes that one day— some day— I can make it work.
What did you learn?
To take deep breaths. To love with all my heart. To keep toxic people out of my circle. To ask for help. That some events in life need to be taken with a grain of salt, and that the little things are not everything.
What are you grateful for?
My incredible family, the friends I’ve had forever that are still here for me, and the new friends I’ve made since moving to Virginia.