Q4: Turn your value into an intent

Now you have your 3-5 top core values listed in order of priority for you at this moment in your life – remember things will change and shift as you go through different phases – and so would your top values.

You should pick one of those to turn into an actionable intent that you could focus on as a start.

This step can be as easy as just looking at the top 3-5 values and going with the one that feels most like a priority for you right now. Sometimes we just know.

Or if nothing jumps at you, or all of them feel urgent at the same level of intensity, then just ask yourself which feels like:

  • the most urgent at the moment – one that if you implemented it right now will give you the most return on effort invested?
  • the easiest to act on?
  • the one you’re most likely to take action on consistently at the moment? Bearing in mind your commitments in real life.

The cross-junction of these 3 qualities should give you your starting value.

Now – let’s turn that value into an actionable step – or what I call your Intention Statement.

So – say we take my “buzz” value in the short list I came up with. For me, that represents anything that’s joyful and creates positive excitement/emotion. If that was my #1 chosen value, my intention statement would be worded along the lines of:

I commit to embracing my BUZZ value by paying attention for and noticing any opportunity to fully enjoy joy-giving moments in my daily life. When I notice an opportunity to feel BUZZ – I will non-negotiably embrace the joy that moment offers, either by smiling or thinking of an exciting version of the event or by thinking of a way to add more joy to it.

SIDE NOTE: At this stage – it would be useful to┬ásit and think a little deeper about the ways you could meaningfully and playfully turn an opportunity to joy/BUZZ. Just as a way of prep.

Does that make sense to you?

Your actions for this step:

What core value did YOU pick?

How would it look as an intention statement that expresses unambiguously how you intend to honor that value in your day-to-day REAL* life? (*your life as it is at the moment, not in some ideal scenario one day)?

Write down that intent in 2-3 succinct sentences.

Bonus Step = the Cherry on Top!

We are visual animals: everything you can do/represent in a picture – you will remember better and have a deeper connection with – guaranteed.

So to take your commitment to live by your core values, you can come up with a single simple symbol that to YOU represents that value.

For my five I went with the following:

  • Love – heart
  • Trust – cross
  • Create – sun
  • Breathe – little gusts of wind – as when exhaling
  • Buzz – a joyful person

As usual, there are no rules here – it just needs to make sense to you.

When you’re done, add them next to your values in some way – I use an iPad and Noteshelf app.

Print your list and stick it somewhere where you’ll see it often. I mentioned that I added mine to my watch interface.

PRACTICE your values and their meanings, until you can recite them under severe duress. That’s the only way you will start to actually use them.