Exercise: Your Time, Money & Energy

Money or time?In ‘You’re Values’ I spoke the importance of considering your values when planning your life goals. I spoke about how, as humans, we can give our time, money and energy in return for what we desire. For what success means to us. But how can we discover our values? By looking at it backwards. First you should take a look at what values your life reflects right now. How you spend, what you can give. Your free time, your income, your energy. The following questions should help you to discover trends in these aspects of life. Trends of which are your personal values.

Your Money

Think about the following questions about how you spend your income and what this says about you. You are discovering yourself and what’s important to you in life, so remember to answer honestly!

What Would You Do If…

1) You were given six months to live?

Consider the boundaries that are stopping you from doing that right now. Those boundaries, often echo your values, for example, your family might be the reason why you never moved to New York City. This is a great question to ask yourself when writing a bucket list.

2) You won the lottery? What does this say about your values?

For example, if your answer is to go on a holiday to Rome then think about the reason. It could just be that you want to see the sights, that you value experience and travel in life. Whatever the reason, your answer will always reflect what you value in your life, yourself and your experiences.

3) You were asked to strip bare for a million pounds?

If not, why not?

4) If you had the opportunity to, right at this moment, trade in some of your money for happiness?

This is quite an interesting one. When answering this question, be frank with yourself. Money can bring us happiness just the same as happiness can bring us money.

What Do These Decisions Say About You?

Do you value experience? Stability? Recognition? Consider the boundaries that are stopping you from doing that right now. Those boundaries, often echo your values for example, your family might be the reason why you never move to New York City.

Think About…

1) The small decisions you make everyday involving your income…

How do you spend most of your money? Is most of your income spent on yourself?  What things do you buy that reflect your values? Money isn’t everything, but looking at even the smallest choices as path taking is vital in self-discovery.

2) The gifts that you treasure most…

Think not only about why you treasure that item, whether it’s an antique or even just a note, but why the circumstance was precious to you. Often it isn’t the gift itself that means something to you, but the person or the situation of which it was given.

3) Why people say they would enjoy Christmas if they didn’t have any presents…

Do you agree with them?

4) How much of your income do you spend on other people?

From presents to charity, a quite consideration on how much or how little you give up is a great insight into your values. After all, anyone who works hard for their money knows how precious it is. Any gifts given must make the person or the cause very valuable to you.

Your Energy

We are all human. Many a night I try to kid myself that I’m not but it’s true. We can try to spread ourselves between projects, jobs, social roles as much as we like but in the end? Everyone has a limited amount of energy. Everyone needs sleep. Everyone needs a break. Everyone can only give so much. Hense why, often subconsciously, we make decisions about who and what we put our energy and drive into.

Think About…

A project or task you are currently working hard on.

Have you ever stayed up late into the night to work on something? It might be a novel, a website, even a holiday that you are working hard to save for. Any life goal that you are working towards.

1) Why do you spend so much of your energy on it?
2) What is the driving force that is stopping you from giving up?
3) What does this say about your values, who you are and your ideal self?

What Does Success Mean to You?

Success is defined by our values. Consider this when answering the following questions about times when using your energy paid or will pay off.

1) When do you feel most achieving?

Often to look into what we want from the future, we have to look into the past. To think about what we have done already that made us feel successful and like it all paid off in the end.

2) In ten years time who, where and with whom do you want to be?
3) Have you ever stayed up late into the night to finish something?

What does this say about you? Remember, the more effort you put into something, chances are the more you want the result.

4) Is your current to-do list reflecting the steps you need to take for the future? Are you spending your energy and focus on what you should be?

Your Time

When mapping out the future, the most important consideration is time! This is the most precious element too. You can get more energy easily, just drink lots of coffee. You can get money easily too, by investing your time and energy into the right things.

But you can never get back your time, or even know how much or how little you have to spare. So it’s important to manage your time wisely. Subconsciously we often make decisions about time. Whether or not to go to your Grans or a big party.

Answer the following questions about the decisions you make with your time. Are you spending it wisely in a way that reflects your values?

1) What have you spent most of your time doing this week?

Consider why you spent your time this way. What did spending your time this way bring to you and how valuable you are as a person?

2) With whom do you spend most of your time with?

There’s always going to be people in life that you depend on more than others, who inspire you more than others. So it’s important that we do spend more of our time with the people that matter, than the people who don’t. What are the qualities you look for in your friends, family, romances, idols and yourself? What do these people value in you?

3) What has occupied most of your thoughts this week?

Consider why these things or people were important to you.

4) What opportunities have you turned down in the past and why?

Next Time Your Setting A Goal…

Next time your setting a goal consider how precious your money, energy and time is… ask yourself:

1) Will achieving this make me a valuable person?
2) Will this reflect my values?
3) Does this reflect who I am?
4) Is this what I truly want?


Wrote by Aimee Hall