How our values and vision help us to make (declutter) decisions
Before we can start to make decisions about our belongings, we have to become well aware of where we are now, how we got there, why you want to change our home/life, and where we want to go.
Having a deep understanding of our current situation, our values and our vision for the future enables us to make the right decisions during the decluttering process and to get and stay focused and motivated.
Decluttering can be seen a process of honouring our deepest held values.
Every time we decide to keep or let go of an item, we are effectively saying, “This matters to me” or “This is no longer a priority.” By decluttering an entire home, we have to make this decision hundreds of times.
In order to make the right decisions, it is vital for us to clarify and confirm our personal values and motivations before we start to develop a vision for the next chapter of our life and set goals for our decluttering projects.
Differentiating between values and goals is important because in the long run it’s our values – not our goals – that direct and motivate us. We experience our greatest personal alignment with ourselves when we set goals and take actions that are in line with our values.
Values are what we find meaningful and important in our life, giving us clarity and direction. They are like an internal compass that guides and motivates us.
Values exist, whether we recognise them or not. Life can be much easier when we consciously acknowledge our values – and when we make plans and decisions that honour them.
Having clear values not only keeps us focused and motivated. They help us to make decisions.
Whenever we have to make a decision or choice we can ask ourselves
‘Is this (activity, decision, commitment, possession) in alignment with my values?’
Usually, our decision to declutter / to make changes in our life has to do with our values. We are probably not happy with the current reality because we have neglected some of our important values – we haven’t ‘valued’ enough what’s really important to us.
Redirecting our attention to our core values helps us to truly understand our Why – the purpose behind our decluttering ambitions:
- Why the clutter in our home (or the change in our life) is a problem for us,
- and why we decided to get active and to do something to make things better.
Whenever later in the decluttering / change process we struggle to set goals or to decide on the next action steps, or when we experience a drop in energy and motivation levels – we can remind ourselves of our core values and let them be our guide.
For lasting change to occur we have to create new supportive habits and release the ones that no longer serve us. Habit change can be a challenge, so being clear on our ‘why’ and our values is essential in this regard, too.
Our vision determines our direction in life.
Once we begin to design a picture of the life we desire to live, making decluttering decisions becomes easier.
Getting clear on where we want to go is essential for setting ourselves up for long term success, not just a temporary adjustment.
- It’s hard to figure out how and where to move if our mind is still occupied by the past. That’s one of the main reasons why managing change can be so demanding and frustrating.
- It can also happen that we feel stuck and unsure because we are surrounded by too many options or opportunities.
- Or we might feel lost and desperate because we don’t see any alternatives at all, no way out of the current reality.
Defining our vision of the future in a clear way – a simple powerful statement, just a word or a short phrase – can help us to become unstuck and get active.
Having a clear vision gives us confidence and motivates us to let go of what no longer serves us and to confidently say ‘good bye’ to the things and issues (thoughts, feelings) of the past.
Similar to our values, our vision also helps us to make confident decisions at crossroads and to be deliberate in mapping our way to our desired destination.
Whenever we have to make a difficult decision or choice, we can ask ourselves
‘Does this (activity, decision, commitment) take me closer to my vision?’
Being aware of our core values and our vision makes us feel stronger, and more confident and decisive.
In our daily lives, we often make decisions without thinking much about them. We base them on habit, convenience, conformity.
But knowing our values and our vision – and continually getting in touch with them – allows us to take a step back and to remember ourselves to live our life with purpose, not by default.