Do You Know What Values You Are Operating Under? Does It Matter?

How Do You Know Which Values Make You Tick?

Do you care?  Does it matter to your life?

Have you ever thought about it very carefully?

Personally, I never paid much attention to my values.  People talked about values in passing.  In the many programs I took, values were mentioned but not much time was spent on them and certainly no one explained why knowing my values was so important.  The exercise was repeated so often without direction, it became meaningless.

Why?  That’s the question – Why Does Someone Need to Know and Understand Their Values?

Recently, I’ve been involved in a program and the issue of  identifying values came up again.  Yes, yet again.  The difference this time?  The facilitator gave us the reasons why understanding our values is mandatory in conducting our lives to cohesively achieve our dreams.

Helen Dewar  made it abundantly clear the reason for taking the time and the energy to define our values.  She took the time to explain “the value” of values.  How do we use our values to live our lives, to make the choices we need to make and to be true to ourselves.  Are we living in alignment with what we value?

Never before has someone explained it so clearly and so emphatically how values affect everything we say and do in our worlds.  She also explained how we are led to believe things about ourselves which are untrue all because we reacted in defense of those values.  Not everyone shares our set of values – in fact, it’s rare that any two people have exactly the same values or live out their values the same way.  Hitler had values and so did Mother Teresa – what do you think they were?

What Are Your Values?  Do You Really, Really Know What They Are?

You can find a lot of lists on the internet and you can likely come up with about 50 values you “think are a good idea for you”.  Can you really serve all those masters?  Of course not – what are your core values?  Here are a couple of places to begin?

Please note:  often values are mixed in with skills.  Values are far bigger than skills.  Think of values of overall compasses of your life – North, South, West and East, Center

Helen has us boiling it down to five.  5 – try it – you’ll be amazed how difficult this exercise is.

How do you know what your values are?

Watch yourself.  How do you spend your time?

Let’s say that most of your time is spent on family.  You have a job which pays the bills with a little left over for savings but the bulk of your time is spent with family.  You spend a lot of time with your kids, you organize family events all year round and people gather at your house every Sunday for Sunday dinner.  Your home is filled with relatives and friends all the time and you’re talking on the phone with a large collection of family and friends.  Your Facebook account is buzzing with the latest pictures, stories, meetups, etc.

If you value a success in your career,  you spend the majority of your time thinking about your career. You’re constantly thinking how to enhance your career – what can you do next to build that career?  A job is not a job to you but a very important way for you to achieve fulfillment.  You have a coach and a mentor.  You ask questions about getting ahead and you mingle with people you admire.  Jobs are not jobs to you but a stepping stone to greater success in the scope of work.  You spend a lot of time working, thinking about strategies to get ahead and continuously networking.  You’re constantly upgrading your skills and your education to give you the edge.

If you have a value of health, you watch every single bite you take, you exercise almost daily and you do and learn everything possible to stay healthy.  Health seems like an obvious value for all of us, however, that’s not the case.  Most people don’t value their healthy until they lose it.

Where do you spend your time?

What Ticks You Off?

Another way to tell, is what ticks you off at work or when your around other people in your personal life?  Do you react strongly to unfairness or bullying or pet abuse?  The stronger your reaction, the higher your value.

It takes time to decide what your values really are.  It takes a lot of digging.  The first two might not be so difficult but the others will likely cause you to ponder the realities of your being. 

Define what each value means to you.

Why Are Values So Important?

Values are the foundation of who you are, the reality of knowing yourself and the building block for everything else in your life – your career, your relationships, your decision-making, choices you make about everything in your life and the knowing what is right for you in the seemingly complex and confusing parts of your life.  If you know your values intimately, your life will be a lot easier to navigate.

What’s the Alternative?

Chaos.  Lost opportunities.  Working for the wrong organizations.  Putting your trust in people who don’t value what you value.  Hurt.  Anxiety.  Stress.  Disaster.  Dissatisfaction.  Lack of self-esteem.  Name it for yourself –

How Do You Know What I’m Saying is Right?

Because you’ve experienced the results of going against your values.  All humans have.  If your value is family, have you ever fought with someone in your family to the point that you destroy that relationship, you are no longer welcomed in the family unit?  How does it feel?  Feels quite awful because you’d like to keep the family unit whole and happy.  What happened?  You let something get out of hand and went against your family value.  Was it worth it?  What will you do about it?  If you truly value family, you’ll resolve the issue.  If not, then family is not truly a priority, not truly a value but likely someone else’s value or a value that is not all that important to you.

What Good Will It Do To Know These Values?

You’ll be able to plan accordingly.

If you are applying for a job, you’ll take the time to research the companies to which you are applying.  You’ll talk to current employees, you’ll talk to clients and you’ll explore the internet to find everything you can about how they match your values not only in value statements they make but how they honor those values.

You’ll stop yourself before you behave in ways which will contravene your values.  If you value friendships, you’ll forgive transgressions more easily or take the time to resolve any angst or you’ll drop relationships which don’t work for you without regret.  You’ll spend the time building your positive  friendships.

Are Values Critical?

You bet.  Without knowing what they are, you’re a sailboat without a rudder – you’ll wonder all over the place not understanding why your life is not working so well.  The wind and tides of life will send you adrift in a maze of confusion and dissatisfaction.

Is It Too Late?

NEVER.  It’s never, ever too late – that’s a myth perpetuated by society  – nothing is too late as long as you’re alive and functioning.

There are hundreds and hundreds of values – by the time you have selected your top 5 and defined them for yourself, you’ll truly understand the very core of your being.


1.  Look over the lists.  Pick out the ones that resonate with you strongy.  Write them down.

2.  Run down the written list, eliminating some.  Then do it again and again and again until you arrive at 5.

3.  Go through each one and ask yourself why you believe it is one of your values.  Write it down.  Then, ask, “Is that true?”.  Give yourself an example how you exhibit that value in your life.

4.  Leave the list alone for a day or so.  Observe yourself.  Hear yourself. Does what you say and do align with your values?  If not, you’ll have to go back to the list and eliminate what you “thought” was a value and, through self-observation, you now realize is not such a strong value after all.  Give yourself no longer than a week to get to complete your list of 5 values.

5.  Write your 5 values on a card and put the card in your wallet.  Put the list up on your computer.  Keep a list by your bedside.

6.  Test the list.  Are the values you have listed truly your values?  How you behave, especially in crisis, will definitely show you whether you are kidding yourself or not.  It won’t take long.  A crisis doesn’t have to be life or death.  It can be any discomfort we experience.  Notice how differently you make choices now.  Notice the clarity with which you conduct your life and how constructively you face disagreements.

Will the values change?  Yes.  As you test the list, you’ll likely amend it.  As your life changes, your values may change.  For instance, if your top value is money, it could very well be that at a stage in your life, you’ll begin to replace that top value with another value which has become paramount such as community.  Community may have been fifth on your list but now it rises to the top and since one of your values is money, you’ll focus on making the best use of the money in your community towards achieving the most impact.

Values do work together though it may not always be obvious.

What are your values?  Have you wondered why you felt like a boat without a rudder?  Think values first.  Decide.

When will you begin to change your life?  Today would be good, right?

Lorraine Arams




Chinese New Year and Your Goals – Can You Start Again? Is It a Myth?

Chinese New Year – yes, another beginning.  Like the Ukranian New Year, the Chinese New Year starts on another date than the usual January 1st date celebrated worldwide.   

Can You Start Again Fulfilling Your Goals?


YES!  Of course – you can restart any time.  In fact, you can change your goals and start new ones.

What is the first myth associated with goal setting?

Goal setting has often been seen as set and go – you set them on January 1st and, if by February 1st, you haven’t done anything towards achieving those goals, you give up.  That’s where the myths begin! 

Actually, goals are much more dynamic than set and go.  Goals are forever changing as your experiences change and, no matter what you may think, everyone changes continuously whether it seems so or not.

Nothing in life stands still – nothing.  Even a new wrinkle is a change.  You may not count the wrinkles on other people’s faces and say, “Hey, you have a new wrinkle today”.  No one is that observant! Nonetheless, the change has happened.  How do you think dust accumulates on your table?  One fell-swoop or a little every day?  The level of dust changes all day long every day until you wipe it off and it starts again.

The myth that goals are static and it’s now or never prevents many people from starting at all at any time.  I hope you took the time to work on the goal setting exercise you received free with your sign up to this blog.  Often, the overwhelm hits people and their minds propel them to the here and now rather than the future.

The Adventure

Achieving goals should be fun, interesting and an adventure.  When you get to your destination, it may be quite different than you originally anticipated. 

For instance, when traveling to a different country, sometimes there are floods, road detours, plane delays, alterations in travel plans, meet ups with old friends, and a host of events which may alter the course of your vacation.  Was it a bad vacation or a bad idea to go to that destination?  Of course not as long as you enjoyed the journey and appreciate the outcome.  Let’s say it was a flood.  What a story – how did you cope? How did you get back home?  Did you learn something about yourself?

The Myth of Achievement

The myth has existed forever – I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve so I’m a failure.  Actually, you may be a greater success than you think but as long as you’re focused on defining your life as  “not attaining set goals”, then, yes, you will think you failed. 

The other myth is that you must set goals in every part of your life.  You don’t.  Sometimes there is only time to set one goal and go after it. 

Goals are not your life!  Goals are dreams set in action form. 

I have one goal this year.  Does that mean I’ve let go of every other goal I’ve achieved.  Of course not – each one is a  part of my life’s fabric now. 

I had a goal of health at one time because of the costs on my health caused by acute stress.  Did I give that up?  No.  Every day, being healthy is a part of my life.  I exercise, eat well, learn about new developments in exercise and supplements and a host of other topics.  Again, if you do the exercise in the free goal setting offering on this blog, you’ll know why.

Go ahead – reset the goals if that ‘s what you want to do and start now.  Take one step – just one this week.  Another step next week or take a whole bunch of steps today – achieving your goals depend a lot on how you operate best.  Some people like the tortoise way and some like to do things the hare’s way – whatever way, keep moving on.

Lorraine Arams


How Does Self-Esteem Impact Time Management?

Did you ever wonder how self-esteem impacts your ability to manage your time?

The impact on your time can be quite enormous.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is how you regard yourself – your opinion of yourself – how you think of yourself.  Self-esteem comes in varying degrees.

For instance, if you have trouble looking in the mirror at yourself because all you see are flaws, your self-esteem is rather low.  If you go into a tirade about how stupid you are every time you make a mistake, that’s low self-esteem. The mind is occupied with negativity about the self.   

The result of such a poor opinion of oneself carries with it an important deep feeling: undeserving.   Undeserving translates into not making decisions about what YOU want and going after it.  Often, you go after things that other people want or simply block yourself from moving forward.  Lots of time and energy is wasted on the negative or in the wrong direction:

  • “My nose is way too big”
  • “I hate being me”
  • “Why can’t I be more like my friend”
  • “Why am I so stupid?”
  • “If I become a doctor, my mom and dad will be proud of me.  I’d rather be a carpenter but they would be so disappointed with that choice.”

These and many other excuses cover up the real issue:  you don’t deserve what you want

What is time management?

Time management is, in essence, managing your life to get what you want.  What is your life?  Time.  If you run out of time, you’re dead.

How do self-esteem and time management connect?

If you think you deserve what you want, you use your time to find ways and means to get it or a reasonable facsimile.  Just that thought alone will set you on a positive path.  After all, the feeling of “deserving” comes from thinking well of yourself.  Yes, it is a tight-knit circle!

If you think you don’t deserve to get what you want, you fill your mind and your time focusing on your shortcomings either real or imaginary.  Either way, it’s a destructive way to live your life.

Thinking poorly about yourself impacts how you walk, talk, think, behave, look and dress and . . . . the things you do.  People with low self-esteem often look meek or frightened, defer eye contact at all costs, rarely talk to strangers spontaneously.  The colors they wear are drab – in other words, they do everything in their power to assure that no one  pays attention to them.  It doesn’t depend either whether they are beautiful on the inside or the outside – the message they generate to the outside world is “I don’t feel very good about me.”  The outside world responds:  “If you don’t feel good about yourself, why should I?”  So they are often ignored or put upon or “unseen”.

Their appearance suggests to others they don’t want more so even people who think highly of them avoid promoting them for any reason – for job advancement, for romance, for friendships, etc

The irony here is that people with low self-esteem may actually be very talented or beautiful physically or both or may get top marks in school or work very hard in their jobs.  They have incredible attributes which is covered up because of the way they think of themselves.

If you have a good opinion of yourself, everything about you is different – you walk with confidence, you talk to whomever you need to in order to find the pieces you need to get what you want, your dress is sharp and focused, your eye contact tells others you are on a mission and interested in them and what they have to say.  You get noticed and many people will help you – not everyone – but many. 

When we don’t go after what we want because we don’t think we deserve it, we’re wasting our lives, our valuable gifts and deny the world the value these gifts provide to society as a whole and rewards that accompany their development.

If your time is not being used to get what you want, ask yourself why.  There is absolutely nothing in your way except you.  Some of the worst tyrants in the world and some of the most physcially ugly people in the world have achieved great things in their lives only because they thought well of themselves and used their time to get what they wanted.  When you’re considering those extremes of personality and looks, you know there aren’t any excuses except the fantasy you’ve created in your mind about yourself.

How will you be spending your time from this point on?

Lorraine Arams


MId-January – Are You Ready?

We all know it’s coming.

The crunch.

It will happen.

Why don’t we prepare?  Wishful thinking perhaps???

The holidays are over – Christmas brought around a wonderfully crazy time and the welcoming of the New Year allowed us to dream of possibilities.

It’s a slow recovery but the lull is almost over.  Soon, high gear will be the every day norm as projects at work intensify, new ones come along and the associated challenges pile up.

Prepare Now to Avoid Huge Stress

Take a piece of paper.  On the left hand side, down the side of the page, write in hours from 12 midnight to 11 pm – every half hour eg 12, 12:30 am, 1 am, etc.  Across the top, write the days of the week – all 7 days – Mon, Tues, Wed, etc.

For each day, write in the activities for each hour.  For instance, say you sleep from 10 pm to 6 am, so block that time off and write in what you do – Sleep.  And so on for every other activity.  Say, at 6 am, you prepare your body for work – grooming, dressing, eating – write down beside 6 am, these activities and block off the time it takes.  If it’s an hour, then you have blocked 6 to 7 am for work preparation.  But . . . wait . . . you don’t go to work on Saturday and Sunday —- likely your schedule will change.  Pay attention to what you are writing down.

Keep filling in this table until you have included everything you know you do regularly for each day.

You can break this down further for some of the big blocks of time like work time.  List the times you email, return calls, work on projects, etc.  Include as many regular activities as you can.

Now, the sobering part.  You’ll see one of two things:

1.  You have very little spare time to do anything more than you are doing or

2.  You have a lot of spare time to fill

Why Should You Do This Exercise?

To prevent from over booking yourself and creating a lot of stress in your life.

There will always be crunch times in life brought on by the unexpected.

But you can control what you say yes to.

For instance, are you forever volunteering at work only to find that you must stay late to finish your regular work?  Do you follow the crowd after work and never indulge in the activities you would really like to engage in?  If you have a lot time to spare, it’s not an issue.  But if you find you have little time to spare, then this exercise is for you.  You’ll see visually how little time you have to spare and when you do say yes to something new, you’ll be doing so consciously inserting the activity sanely.  Saying no is a great time and stress saver!

Try it.  You might like what you find!

Lorraine Arams

New Year – New You – How?

New Year – New You – How?

It can be simple or it can be complicated.

Which would you like it to be?

Yes, it is up to you.

Nothing in this world is complicated – nothing – except those things which people make complicated. 

Man-Made Complications can be:

  • an excuse – “My life is so complicated, no one can figure it out.”
  • a fantasy – “I’m so special, there are no answers for me”
  • appearance of false self-importance – “I’m so superior intellectually no one else can understand what I know”
  • keep people out or away – “If you don’t understand, then you can’t be a part of my world.”
  • get rich – “I know something you don’t.  If you want to know, you’ll have to pay me a lot of money to fix you”

How do I know?  Experience. 

Experience has taught me that life is actually quite simple. Human thought makes it complicated.

Humans see themselves as the most intelligent of beasts, however, that notion can also separate us and create an atmosphere in which it is possible for some but not all.

Anything is possible for everyone.  It depends on how we’ve been programmed.  And programmed we’ve all been by our parents, relatives, friends, academia, society, books, tv, internet, and a host of other sources impacting your life.

The great thing about people is that they can re-program themselves if they give up notions.  Step-by-step, as a process, it can be done successfully.

If you are a subscriber, you have found that the free goal setting you received when you signed up to this blog has allowed you to achieve some of your goals.  Why?  What is a goal? 

A goal is simply an attempt to change your life.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Why?  Because you find that you really didn’t want what you thought you wanted and couldn’t stick with the program.  Lack of “stickability” tells you the goal you set out to accomplish was not something you really, really want.

New you – what is that?  It’s simply a goal.  Do you want it?

If you do, then use the goal accomplishing system you’ve received and begin – slowly, progressively, daily.

Lorraine Arams