Upholding your values, especially in the festive season

What are your personal values? That is, what are the guiding principles that form the cornerstone of how you live your life?

Often, we think of values as they apply to the corporate world. We see words such as ‘integrity, ‘quality’, ‘leadership’ or ‘entrepreneurial’, aimed to foster certain behaviours and guide the actions of those who work in a specific organisation. Yet whilst we all have personal values, they are seldom expressed outwardly. If you were to think of yourself as an’organisation’, what would your core values be?

Everyone’s journey towards minimalism is different, but if you’re looking to live a life with more intention, less stress and (even) less debt, living by your values can help you stay true to your principles. The question is how can you uphold those values and be authentic in your day-to-day activities, especially in today’s “Super-fast Starbucks* Shiny Society?”

A few months ago, a longstanding friend got in touch to invite me to meet up with her one evening. Perhaps, she suggested, we might have a bite to eat or a glass of wine in a local restaurant? At the time, although delighted by her invitation, I was trying hard to stick to a budget, so I asked her whether or not we could possibly meet at home instead (either hers or mine). Imagine my surprise when she expressed great relief that she, too, was watching the pennies and would be much happier with that solution. So, we met at her home and enjoyed a relaxed evening together, which we both enjoyed.

In making this arrangement, we were true to ourselves and acknowledged what mattered: seeing one another was more important than any amount of fine dining or Sauvignon Blanc.

How many times do we agree to go somewhere, do something or spend time in a way that is contrary to the values that we hold dear? This may be particularly challenging during the festive season when there are myriad opportunities to spend more money, acquire (or give) more stuff, attend drinks parties or nights out, support ‘winter fairs’ and participate in the revelry of Christmas cheer?

So, as we romp towards the holidays, remember what’s important to you. Prioritise the things that matter most. By all means, support the school fair, or your godchildren’s Nativity play, but don’t deny yourself the opportunity to kick back or enjoy a time of reflection.

Courtney Carver’s ’31 Days of Gifts You So Deserve’ (see BeMoreWithLess) and other projects such as the Kindness Advent Calendar from maketodayhappy are the order of the day. They help us take time out from busyness and turn our attention away (perhaps just momentarily) from seasonal sparkle towards some self-care and more reflective activities.

What will you do to uphold your values this Christmas?

*Not having a go at Starbucks or any of its competitors. I quite like a gingerbread-spice decaff latte, thank you!

3 thoughts on “Upholding your values, especially in the festive season

  1. Love this post. In our home we value contentment which often comes by building memories but not accumulating stuff. I suppose it’s creating traditions that have meaning to us without necessarily making it about consumerism.

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  2. This is what I both love and hate about the festive season! I hate all the consumerism, but at the same time I love that it really makes me think about what matters most. There are all these little tests of your values, a bit overwhelming but great for reflection, compassionate reflection.
    Have you tried 31 Days of Gifts? I was considering doing it, but I’m already involved in a lot at the moment and really value my down time. I was afraid it would just become another “should”. I am curious though. It’s the FOMO vs JOMO thing.

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