I don’t know about you, but I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. As tempting as it is to celebrate the New Year by making a commitment to doing something differently, it’s more like one more thing I’m likely to fail at. I’ve made them in the past and I often end up not sticking with it and going back to my old ways.
What is an emotionally intelligent alternative? Let’s explore this question.
I believe life is all about modifying our actions and activities to more closely align with our values. We spend our lives getting clearer on what it is that we value and at every fork in the road and in every decision about what we are to do, we take the option which we feel is a better fit with our values at the time.
Values become then, a touchstone to decision making.
They help keep us on track. Realistically, not everything we do fits with our values, however, we make allowances for less valuable activities or decisions as we ultimately see that they are somehow part of an overall value of ours. For example, I collect and track receipts (which I find distasteful ;-) but it fits with my overall value of being successful in business.
How does emotional intelligence factor into this belief? We become aware of our values through the EQ skill of Emotional Self-Awareness.
When we become more connected to our emotions, they provide a wealth of information and let us know what’s important to us and what is less important. Ways to improve and develop this skill depends on where you are starting from, but they would include things like spending time alone in quiet reflection.
You can find lists of values online and some examples are, integrity, authenticity, challenge, creativity, service, adventure, etc.
Adults should have from 3-5 high priorities or things they value in life. (If you have not completed our EITC Values Challenge, contact us for details on how to get started.)
Once you have identified these values we ask individuals to think about what they look like ‘in action.’ How would I know you were acting on these values if I were observing you? What are the behaviours?
One of my values is Adventure. If you saw me acting in accordance with this value you would see me taking opportunities to experience many different places around the world, some dangerous and some cautioned against and some just new and interesting. All for the sake of the work I do speaking and training. I don’t jump out of airplanes, but I do love meeting new people, visiting new cultures, and exploring new places. That’s what it looks like for me.
Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, try being truer to yourself by determining your core values and seeing what small changes you can make this year to live in closer alignment with what it is that you value.
For me 2019 is the year of living in closer alignment to my value of Creativity by playing more music! What about you? What will you do? Please comment below.