My Personal Core Values

Yesterday, I posted on what core values were, list a whole bunch of them, and then challenged you to create a list of 4-6 personal core values that you hold. As promised, today I’m posting the core values that I embody and that define who at am.

      1. Explore: I explore wonders of both knowledge and nature
      2. Impact: I strive to make a positive impact on the people around me
      3. Balance: I seek balance and fairness in all aspects of my life
      4. Honesty: I speak and act with honesty to myself and others
      5. Independence: I do not seek others to do what I can do myself

I may edit and refine my value statements as I live with them and learn. But for right now, these five words are the most distilled version of me.

Over a series of posts, I will focus on each of these aspects of my person and expand on them. Perhaps in this exploration, I will decide to alter my value statements, perhaps not.

Maybe I should add something about my flexibility and openness to change…

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Creating Personal Core Values

Core Values are the internalized rules that you live by. They are NOT future goals; rather, they are what you already believe in and how you function right now. Your core values are shaped by everything that has happened to you in your life. They form the foundation for your decision making and your relationships with other humans. They can include influences from your parents and family, your religious affiliation, your friends and peers, your education, your reading, your experiences, and more.

I challenge you to figure out 4-6 Personal Core Values that you live by in your personal and professional life. Then, create value statement around these core values (Like how for GetUWired’s Core Value “Empower” the value statement is “We empower and respect small businesses.”)  Below is a long list of example values that may help you along your way:

Examples of Core Values:

      • ambition
      • competency
      • individuality
      • equality
      • integrity
      • service
      • responsibility
      • accuracy
      • respect
      • dedication
      • diversity
      •  improvement
      •  enjoyment
      • fun
      • loyalty
      • credibility
      • honesty
      • innovation
      • teamwork
      • excellence
      • accountability
      • empowerment
      • quality
      • efficiency
      • dignity
      • collaboration,
      • stewardship
      • empathy
      • accomplishment
      • achievement
      • courage
      • wisdom
      • independence
      • security
      • challenge
      • influence
      • learning
      • compassion
      • friendliness
      • discipline
      • order
      • generosity
      • persistence
      • optimism
      •  dependability
      • flexibility
      • change
      • growth
      • self-reliance
      • self-improvement
      • balance
      • warmth
      • presence
      • power
      • recognition
      • clarity
      • impact
      • leadership
      • humility
      • dreamer
      •  goal-oriented

Examples of Value Statements

Zappos

      • Deliver WOW Through Service
      • Embrace and Drive Change
      • Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
      • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
      • Pursue Growth and Learning
      • Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
      • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
      • Do More With Less
      • Be Passionate and Determined
      • Be Humble

Marriott Core Values:

      • We put People first
      • We Pursue Excellence
      • We Embrace Change
      • We Act with Integrity

GetUWired Core Values:

      • Empower: We Empower and Respect Small Businesses
      • Respect: We honor the role and respect the position
      • Excellence: We take pride and ownership in our work
      • Challenge: We define and conquer every challenge
      • Tribe: We _____ together

My Personal Core Values?

Will be discussed in my next post. Stay tuned.

What I’ve Been Reading: The Charisma Myth

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

This isn’t my first time reading The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane. I read it last year, but when our Leadership Training group at work chose this book to read, I was happy to pick it up once more. This time, instead of reading the physical book, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Lisa Cordileione.

Charisma is a skill. And being a skill, that means that Charisma can be learned and practiced. That’s the main point of this book. It defines charisma and gives helpful suggestions and even provides exercises on how to better improve your charismatic potential, thus improving other skills such as communication and leadership.

The pace and content can feel a bit dry at times, but it’s good information. I think this is a solid foundational text for self-growth and even mindfulness.

Hike: Smithgall Woods Loop

After spending about 10 days with one illness or another, last Saturday, Greg and I were feeling peak cabin fever. On top of that, it was a gorgeous day. So we talked about going for a hike – you know, a short, easy going hike to ease ourselves back into things.

We did 7.5 miles. And not a flat 7.5 miles. It was hilly, with an elevation change of 700ft from lowest to highest.

We use A LOT of tissues.

A few weeks ago, we had explored a new part of The Smithgall Woods Center State Park – the Tower Road. At the time, we went for time and just kinda rambled about. But later, we discovered that if you continue on that road and then make the correct turns, you can make that hike into a loop. So that’s what we did.

Everything was going swimmingly. It was a nice, warm day after a whole bunch of rain. We were happy to get out and enjoy the day — until we were about 2 miles from the end. We were walking along the graveled Shackleford Road, when we came to the creek.

We were NOT turning around. So we zipped off the legs to our pants (AH HA, knew that would come in handy); took off our boots, tied the laces, and put them around our necks; removed our socks and stuffed them into high pockets; and forded our way across the creek. The water came up to my knees and was moving very fast. I have never been so grateful for my hiking stick, because it saved my ass a couple of times.

Blessed be the quick-dry pants

We made it across without incident and then stopped to rest a minute and dry off our feet. Soon, we re-donned our foot gear and continued our way back to the parking lot.

Luckily, we did not have the corgis with us. That would have made things much, much more difficult. We typically do not take them with us on new hikes.

Over all, it was a beautiful and adventurous hike. We saw some butterflies, some tadpoles, and a huge tree with some interesting, old initial carvings in it.

 

My Weight Struggles

I am not fat. I do not think I am fat in any way. Sure, I get a belly. I  have one right now. I have cellulite and and stretch marks and saddle bags on my thighs. When I carry a bit of extra weight on me, I don’t freak out. I know it’s just a temporary fluctuation that my body is going through.

But I do keep an eye on it.

You see, my family has a rich history of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart troubles, strokes, and the whole host of health problems that come about from weight issues. Since I was young, I watched my family struggle through all of these issues. I never wanted to have to go through this struggle personally.

These same genes are inside of me, but I have vowed to make better, more healthy choices. I fight my biology. I exercise regularly. I eat (mostly) right. I don’t care about being thin. I just want to be healthy. I love myself and my body. I want to take good care of it and of myself.

And sometimes, that’s really fricken difficult. I’ve yo-yoed. I’ve damn near starved myself. I’ve over-exercised. And I’ve had marvelous epiphanies. I’ve grown so much over the years and have come to understand my body and it’s needs.

And it’s still a struggle.

I see setbacks. All. The. Time. Every flare up of my mystery illness is a set back. Every cold is a set back. Every major headache is a set back. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas is a set back. Sure, some set backs are more serious than others. I can typically recover from my headache set backs within a few days, but my mystery illness can drain me for weeks and it takes months to get back to where I was.

At this time last year, I was celebrating a huge health & wellness victory. And I will get there again.

Just last week, I caught the dreaded cold bug. I didn’t work out for 10 days and I fed my cold. Carbs were my best friend. I ate an entire box of Mac and Cheese by myself, which definitely wasn’t good for me, but it’s what I really, really needed at the time.

I suffered a set back. A couple weeks before, I had finally overcome a particularly frustrating plateau. It was a win. It was awesome.

But this morning, I weighed more than I have in several years. And I know that it wasn’t a good weight gain. This wasn’t me packing on muscle. It was water, fat, and I’m pretty sure at least 3 pounds of stored mucus. It was the weight of illness and idleness.

But you know what that means? It means I have a goal again. I have a target. I will once again achieve victory and the pride it brings in me. And I look forward to meeting my goals once more.

Onward.

 

My Morning Meditation

Meditation is one of the first things I do after I get out of bed. After taking care of the basic necessities and of my dogs’ needs, I typically head down to my basement or outside (depending on the weather). I’ve posted before about my meditation setup, so there’s no need to get into that.

I do have a meditation routine that I go through that I discovered after trying many different things. I complete this routine most mornings, though sometimes I do allow myself to freestyle my meditation.

First I get settled, then I set up my Insight meditation timer – sometimes with music, sometimes with silence. This is what works for me. It won’t work for everyone you have to find your own comfortable routine.

I begin by taking ten slow, deep breaths. Then, I inhale and then on the exhale begin saying my mantra. With each exhale, I whisper a sentence of my mantra. Inhale, “I am Fit.” Inhale, “I am Flexible,” and so on and so forth.

Then I reanchor myself, usually by wiggling my toes or maybe rolling my shoulders. Once again, I take ten slow, deep, cleansing breaths.

Next I focus on gratitude. I think on three to five things in my personal life that I am thankful for. Repeating each time, in my mind, “I am grateful for this…” sometimes with a “Because” clause, sometimes just general gratitude.

Ten more deep breaths.

Still focusing on gratitude, I think on three to five things that I am thankful for in my professional life.

Ten more deep breaths (seeing a pattern here?)

The next part can be the most unnerving. I list out three things that I love about myself. I love my sense of wonder and adventure. I love my shoulder muscles. I love my ability to speed read. I love the life I’ve built for myself. You can love anything about yourself that you have a modicum of control over. Love your choices.

Ten deep breaths.

Finally, I repeat my mantra, focusing on each phrase and the variety of connotations each word means to me.

To end my meditation, I take a few deep breaths and then go into a series of gentle stretches to reawaken my muscles – usually some side bends and twists, neck rolls, and should rolls.

All-in-all, this meditation typically takes me about 12-17 minutes, depending on how focused I am.

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Find me on Insight Timer – April Loebick