People spend 3-4 hours a day resisting desire. THREE TO FOUR HOURS A DAY. Want to hear another buzzkill fact? Self-control is finite. That’s right. You only get so much of it a day. And, studies show people with the best self-control are the ones who structure their lives to conserve willpower and establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. It’s the exact reason that Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day. He didn’t want to waste his willpower or cognitive effort on shit that didn’t matter to him. He had to save those brain cells for creating new dopamine spiking tech gadgets.
What we learned recently through a workshop with Wonderwell Workshops is that knowing your values allows you to decrease the amount of energy you put towards making decisions. Fewer choices, more self-control, happier life. We also learned that people who define their core values experience lower levels of stress. At this point, you might be thinking, “I know what I’m all about, I know what I stand for already. I don’t need a values workshop.” That’s great, but really, how many people can ramble off their top five (only five) core values on command? I’m willing to bet very few. Which is why it was fun and interesting to sit down as a CSOB team with Wonderwell for their values workshop.
We started with a list of 100 words. At first glance, most of us felt like we could resonate with the majority of the words on the paper. Imagination, determination, education, integrity, rest, tranquility. Sure, I would like to stand for all of those things. But, when we were asked to narrow the list down to 25 we had to ponder what we really aligned with more—rest or relaxation, abundance or wealth, honest or trust. And when we were asked to narrow it down from 25 to 13 we really had to look inward and ask ourselves what was more important to us gratitude or grit, marriage or loyalty, love or peace? Once we had our top thirteen values, we were asked to group them into our top five values (called main values) and our supporting ten values. My top five were abundance, success, love, freedom, and innovation. So basically I’m a Type A meets Woodstock which makes sense.
It was an interesting process to experience, and it was helpful to write down on paper what we believed in. For example, one of Molly’s core values was longevity. After the fact she mentioned that while she wasn’t surprised that was a core value of hers (duh everything we do at CSOB is to help women live healthier, longer lives), it was interesting to actually write it down and think about how that value impacts her life.
This isn’t the only workshop that Wonderwell offers. Wonderwell Workshops was started by two occupational therapists, Brooke and Karena. Their mission is to help people who are busy identify their self-care needs and find practical ways to fit these needs into everyday routine. The Wondrwell team also has two other workshop options. The redefining balance workshop helps participants take a hard look at how they choose to spend their time in order to identify small tweaks they can make to create new routines. The refining interests workshop helps participants re(identify) hobbies that make them happy and think about how they fit them back into their routine.
The assignment leaving the values workshop was to take a look at our live and ask if the activities we’re doing truly align with our core values. If they don’t, how can we either get rid of them or shift our perspective on them? For example, doing the dishes sucks, but if I align it with one of my core values-love (in this case for my husband) then it makes it slightly easier to do them without complaining. Slightly.