Defining and Living by Your Own Values
How often do we hear the excuse "I just don't have time, otherwise I would [fill in the blank]." When you are truly passionate about something or when you highly value it, you find the time. Even kids who love a specific video game find time to play it between homework assignments... or perhaps, in lieu of homework assignments. Whatever the case, our priorities are actualized in the way that we arrange our schedule.
Double check your schedule and your budget - where your time and money is going is where your priorities lie. If it isn't what you were expecting, then perhaps it's time for a change. Start by creating a list of values - things in life that matter to you. These could be values like spending weekends with your kids, financial independence, travel or learning. Once you have a set of values, it is easier for you to filter your decisions through those values. If something doesn't match up with three or more of those values, it makes it easier for you to say, "no."
When you aren't aiming at something, you won't hit anything - at the very least, choose a direction and go for it.
My Value List (in no particular order, as of 7/28/14)
Mobility (flexibility to travel, move or work)
Financial Security (decent income, retirement accounts, savings accounts, enjoyable experiences)
Relationships (family, friends, strangers)
Experiences (living uniquely, unearthing a vibrant life)
The Gospel (that everything I do reflects Him)
Service (legacy work, volunteer work, daily active love)
Action (pursuing passion, refining talents, enjoying life)
Efficiency (don't waste precious time, money or other resources on petty things)
Art (creativity at its peak - painting, dance, strategy, writing etc.)
Education (passing on knowledge, truth and wisdom)