Who are you saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” to today? Why did you choose them?
How ever you do, you’re acknowledging your appreciation for them in your life, saying how important they are to you. Who you chose and that you made those acknowledgements reflect your values.
The past two years of covid have clarified our values and priorities too, giving us perspective on what is “essential” and what is not.
As we jump into a new “normal” sort-of-post-covid year, who we chose to acknowledge and why provide insights that we can use to help us develop our goals for the year.
Valentine’s Day reminds us of who and what’s important to us, today.
Here’s how Valentine’s Day helps us with our goals:
It’s good to set goals for every area of our lives: relationships, finance/money, career/work, personal development and spirituality, fun and recreation, and contribution.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with the economy and our lives picking back up in this new “normal,” remembering those values is also essential.
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Feeling connected and loved is essential. Having meaningful activities is essential. Having a safe home is essential. Feeling financially safe is essential. Being healthy is essential. And finding joy is essential.
With our worlds disrupted – including where and how we work and live, who we work with and what kind of work we do – focusing on those essentials keeps us grounded.
· Priorities: Valentine’s Day focuses us on who we love, which clarifies our relationship priorities. As we set our relationship goals for this year, who we think about and acknowledge on Valentine’s Day gives us insights into our relationship priorities and goals.
It also clarifies our priorities for other parts of our lives. For example, the ways we want to show those people that we love and cherish them may or may not depend upon money, which would be reflected in our financial goals.
How we want to spend time with those people we enjoy will show us how we want to spend our time. That could be traveling, or cooking, or movies or concerts. Those activities would show up in our fun and recreation goals (and our financial goals, where money is needed).
How we want to feel with the people we love could be reflected in our personal development goals. You’ve heard people say that they want to be the person their mother, father, wife, husband, son, daughter, wants them to be – or sees them as, or needs them to be.
· Values: Valentine’s Day reveals what we value. Do we value connection? Do we express our love through material things like gifts? Or through gestures like flowers and cards? Or taking the day off to be with them? What we love about those people and how we love them reveals our values.
How we acknowledge Valentine’s Day to the people we love reveals what kinds of risks we are willing to take (or not). If we buy a card that is sentimental, we are willing to risk being emotionally vulnerable. If we buy a gift for them, we risk it not being liked. Whatever we do or don’t do, shows how much of ourselves and our resources and creativity we are willing to risk for emotional connection.
Those values drive the goals we set, because we will create goals that foster connection, and require resources and/or location accordingly.
· Motivations: If we plan how we’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day, that tells us we are motivated by love and connection to act decisively and are motivated to try to please our loved ones. It also says doing so is important enough to us that we are willing to take the time to plan in advance.
If we are motivated to excel at work to please them or provide for them, we’ll structure our schedule and resources accordingly, which will show up in our career goals. If we are more motivated by work than our personal relationships, we will set goals that prioritize our work.
Setting goals through the prism of who and how we love reveals so much about our values, priorities and motivations, and what makes us happy.
The core of acknowledgment is gratitude. Regardless of how you choose to acknowledge Valentine’s Day and those you love (or like a lot), you are thanking them for being in your world and close to you. You are expressing gratitude for who they are, and for love and connection.
Those are goals we can all strive for and celebrate.