1. ¿Para qué esperar a que me llegue una crísis para valorar lo que realmente importa en mi vida?.
2. Es fundamental identificar la brecha (gap) entre lo que realmente me importa y los recursos que realmente estoy invirtiendo en eso.
3.1 Inventario de mis valores: realmente escribir lo que más valoro
3.2 Verificar el uso actual de mis recursos en lo que realmente me importa:
a) Dinero: ¿cuánto?
b) Tiempo: ¿cuánto?
c) Energía: ¿qué calidad de energía pongo?... buena energía = focused
4. Identificar la brecha entre mis valores y mis compromisos
5. Comprender las causas de esa brecha, por ejemplo:
a) Uno a veces hace dos compromisos que entran en conflicto (por ejemplo, decidir invertir más tiempo en dos sitios diferentes y distantes.... habrá conflicto)
b) Dejar que otros establezcan mis prioridades (por ejemplo actuar en función de lo que piensan los otros que es bueno... aquel que no le dedica tiempo a su familia porque piensa que sus colegas lo dejarán de mirar con respeto...).
HBR in Brief
Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?
How many of us struggle harder every day to uphold obligations to our bosses, families, and communities—even as the quality of our lives erodes? And how many of us feel too overwhelmed to examine the causes of this dilemma?
For most people, it takes a crisis—illness, divorce, death of a loved one, business failure—before we’ll refocus our commitments of money, time, and energy on what really matters to us. But why wait for a crisis? Instead, use a systematic process to periodically clarify your convictions and assess whether you’re putting your money (and time and energy) where your mouth is. Identify high-priority values that are receiving insufficient resources—or outdated commitments that are siphoning precious resources away from your deepest convictions.
Once you’ve spotted gaps between what matters most to you and how you’re investing your resources, use a time-out (a sabbatical, course, or retreat) to rethink old commitments and define new ones more consistent with your values.
By routinely applying this process, you—not your past obligations—will determine the direction your life takes.
The Idea in Practice
To manage the gap between your convictions and commitments, apply the following steps.
Inventory Your Values
List the things that matter most to you, in specific language. For example, instead of “Money,” write, “Providing financial security to my family,” or “Earning enough to retire early.” Aim for five to ten values, and write what you honestly value—not what you think you should value.
Assess How You’re Investing Your Resources
Track how much money, time, and energy you’re devoting to your values. For each value you’ve listed, record the following:
Identify Gaps Between Your Values and Commitments
Do some values on your list receive little or none of your money, time, and energy? Is there a single value that sucks a disproportionate share of your resources away from other priorities?
Understand What Has Caused the Gaps
Disconnects between what you value and how you actually spend your time can have several causes. Perhaps you’ve taken on obligations without considering the long-term ramifications. One successful entrepreneur in New York had promised to spend more time with her London-based partner. But when she decided to sell her start-up to a West Coast competitor through a five-year earn-out deal, she had to move to San Francisco to run the business. She now spends even more time airborne—torn between two conflicting commitments she made simultaneously.
Or maybe you’ve let others define “success” for you. One young banker earned colleagues’ praise for his extreme work ethic. When he became a father, he wanted to spend more time with his family, which baffled his colleagues. Because he badly desired continued praise from colleagues, he continued his workaholic ways—and effectively gave his colleagues the power to set his priorities.
It’s harder to recalibrate commitments when you’re not facing a crisis. A time-out—a sabbatical, course, or other device—can help you reflect and give you an excuse to break old commitments and forge new ones. To avoid “commitment creep,” abandon or renegotiate one old commitment for every new one you make.