Living a Life Parallel to Your Values 🧘
Curate your lifestyle in five simple steps.
Hello again, my lovely Twenty-Somethings! And if you’re new here, welcome. Let’s get right into it.
In our twenties, every day we’re challenged to make decisions that will ultimately carve our path in this life and determine where and who we’ll be down the road. (No pressure, though!)
Over the last few years, through the trials and tribulations of my youth (warned you I’m a drama queen!), I’ve thought more and more about how my decisions help to create the world I want to live in. My conclusion is this: It’s important to me to (try to) live a life parallel to my values.
Luckily, one of my beloved professors and advisers at Cal Poly, Pat Howe (follow him on Twitter!), had students do an exercise in one of his lectures that really stuck with me. Here’s my take on it:
Write down all of the tasks on your to-do list; these can be short-term or long-term. (If you’re anything like me, you have 18 different to-do lists. Big Virgo energy, baby!)
Write down a few of your values. Here are some examples: Family, Generosity, Faith, Honesty, Integrity, Humility, Consistency, Inclusivity, Flexibility, Compassion, Cooperation, Proactivity, Patience, Intuition… You get the picture. Now, group similar values together and identify what you can call your “core values,” i.e., the most salient ones.
Identify your goals—long-term, short-term, professional, personal, whatever. If you’re interested in learning more about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, this article is a helpful resource.
Now, time to think critically. Do your goals and values match? Is there a goal that seems to go against your personal code of ethics? Rearrange or re-prioritize to make sure you’re living in alignment. Take all the time you need.
Back to tasks. Order your tasks based on how they align with your goals. By keeping your tasks aligned to your goals, which are aligned to your values, your path will (hopefully) fall into place. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but this is a great exercise to figure out how your personal journey fits into this chaotic world.
TL;DR: It all comes back to what you hold closest to you. If your career or habits go against your beliefs, something’s gotta give.
Anne Bogel plays with a similar idea in Don’t Overthink It. Through “values-based decision making,” you can almost automatically make certain decisions. For example, if you make it a rule to always show up because Friendship is one of your core values, you’ll never question whether or not to go to that Labor Day BBQ or destination wedding (let’s think of this example in pre-COVID times). If you’ve already identified what’s most important to you, many decisions should easily fall into place.
But it can be even simpler than that. If you care about the environment, why are you shopping at Forever 21? Why not look for the same secondhand items for half the price on Depop or Poshmark? Or support a sustainable brand like Everlane or Reformation? (P.S. After some quick research, both brands have been accused of racism, so… Maybe don’t. 🥴 But, you get the idea.)
If you don’t support Amazon for any multitude of reasons, then… don’t support Amazon. You say you want to prioritize your own needs, but then spend your limited free time tending to those of others who don’t deserve your energy. But I digress…
Now, it’s important to note that nothing in this world is black and white. We exist in a gray area, and we’ll never understand everything that goes into another person’s choice. There are infinite external reasons why someone is choosing what they’re choosing, and their values may be a world apart from yours. The only thing in this life we can control are our own decisions.
Further, if you don’t know your values, that’s OK too. That’s what the twenties are for!
And with that, here are a few picks to get you through the week:
“be cool” by Loony - This soft, melodic bop strikes a chord for me. A little groovy, a little lady empowerment. Love!
“Boys” by Charli XCX - I had to throw a fun one in here—boogie to this one for me. I have an entire section of my music library dedicated to music specifically about boys… And what about it?
“That’s Life (feat. Mac Miller & Sia)” by 88 Keys - Anything with Mac speaks to my soul! This is a lovely one, gets me in my feelings a little too. And anyone who says they don’t like Mac Miller hasn’t listened to any of his music 😊.
The New York Times: “The Lies Hollywood Tells About Little Girls” - Take a deep breath before you dig into this one. Little Matilda opens up about the abuse she—and every other girl in Hollywood—faced as a child star. If Britney interests you, check this one out.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - This book was all the rage a few summers ago when it first came out, and I still hear it raved about. It was pretty good, a little slow for me but great character development. Great writer, give it a read!
TIME: “The Enduring Mystery of Malcolm X's Assassination” - Here’s a thorough look at what’s going on. Crazy, crazy.
The Mick - If you love It’s Always Sunny’s Kaitlin Olson (who doesn’t?), this is a must-watch. She has to take care of her super rich niece and nephews after her sister flees the country and… hilarity ensues.
Netflix’s I Care A Lot - If you have two hours to waste, watch at your own risk—and please, tell me what you think. Specifically, let me know if you’re satisfied with the ending. That is all.
Yoga with Adriene | Yoga for Anxiety and Stress - Treat yourself on your lunch break today. Take time for you, you deserve it! This 30-minute video really hits the spot for me.
Trader Joe’s Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Hair Serum - I was never the biggest TJ’s gal, but I haven’t been in over a year and this bottle is still going strong! Boy, am I grateful. It smells heavenly, makes your hair glossy and tames flyaways.
Marc Jacobs See-Quins Glitter Eyeshadow - This ultra-pigmented glitter eyeshadow is a must-have for the days when you just need a little glam to get you out of the quarantine slump. Shine away!
Patagonia Toiletry Bag - OK, this actually is a sustainable brand! We love to see it. This super cute toiletry bag is perfect for on-the-go and comes in three sizes and several colors. I have the black and blue one. Mad cute!
Pickled Red Onions - My mouth is watering just thinking about these. They last forever in the fridge and work on anything and everything: sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, quesadillas, you name it. Enjoy!
Salad of the Week: Arugula, edamame, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumber, pickled red onions, pine nuts, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil. Thank me later.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce - Easy. Quick. Simple. Delicious. Need I say more?
“How to Triumph Like a Girl” by Ada Limón
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest, I like
that they’re ladies. As if this big
dangerous animal is also a part of me,
that somewhere inside the delicate
skin of my body, there pumps
an 8-pound female horse heart,
giant with power, heavy with blood.
Don’t you want to believe it?
Don’t you want to lift my shirt and see
the huge beating genius machine
that thinks, no, it knows,
it’s going to come in first.
Question of the week: What’s a belief that you hold that other people often disagree with?
Thank you ALWAYS for supporting me. I’m constantly looking to improve my work, so leave a comment or send me a message about what you want to read about in the next Dear Twenty-Somethings! I appreciate it more than you know.
If you liked what you read, send this newsletter to a friend! Heck, send it to 10 friends! Sending love and light to you, wherever you are. 🌟
Cheers & happy Wednesday! See ya next week.
xoxoxo, Quinnie <3