I guess the time we hear the word manifesto is when it is coming up to elections. The word means ‘a public declaration of policy and aims’ (Oxford dictionary of English).
It is actually all about setting some specific intentions, what you will do, achieve and embedded in that will be your values, what you think of as important. So perhaps it is an idea we can borrow and put to good use in our individual lives.
Now everyone will have one that is slightly different we may hold slightly different values have slightly different things that are important to us or that we want to achieve but I’ve put below a few ideas for areas you might want to think about when putting together you own manifesto.
Define what matters
The term values can leave many people wondering how it applies to your personal lives but really values are what we see as valuable, what matters, what we care about. Is it important to you to tell the truth, to be honest, to be kind? Some of you might think they are the same for everyone but if we look around sadly there is plenty of evidence that is not the case. Everyone has their own moral and ethical code and they will ‘inform’ your values. It wouldn’t be fair to say there are no rights and wrongs as clearly there are BUT in terms of defining you own values just grab a sheet of paper and start thinking about what matters to you – where are your lines, what sort of things would make you feel uncomfortable?
Values will tend to stay more or less the same over time, but priorities may change immensely depending on personal situations and the wider context you find yourself in. For many staying healthy has become a priority over recent months in a way in may not have been before.
In terms of family there are times when they may become a priority as we may become aware that we need to support particular members. Similarly, there are times when our job or career may be particularly important, whether that is studying, working for a promotion, or even getting a business going (or keeping it going during our recent times)!
Whatever situation you find yourself currently, take a moment to think about what is really important to you right now. Sometimes we can get sucked into doing all sorts of things that seem sensible but actually don’t really reflect our priorities.
Go with the ‘Givens’
While we are all individuals with our own values and priorities there are certain ‘givens’ which can never be ignored. Often, they are reflected in our mindset and when we get that right our lives can really start to change and be fulfilling in ways they perhaps haven’t before. One of those givens is self-care. Whatever situation you find yourself in it is important (not indulgent) to care for yourself, to look after both your physical and mental wellbeing. Part of that means carving out some times each day to do things that keep us well. That is much more likely to happen when we have a mindset that supports us – as in believing that we matter, our needs are important too! Unless that belief is in place you will always find that your needs come bottom of the pile and that will have negative consequences.
Another given for me is that my happiness is important because my mindset says I deserve to be happy – which sometimes means making tough decision about what I do, sometimes not doing what others might expect me to, and sometimes saying ‘no’.
Be open to change
Life is not static. We change, people around us change and the world changes. Some people love change, actively look for it and almost feel bored if they get comfortable, for others change can be a huge challenge. But whatever our personality being able to change and adapt is vital for a fulfilled happy life. Often one of the things that can make change difficult is fear of the future and one of the great antidotes to fear is being able to calm ourselves and say as in the moment and present as we can – here we are right back at self-care.
Somethings in life we can’t choose. Some things happen and we wished they didn’t. Life is not always fair. But what we can always choose is how we react to those situations. We can choose our response we can decide to focus on the positive not in a blinkered way but in a way that says yes there may be sadness, frustration, anger or whatever else but each day we can make a conscious choice to focus on the positive.
If you’ d like a daily dose of positivity join the facebook group All About You https://www.facebook.com/groups/AAYGroup