How to Fill Up Your Personal Gas Tanks

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney

How to Fill Up Your Personal Gas Tanks

By Andrea Novakowski

Jim had owned and grown three successful businesses, so he knew how to set goals and go after them. But at a recent coaching session, he confided to me that he wasn’t really excited or motivated by the plans he’d created for the year. He’d designed his work to fit his life; he felt healthy and balanced; but there was still something missing.

The key words that stood out for me in his statement were “excited” and “motivated.”

Our excitement and motivation levels are tied directly to our values. Sydney Rice, creator of the Results Accelerator™ assessment tool, refers to values as our “gas tanks”. When we serve our values, our gas tanks are topped up. We feel excited about where we’re going and we’re motivated to keep moving forward.

But when what we’re doing is out of alignment with our values, it’s difficult to feel motivated. Our gas tanks run low and it is very easy to feel drained.

And so a key question emerged: Was Jim refilling his tanks on a regular basis by doing activities that aligned with his values?

With this in mind, Jim and I used the Results Accelerator™ (RA) assessment tool to identify his top values and compare them to how he spent his time.

The results showed us that while Jim’s work took into account many of his values, two significant ones – two key gas tanks – were being overlooked: challenge and beginning something new.

When Jim realized what the missing components were, his face lit up. He suddenly knew exactly what he needed to do. It was time for him to start something new: his next new business.

“The Results Accelerator helped me identify my needs and values and then provided ways to keep up my energy by identifying activities tied to them,” Jim told me later. “Asking the question ‘How does this activity/goal/plan fit with my needs and values?’ is a very simple habit that keeps me motivated.”

“Making that connection was eye-opening.”

Have you lost your mojo?

Do you wake up each morning energized and raring to go or have you, like Jim, lost your energy?

Perhaps you’ve been telling yourself that all you need is a few extra hours of sleep. Some time off. A vacation? But what you might really need, like Jim, is a plan to activate your values.

Here’s a simple way to activate your values and refill your gas tank.

Create a Values/Activities List

  1. The set-up. Draw a line down the center of a piece of 8.5 x 11” paper. At the top of the left-hand side write the word “Values.” On top of the right-hand side write the word “Activities.”
  1. Identify your values. On the left-hand side of the paper, list your values. Some examples might be to accomplish, to create, connection, to lead, and fun. Need some help? Click here for a list of values.
  1. Activate your values. On the right-hand side, beside each of your values, record what you are doing or could do that “fills” that value. The activity doesn’t need to be big, and it doesn’t need to happen all the time. For example, if your value is to accomplish, your activity could be creating and tackling a daily to-do list.

The key here is to know your own values and acknowledge the activities you do that correspond to them. This process is a way for you to take care of you.

The next time you’re feeling low in energy, out of sorts, or unsure of yourself, pull out your values and activities sheet. Scan your list to see which value hasn’t been addressed in a while, and do the related activity. Know, too, that just reviewing the list and remembering your activities are aligned with your values can be energizing.


Summer is a great time to reassess how things are going in your work and life and to take care of yourself. Why not take this opportunity to create your own Values/Activities list, so you’ll stay energized throughout the year? If you need help, or want to learn more, contact me.