Every decision that we make, every single day, can be traced back to the prioritization of our core values in our lives.
At some point, we adopted them. Most likely, we did so as we navigated life, figuring out what worked for us and what didn’t, and what was important to us and what was not so important.
Yet, along the way, we still find inconsistencies.
The most common way that we detect these inconsistencies is in the feelings of restlessness and frustration.
Do you feel restless or frustrated with your work? Perhaps it is not challenging enough for you anymore or the connection within your work environment is not as fulfilling as it once was or that you would like it to be.
Perhaps you feel frustrated with your current fitness level, knowing that you could be doing better and upset that you don’t seem to have the energy to implement an exercise routine or the resolve to eat healthfully at the end of a long day.
These feelings are key signs to heed that we are in misalignment with our core values. In the work scenario, the value is the need to feel challenged and engaged, or connected with one’s coworkers or work environment overall. In the exercise and nutrition scenario, the core value not being expressed is the need for health and fitness.
To acknowledge these feelings, these signs, these inconsistencies, is a very good thing. Why? Well, once we identify them, then we can go to correct them and align our actions to express our values.
This is why the “health nut” that we all know (and love to hate) is just that – a walking, talking, breathing example of health. It’s a no-brainer for them, because they identified it as a high value of theirs, and so their behaviors and habits follow suit.
What are the top 5 values you hold in your life? How do you prioritize them?
In 2016, I sat down and over the course of the year identified 11 core values that I hold dear to me. If you’re thinking 11 is too much, that’s fine – identify the ones that are most important to you, in the order in which you perceive them to be of importance. Some people put family first, while others put their own self-care first. This isn’t a battle of right vs wrong – it all depends on your own personal preference.
Either way, we cannot escape the fact that these things and the way we order them shape our decisions and habits.
Take a moment today and write yours down, even if you already know them by heart and off the top of your head. This meditative moment in and of itself may bring to light an area of which you could improve in your expression of them.