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Are you living by your values?

Values seem like a pretty simple thing but they are at the heart of everything. In the most simplistic terms, values are the things that are important to us. The problem is that we don't always take the time to figure out what is important to us.

We think we know - it's all the normal things, right? Family, friends, work life balance, our health. It doesn't require much thought really. Except really it does. Because when we make time to really understand what matters to us, we can start to live our life based on that.

And to really work out what's important to us, we need to look a bit deeper. That's why, when I work with a client we almost always start by figuring out all the things that are important to them. Normally, it starts with the obvious things, the things they always knew mattered. But half an hour in, suddenly something bubbles up from the subconscious and they suddenly realise that 'being creative' or 'being part of a community' or 'freedom' is deeply important to them, and whilst they may have known it subconsciously they didn't know it consciously. Which means that they weren't living it consciously.

Once we have a long list, we narrow it down to come up with a list of 8 things that are most important. 8 values to live by. 8 things that become the non-negotiables.

So step one, is working out your values. Step two is living them.

So often we say that family is one of our most important values, but we work 24 hours a day and spend dinner time on our mobile phone. Or we say we value our health but never make time to go our for the runs we used to love so much.

The trick then isn't just to know your values, it's to make values the heart of everything. Because, once we really understand our values and start living by them, things suddenly start falling into place.

Your homework

Put aside an hour of your time and start writing down what's important to you. Each time you run out of things to write read the list back and ask yourself, 'if I had all of this, what would make me even happier?' Try to get your list to at least 30 things but definitely don't stop until you're totally out of things to write. Next, work through it and figure out 8 that really stand our for you.

Then really look at those 8 and ask yourself honestly, am I living my life by these values? And if you're not, work out what small steps you can make right now to start to fulfil those values in your life. And then don't stop doing it. Check back in often. When things don't feel quite right - check in with your values. When a decision is hard to make - check in with your values. Keep them at the heart of your life and you will start to live a life that's full of purpose and joy.

And if you want a bit of support, accountability and guidance as you do it, give me a shout. I'd love to have a chat.

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