Values-Based Living (VBL) - Part One: Identify Your Values

Image result for live according to your valuesWhat do you value? We often say that we value relationships, health, work, relaxation, etc. What does it mean to focus and live according to your values?

This is part one in a series about values-based living (VBL). This is going to be a good one, so stick around!

Values-based living focuses on the premise that we all hold things near to our hearts and souls - concepts or aspects of our lives that are highly important to us. This site has more information on what it means to live according to our values.

Core values are things we cannot compromise in our lives. When we don't live or act (or make decisions) according to our values, we feel stuck, uncomfortable, irritable, hopeless, and...not 'right'. Let's look at this by using an example. Sarah really values her time with her family and friends. But recently, she took on extra hours at work - which she enjoys, because she enjoys it. She also needs the extra money, too. But, after a few weeks, she no longer is excited about going to work. She is irritable, not sleeping well, and is tired. Her muscles ache, and her appetite is sporadic. She misses her time with her loved ones, and feels that she needs more of her human connections. You see, Sarah values work, but she also values health and relationships. And though she 'stuck' to her value of working hard and enjoying it, it came at the expense of sacrificing her other core values. Is the solution to simply quit work? No! Sarah simply needs to step back and re-examine her life and values. Then, she can look at how she can try to integrate her core values across the different areas of her life.

Image result for values listStep one is to identify your values. There are many resources out there that list values - you can easily pick 10, 20, or even 50 of them! I have found it helpful to pick my top 5 values at first, and to focus on those. The picture in this post has some examples of values - take a look at them and list 5 of them that speak out to you.

I'll start. (This is HARD!). My top five values, at this moment are (in alphabetical order):
1) Compassion
2) Faith
3) Health
4) Relationships
5) Work

Actually, I can think of a lot more that are equally as important to me! I also highly value acceptance, courage, wisdom, reading, integrity, professionalism, strength, gratitude...oh my!

This is an extremely helpful activity. By outlining some of the things that I value in life, I instantly became more in-tune to my life. I thought about what is important to me, what I cherish, and what things I cannot compromise in my life.

I encourage you to start with this - identify some of your core values. In the next post of this series, we will see how we can take steps to align our lives with our values.

Image result for set your mind on things above

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