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The Transformative Power of Aligning Your Life With Your Values

It's natural to compartmentalize the aspects of our lives into different parts - our bodies, our minds, our relationships, our work. The sum makes up the structure of our lives, and we each have individual blueprints of what it "should" be like. But in tending to these compartments, we often fail to acknowledge how the compartments overlap. We rarely take the time to measure how our actual lives align with the blueprints. When the alignment is off, it can lead to an undercurrent of dissatisfaction, stress, and illness, wether we are are aware of it or not.


Take an honest assessment of your core values. Write out your top five. Then ask yourself, how does a person in line with these values care for themselves and connect with others? How do they spend their time? How do they feel? What kind of relationships do they have?


Now, take an average day - yesterday, and block out the time you spent doing various activities to the best of your ability. Which activities were in line with your values - spending time with loved-ones or going on a walk? Which were not - busy work or time fillers? Do not judge yourself, but be honest with yourself.


When you think of how your own life lines up to your core values, what are the points of mismatch? In considering the points of mismatch know, this is not about chasing perfectionism or beating yourself up. These questions are meant to bring awareness to your individual priorities and simply acknowledge where competing interests or distractions have come up. Then make a choice, do you want to continue with these mismatches or do you want to structure your life in a way that is aligned?


When it comes to your values - whether health/wellbeing makes the top 5 or not - there is usually a sense of how a person with those values cares for their health. For example if a person has the core value to care for those around them, it's not much of a stretch to acknowledge that to care for others one would have to be healthy, focused, and energetic themselves.


When you think about your health, define what it means to be healthy. And imagine, what would a healthier you look like. Get specific. How far could you walk? What kinds of foods would you eat? What would your health markers like A1c (average blood glucose levels) and cholesterol levels be?


Now, think of one area that you think you might just be able to move the needle on for your health. For example, say you think a healthier you would be more active. What do you do now that is active? Let's say you walk to the mailbox - start there and think to yourself, how could I build on that? Think of other activities that you could enjoy if you just made time for them. Could you carve out just once a week to do that? Then do it, carve out time.


For the next 7 days, plan out 1,2, or 3 ways you could start to move the needle. Define the time you will do these activities. Monday at 12:30, I'll get up from my chair and walk around the building 3 times. It could be anything! Remind yourself this carved out time or action is in line with your values. Then honor yourself, be true to your word. You will find an immense sense of satisfaction in honoring your word to yourself, especially if it feels hard in the moment. You will build the self trust, the belief in yourself to create and accomplish the next goal.


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