Values – Your Lifestyle GPS

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Do you procrastinate? Do you struggle to make decisions at times, or behave irritably, lack drive or experience frustration? This can be your values at play. And conversely, when you feel inspired, determined, when you feel in the flow and have momentum, this too is the result of your values – being aligned with them.

Your values are an intrinsic part of you. They represent what is truly important to your life and being. They are your unique, biological roadmap to calm, success, vitality and joy. Over 97% of us cannot name our values, yet as described above, you will find evidence of them in your life continually.

Values can be likened to a GPS – when you follow them you stay beautifully on track. When you deviate from them you experience frustration, uncertainty or challenges. Without question, if you wish to experience peace of mind, inspiration, determination and a life that flows, you need to know and live in accordance with your values.

Determining your values can be an interesting, and also challenging exercise. Values are neither right nor wrong. They are not morals, or manners or societal expectations or kindness. They are a set of your inherent, deep priorities that form the fabric of a fulfilled life.

A common situation I see in my practice is women who feel guilty that their wish is to return to work, when they have children, or vice versa. Instead, it is useful to consider the great attributes that come to the fore, when we are living in accordance with what is truly right for us. You operate at your very best when you align with your values, therefore children, partners, friends, colleagues are getting the very best of you. It is commonly discussed in our home that my husband’s number one value is health. He will put exercise, sleep and nutrition above all other aspects of his life. This is not to say that our children and myself are not his priority – simply that he needs to live his best, so that he can be the best husband and dad he can.

When you are certain of your values you are better equipped to make decisions. A decision made based on one of your values is rarely ever the wrong one, and it just feels ‘right’. And further, you will feel grounded, calm and strong in your decisions when they are in accordance with your values. Knowing your values also assists you to recognise and understand your daily challenges and frustrations. You will be able to distinguish between an ongoing daily niggle that can be tweaked with a few minor changes vs. a sector of your life that needs serious review. We have four children. When they were younger, my mornings were chaos initially, and challenging, as we rushed to get ready and out of the door for me to drive each of the four to three different schools.. There were days when I knew being at work would be so much simpler. Yet when you can recall [that in my case] a core value is nurturing and developing your children, you realise that returning to work is not the answer. Instead a review of my organising was required. It brings a fresh perspective when you can link what you do in your day, to your values. Your days have more meaning, when you remind yourself of this.

To begin with, write single words that describe what you either crave, love or resonate with – contribution, security, exhilaration, peace, challenge, nurturing, knowledge, enterprise, independence for example… Write as many words as you can. And then narrow them down to your six most important values in life.
Take a look at these words and ask yourself if your life enables these core values to be evident. This is your opportunity to make simple, yet significant changes…

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Sarah Laurie
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