As we get swept into busy days, sometimes we veer off track. Subtle life changes shift the direction we’re heading; we slowly become disconnected from plans; we find ourselves a little bit off course. But it’s okay.
Maybe you’ve embarked on a mission to reduce your eco-footprint, but you find yourself with more single-use plastic in your household than you feel comfortable with. Maybe you want to spend your time more intentionally, but you find yourself sinking into a social media scroll more often than you’d like. When you’re not aligned with your values, you might feel avoidant, uncomfortable or dissatisfied with certain aspects of your life and what you’ve achieved.
If you’re feeling astray, don’t worry. It just means you need to reconnect to what matters to you. Reconnecting with your values will be a conscious, continuous part of your life — because we can’t be perfect all the time. We won’t always nail it. Accept that you might never achieve one-hundred-percent focus; adjust as you go.
To come back into alignment, it takes reflection, intentional thought, and mindfulness about where you’re going. It’s an honest look at your actions and path.
You can do this through a value audit. It’s a way to make sure you’re living a life that is aligned with your values; that your behaviour and feelings match up, and that you’re heading towards where you want to be.
- What are your core, fundamental beliefs? Do any of these beliefs contradict each other? Which are strongest?
- What factors are driving your attitudes, behaviours and actions on a daily basis? Is this aligned with your beliefs?
- Do you experience self-doubt and second guess yourself? Do you find yourself facing impossible decisions often? What makes you feel this way?
- What are your goals? Are your values driving these goals, or some other factor?
- Do you deviate from your values when faced with a big challenge? What about day to day challenges?
- How can you make decisions that are more aligned with your values and beliefs?
If you’re not sure what your strongest values are, you are entirely normal. Some of us have a clear picture, some of us are finding our way; most of us are somewhere in the middle. Your values will never have a certain answer; there is no final line drawn in the sand. Understanding what you value most is a lifelong process of discovery.
Use reflection and mindfulness as tools to dig deeper.