What Happens When Your Values Don’t Align with Your Behaviors? Nothing. And That’s Not a Good Thing.

 
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I have been talking to my clients and in the community talks that I’ve been giving about the importance of values. When our behaviors don’t match and support our top values we feel, well...icky and blah (very technical terms). It’s as if you are driving a car with deflated tires or you are cross-county skiing outside the packed path. It makes the task (and life) feel difficult and not fun. We feel unmotivated, unhappy and engage in behaviors that aren’t healthful or helpful to our growth.

When Values and Behaviors Don’t Align

 
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When Values and Behaviors Align

 
 
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I’m not unfamiliar with this icky and blah feeling. It often happens this time of year-post-holiday and smack dab in the middle of a cold, cold, (did I say cold???) icy winter. During the cold months, I don’t get out to exercise or spend as much time in nature as I do in the warmer months. Those things align with my top values. I also don’t have as much social connection as naturally occurs in the warmer months.

After about the fifth time talking about top values to clients and in my talks, I realized that it might be time to take a look at my own. I completed Dr. John Demartini’s value assessment. The results reaffirmed that health still is my top value. I looked around my life to see how my behaviors were supporting that and I realized that I wasn’t living in accordance with my top values.

My diet has been healthy-ish but included more chocolate than is good for me. To jumpstart my healthy eating, my family joined the 800g Fruit and Veggie Challenge. We’ve been focusing on eating more fruits and vegetables with each meal each day, and as a result some of the less healthy food has been crowded out. My exercise and activity routine had fallen off, too. To re-energize that, I reinstated my morning walks that I love so much even though I am now dressing in at least three layers.

 
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In addition, after talking to a friend about saunas, I decided to use some of my Christmas money to buy a month pass at my local local infrared sauna facility. So far I’ve visited eight times, and I love how I feel afterwards. I’ve been sleeping better and I feel like my appetite is more regulated both in terms of the quantity of food and the type of food I want to eat. All of these little behavioral changes move me to increased alignment with my values, and that feels really good…as good as my sauna sessions!

 
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Far Infrared Sauna Pod - AKA My Happy Place

One of the reasons I love doing what I do so much is because it’s a constant way for me to remind myself about the things that I want to do used to stay healthy. And generally, I don’t recommend things that I haven’t already tried. Identifying your values and then aligning your behaviors is one of the most powerful things you can do for your life and for your health. I’ve tried it, and now it is your turn. Here are your action steps for getting rid of the icky blahs.

Action steps:

1. Take a look at your top values. There are many ways to do this. Dr. Demartini’s value assessment is free and thorough.

2. Look around your life (be objective) and see if the behaviors and the people with whom you’re spending the most time are supporting the top values you’ve identified in Step 1.

3. If your behaviors aren’t aligning with your values, figure out how you can make some small changes to align what you’re doing with what you value. It’s a sure fire way to cure the ick and blahs.

And if you need help, feel free to reach out and contact me. It often only takes one or two sessions to get your values and behaviors aligned.