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January 1 is the ultimate day in which we make promises to ourselves to make changes that we have been wanting to make forever. I, myself, cannot help but ruminate on the things in my life that I want to change. I spend a fair amount of my time consuming self-improvement books and am an avid believer that we, as humans, control our own reality.

Only we can control ourselves. We can become the person that we want to be. We can change our thought patterns, our behaviors, and our reactions. Knowing this is very powerful because it puts us entirely in control of our lives.

But man is it hard!

Change is the hardest thing that we do.

So every year, on this arbitrary day of the New Year- recognizing the fact that we can do this on any old day, we take stock and think about the past and dream about the future. We plan to be better, stronger, calmer, skinnier, etc. but, as we all know, most of us don’t actually make the sustainable changes that we want.

In order to make long-lasting changes to our behavior, we need to identify what it is that we actually value. When we figure out what is important to us, really important, we can develop strategies to help us align our behaviors with our values.

What do you value and why?

You can figure out some of your values by asking yourself a few questions:

Question #1:

What 3 items do you keep closest to you and what value do each

Questions #2:

What are the top 3 ways you spend your time and what value do they each represent?

Question #3:

What are the top 3 consistent actions that energizes you the most and which values do each represent?

Once you get clear on what you actually value, you can start to link your behaviors with your values.

For example, if one of your values is being highly productive at work (value) and you know you need to exercise more (goal), you can link the action with the value by acknowledging that exercise will help you think more clearly and focus more deeply so that you can be more productive at work.

Linking is a very powerful tool and helps to drive your actions towards your purpose. Instead of making a healthy habit an arbitrary thing you “should” do, this healthy habit becomes part of something that is already of high value to you. As you go through your day, you can remind yourself of the “why” you want to be working towards your goal and keep living in accordance with your highest values, even while adding on tasks that seem menial and hard.

This is, of course, only part of helping you achieve your goals. Another key ingredient is becoming conscious; living in the present, and becoming aware of what you’re doing. So much of our existence is unconscious habits- things that we do just because we have been doing them for most of our lives.

If you try to take a few moments throughout each day and simply become aware. Tell yourself you are present. Breathe, pay attention to what you are seeing, feeling, hearing, and even smelling. Becoming aware that you are aware gives you more presence in the moment, and helps you leave behind the unconscious behaviors that you no longer feel are serving you.

Being more present enables you to enhance your consciousness to be able to live with purpose, which is value based living.

Change that we all seek, year after year, is SO hard, AND it can be done. Taking the time to attach value to your actions makes it that much easier to do. But don’t forget to give yourself some grace and recognize that even in the midst of progress there will be failure. Just remind yourself of your why, get back up and keep going.

I wish you a wonderful year and, if you need any help with those goals, let’s work on them together- I am here to help!

Give me a call if you have any questions about how to set those goals!

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