How Closely Do Your Daily Activities Align with Your Core Values?

This blog offers practical steps for analyzing and restructuring your routine to live a more authentic, value-based life.

Siena Beacham, Storytelling & Content CatalystJun 23, 2024 8:11 PM
How Closely Do Your Daily Activities Align with Your Core Values?
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Ever feel like you're caught in the vortex of modern life, bouncing from one task to another like a pinball on overdrive? With our days filled to the brim, it's no wonder that we rarely stop to ponder why we're doing what we're doing. Amid this constant flurry, our true passions and values - the stuff that counts - can get lost in the shuffle. So, let's pose a tough question: Are your day's activities aligned with your core values?

Before we crack on with that, let's decode what living a 'value-based' life means. It's not about collecting brownie points for good deeds, but about ensuring that our actions and decisions stem from what we hold dear. It's about keeping our choices in check, making sure they mirror our true selves and our beliefs.

Sounds good, right? But how do we take stock and figure out if our daily grind is in sync with our values? Fear not, we've got a handy guide to help you conduct a deep dive into your daily routine:

Step 1: Identify Your Core Values

The first step is to identify your core values. What do you value the most in life? Is it family? Honesty? Creativity? Success? Take some time to reflect on this and write down your top five values.

Here is a short list of values you might consider as you’re working through this exercise. It is not exhaustive but it can serve as a good jumping-off point.

  • Love
  • Knowledge
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Freedom
  • Peace
  • Adventure
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Balance
  • Loyalty
  • Leadership
  • Achievement
  • Compassion
  • Humility
  • Joy
  • Humor

Step 2: Assess Your Current Routine

Next up, it's time to face the music and assess your current daily routine. From the moment your alarm blares in the morning to the second your head hits the pillow at night, write down every single activity you're involved in. And we mean everything - no cheating! This is a judgment-free zone, so be brutally honest with yourself. Whether you spend 15 minutes in the shower belting out Broadway tunes or 3 hours scrolling mindlessly through social media, jot it all down. Remember, no one's peeking over your shoulder, so let's keep it real and see if your routine truly reflects your values.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Activities

Now, evaluate each of these activities against your core values. Does scrolling through social media for 3 hours align with your values? Does it feed your value of learning or creativity? Unless you're a digital anthropologist, perhaps not.

What about that weekly call with your old college friend? If one of your values is maintaining strong relationships, then that's a big check in the values-aligned box.

And let's not forget that two-hour commute to work. Is it aligning with your value of, let's say, environmentalism? Unless you're pedaling a bicycle for those two hours, probably not.

Similarly, consider the oh-so-important activity of reorganizing your sock drawer for the third time this week. Unless you value extreme orderliness to the point of potential diagnosable obsession, this might not be the best use of your time.

On the other hand, spending an hour in the evening reading a book? If your values include continuous learning or intellectual growth, you're on point.

The aim here is to scrutinize every action. If you find yourself watching cat videos for two hours, ask yourself if it aligns with your values. If 'laughter' or 'leisure' are your core values, you might be onto something! If not, it might be time for a little change.

Step 4: Restructure Your Routine

Based on your evaluation, restructure your daily routine to align more closely with your values. This may involve eliminating or reducing activities that don't align with your values and adding or increasing activities that do.

Living a value-based life is not about living a perfect life. It's about making conscious decisions that align with our values, even when it's difficult.

Our capitalist culture often sets certain expectations and exerts pressures on us. We're constantly encouraged to be productive, to strive for achievement, and to amass wealth or possessions. This can lead us to believe that our value is tied to our productivity or what we own.

However, it's crucial to remember that our worth is not determined by these external markers of success. Our value doesn't increase with our productivity levels or the amount of possessions we accumulate. Instead, our true worth is measured by who we are as individuals - our character, our integrity, our kindness, and our compassion.

This also extends to how we interact with others. The respect we show, the understanding we demonstrate, and the love we share, are the true indicators of our worth. They reflect our values and define who we are more than any achievement or possession ever could.

In this context, it is important to question and reassess the imposed expectations of our capitalist culture. We should ask ourselves if these expectations align with our values and consider how they may be influencing our daily activities and routines. By doing so, we can ensure that we are living in a way that is true to ourselves and not just in response to external pressures.

So, take some time today to reflect on your daily activities. How many of your hours are spent aligned with your values? How can you restructure your life to better align your actions with your values?

Understanding the Demands of Each Day

We understand that each day brings its challenges, and the demands of modern life can sometimes make it difficult to live completely in alignment with our core values. The societal pressures of capitalism often require us to engage in activities that are necessary for our survival, even though they may not directly reflect our personal values.

For example, perhaps you value creativity, but you find yourself stuck in a job that doesn't tap into this value. You might be an artist at heart, yet you spend your days crunching numbers in a cubicle. Or perhaps you value the environment, but your long commute to work forces you to drive a car each day, leaving a larger carbon footprint than you would like.

We want to acknowledge this struggle and offer empathy. Life's circumstances don't always allow us to spend our time as we would ideally like. The reality is that bills need to be paid, responsibilities need to be met, and sometimes that means setting aside our values temporarily. However, recognizing this is the first step towards realigning our actions with our values where we can. Remember, striving for a value-based life does not mean achieving perfection; it's about making small adjustments where possible to better reflect our true selves in our daily activities.

In the end, living a value-based life brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It enables us to live authentically and to make a positive impact on the world around us. So, don't waste your time on activities that don't align with your values. Choose to live a life that reflects who you are and what you stand for.

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