How to Align with Your Core Values

In the last few weeks I’ve discussed how to start off on a new path in 2021, including burning your bridges, taking a stand for yourself, learning to say no to what no longer serves you and defining your core values. I discuss in detail, in last week’s blog, how to define your core values.

If you missed that article, I’ll review it here. The first thing you do is to make a list of everything that is important to you in your life.  Next, you make a list of everything that you enjoy doing.

The next thing you do is to write down what your ideal day would look like. It does not matter whether you have experienced it but give this some thought and outline it in as much detail as possible. Once you have done these exercises, you then look for themes in your writing and these themes will help define your core values.


Once you have identified your core values, the question then arises as to how one lives in harmony with those values. The way you do this is to look at all of your current goals and pursuits and see if they align with your core values. If they do not, then you need to reassess them and, likely, let them go. If they do align with your core values then you need to double down on those goals and discover what you need to do to continue to move towards them.

For example, one of my core values is freedom. The way this manifests in my life is through spending more time in nature, where I truly feel free. This could be through hiking, camping, tracking or any number of outdoor pursuits. Since I have discovered freedom as one of my core values, I have gone on to schedule nature time into my regular monthly routine. This could be as simple as spending 15 minutes in my backyard and connecting with my natural surroundings to as complicated as planning a weekend camping and snowshoeing trip, something I did this past week.

I do the same thing with my other values of connection and impact. Everything that I spend my free time doing must be in harmony with these values. These activities include spending quality time with my wife and children, spending time with my friends, usually hiking, writing my second book, which I hope reaches and touches millions of people, and writing this blog that you are currently reading.

By harmonizing your goals with your core values, you will be ensuring that your pursuits will bring you happiness and fulfillment and you will not be dissuaded from them by obstacles,  challenges and any setbacks. I therefore encourage you to define your goals, as I have outlined above. You then need to scrutinize each of your goals to see if they align with any of your core values.

If they do, then  continue to pursue then with focus and determination, as they will serve you in the long run. If they do not, then shed them like a snake shedding its skin, as they will not serve you and will only, eventually, bring you frustration and misery. This exercise alone, has the potential to alleviate much of the pain and suffering that many people continue to suffer at their own hands.

Dr. Nauman Naeem


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