Values are your blueprint for a fulfilled life, like a compass that’s guiding your life, even though they are sometimes outside of your awareness. For example, if you feel distress about your weight, then it is likely that some of your values aren’t being honoured or are in conflict in some way.
Values are intangible and are internal motivators.
What you value determines how you think and feel about the decisions you make and the actions you take. This can apply to letting go of weight, and to weight management.
Values are usually expressed in one or two words, such as friendship, health, integrity, honesty, peace of mind, service to others, power, safety, freedom.
Establishing your values
Getting in touch with your real values – rather than other people’s values – will help motivate you to lead a more fulfilled life.
The actions we take in our lives reflect our values. Establish what’s important to you.
List your top five values and, next to them, write down how they make you feel. Order the values by importance and list the problems you experience in trying to fulfil them – like the friendship example below. Then think of some ideas for how to overcome these problems.
How goal setting can help
When you set goals that reflect your values, you’re more likely to achieve them. We tend to be much better at setting goals in our working lives than in our personal lives. Goal setting is simply stating, this is what I want to do and needs to include a plan for how it is going to be achieved.
In order to achieve our goals, we need to be motivated. There are two different types of motivation…
Internal Motivations – this is when the motivation to achieve your goal comes from within. This motivation is your own. It’s something you choose to do for yourself, not for anyone else. Internal motivation involves exploring, learning and seeking challenges for the sake of it, where satisfaction comes from doing the activity, and not just for the results. An example would be doing an evening class because you’re interested in the subject.
External Motivations – this is when your motivation to achieve something is imposed from outside by other people, such as family, friends, doctors or your boss. External motivation means something that you think you ‘should’ do or doing something for others – perhaps to gain their approval – doing something that’s not your own choice. For example, losing weight because your doctor told you to.
People who experience high levels of fulfilment and satisfaction in their lives tend to have a high degree of internal motivation. How could you move your current motivation further into this area?
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As the saying goes ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’