Finding Your North Star: How Your Core Values Guide You Through Treatment
The North Star sits almost directly above the North Pole and is a reliable gauge of North if you find yourself lost. Each of us have our own values, a set of guiding principles that serve as our own “North Star” to keep us on track in life.
But sometimes we get stuck in behaviors that interfere with our ability to live in accordance with our values. One example, of course, is heavy drinking.
Follow These Steps to Find Out How Alcohol Affects Your Life.
What Do I Value Most?
One of the best ways to determine what role alcohol is playing in your life is to think about what’s most important to you.
Family. Relationships. Spirituality. Health. Knowledge. Success. Honesty. Kindness. Leisure. Creativity. These are just a few examples of the values that many of us hold dear.
If you had to pick the three values you care about the most, what would they be? Write them down on a piece of paper.
Why Is This Value So Important?
Once you’ve identified the values that matter most to you, in a sentence or two, explain why each of these values matter to you.
How Does Alcohol Fit In?
Alcohol affects everyone differently. If you’ve ever found yourself drinking more than you intend to, it can have a big impact on many areas of your life, including the people and things you care about most.
For each value you identified, write down how your drinking affects the value — for better or worse. This process can help give you a better idea of the type of changes you want to make with respect to your drinking and steps you can take to get there.
For example, let’s say your most important value is family. Specifically, some of your best memories are walking your young daughter to school in the morning. But lately you’ve been drinking quite a bit at night and having a hard time waking up as early. Honing in on this can be helpful, because setting a goal to start walking your daughter to school two days a week could help you cut back your drinking (read more about setting goals here).
Maybe you’re a very health conscious person, working to watch your weight at your doctor’s orders. Though you may be very careful about the choices you make in food, are you also aware of the empty calories and extra sugar you’re consuming from drinking? Recognizing how drinking can affect your health goals can be a motivator to measure your drinking (here’s more information about how to accurately measure a single drink).
Take Steps to Re-Connect With the Values that Matter Most to You.
When we get off course in life, re-attuning ourselves to our values can work wonders to help get us back on track. What behaviors and decisions can you make each day to make your life more aligned with what’s most important to you?