How to Affirm What’s Important to You Every Single Day
Because affirmations without values are like crackers without cheese.
Ever feel like a hamster, furiously peddling in the Wheel of Life and getting nowhere fast? If so, it could be because what you’re doing isn’t fully aligned with why you’re doing it.
Put another way, you’re consciously setting out to achieve one thing but you’re being sabotaged by your sub-conscious as it knows it’s not the right thing for you at all.
How does it know this when apparently you don’t? The answer is because your subconscious isn’t driven by external pressures, it’s driven by your internal values.
Acknowledging Your Values
Values are what make us who we are. Although we may share a number of values, the combination, strength and priority we give to our values means that each set is unique from person to person.
Values are rather like a cake — we may all start out with the same ingredients but how we put them together mean we can end up with very different results.
And that’s a good thing — values are one way of allowing us to define ourselves. To decide the kind of person we want to be and to measure how well we’re doing against this ideal.
However, values tend to be something we don’t give a lot of thought to and if we’re not careful, we can end up taking on values from other people that may not be right for us.
The trick is, by asking a few simple (ish) questions, we can consciously choose our values and then work towards meeting them by achieving our goals. And we can build on this every single day.
Values are often qualities or character traits that are important to us or they can be standards we aspire to. Most of us have a plurality of values that are significant but generally speaking, most people have a handful of core values — the ones that make up the very foundation of who we are.
Our core values guide us and help us determine the kind of person we want to be and the sort of life we want to live. Very often, a large amount of unhappiness and discontentment can be traced back to living at odds to our values.
This is why it’s so important to set goals that are aligned to our values. Meeting a goal is one thing but sustaining it is arguably more important — the more aligned the goal is to your values, the more likely it is you’ll be able to sustain it long-term.
Examples of Values
There are hundreds of values but common values include loyalty, honesty, reliability and open-mindedness. It’s important to recognise that whilst values often have a primary role in setting our moral compass, they are in themselves neutral; it is our interpretation of them that gives them a positive or negative association.
It’s also worth remembering that values are not static and will often change over the course of a lifetime. It’s quite usual for one value to be given prominence at the compromise of another.
A good example of this can be seen around the core values of ‘freedom’ and ‘security’. For most people, an abundance of one of these means a reduction of the other. Yet it is perfectly possible to switch between them depending on your current circumstances.
If you hate your job and have a burning desire to be self-sufficient in terms of income, it’s likely you value freedom over security. Conversely, even if you hate your job, if you have a mortgage and a family, it may be that looking after them comes first and therefore security is valued over freedom.
Neither of these is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and as circumstances change, so too do our values. The important part — and the part that is often overlooked — is in understand we can choose our values.
Because when we consciously choose, we immediately increase our chances of making decisions that align to them. When we choose to live who we are, we’re able to realise our life goals more easily and successfully.
Living Your Values — Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day
So how do you choose your values — how do you decide what they are? There are 5 key questions that you can ask yourself every day that will put you firmly on the path to living in alignment with what really matters to you.
1.What one action can I take today to bring me closer to achieving my goals?
2.Is this action in keeping with what matters most to me — does it meet my values?
3.Am I taking this action in accordance with who I am or what others want me to be?
4.Am I more likely to regret taking this action or not taking it?
5.What do I want to be able to say tomorrow, about the action I took today?
By asking these questions every day, we become more mindful of the decisions we make and the reasons for doing so. When we make choices, and take actions based on what is important to us, we are one step closer to becoming the person we want to be. Asking questions is important but as with any kind of life goal, it’s action that really matters. Whilst answers give us knowledge around what to do any why, affirmations are what enable us to turn knowledge into making it happen.
The Importance of Daily Affirmations
Affirmations can be thought of as giving yourself a little daily nod of support or encouragement to achieving your goals. They offer a simple way of becoming your own best friend and your biggest cheerleader.
They don’t need to be big or ostentatious; most affirmations are simple and short, like a mini-hug but with words. Examples are, “I am worthy of love and affection” or “I am strong, independent and capable”.
There are plenty of affirmations to be found all over the internet but there’s something special about creating a personal affirmation, just for you. Choose whether you want your affirmation to be feelings-based (I am… / Today I feel …) or actions-based (Today I will… / I choose…)
It’s important to focus on the positive and what you do want (not what you don’t want). If there is a particular value you want to focus on, or pay attention to, try to include that word within the affirmation. For example, if gratitude is one of your values, an affirmation could be, “I am grateful for the ability to think with clarity, move with purpose and feel with passion.”
Affirmations are a wonderful way to recognise and honor your values, and build on them every day. Understanding what is important to us and living every day in accordance with our values serves to make us stronger, more fulfilled and ultimately helps us to realise our life goals.
Annette writes about all things stress-inducing and wellbeing related, especially those things that involve handling other people! You can download her 30 Easy Top Tips to Help You Relax, Unwind and De-Stress at https://www.annetteearl.com/30-top-tips/