We all have values, or beliefs that are important to us. However, this doesn’t always mean that we act in ways consistent with our values. Think of someone who values Health, but hasn’t been to the gym for a while. Or perhaps a person values Friendship, yet hasn’t made time for his/her friends recently.
Once we have identified value-inconsistent behavior, we then have to think about what this means. Essentially this choice boils down to whether or not we want to do anything about the behavior.
If the inconsistent behavior causes low to no discomfort, then it might not be something that you need to change. In fact, maybe it just better reflects that another value is actually a more accurate priority.
Using one of the examples above, maybe the person who thinks they value Friendship realizes that Leisure or Solitude is actually a more accurate value. If this is the case, there’s nothing saying that a person HAS to prioritize spending time with friends.
On the other hand, if you do have a moderate or high amount of discomfort with the discrepancy between your values and behavior, then maybe this is a behavior you want to change.
Using the first example of valuing Health but not going to the gym, maybe this person might consider renewing their gym membership and going for a brief workout sometime in the next week. Remember, just because you decide to make a change, doesn’t mean you have to go from 0 to 100 – make sure your plan is realistic and achievable.
Every person’s situation is different and the action step they will take next will depend on many different factors. This is why completing the Goal Setting worksheets can be helpful, as they are meant to guide a person to make those next steps.
Click the image above or the link below for a free pdf copy of the Value Worksheet 4.