Take a stand

Over the past few weeks I've been in a deep investigation of uncovering and clarifying my core values. Core values are the guiding principles that dictate our decisions, what goals we set and how we live our life. Core values reveal what we stand for and what we deem most important.  

We all have core values but how many of us are crystal clear about what they are? If I asked you right now to list your top 5-10 core values could you? Take a moment and write them down. Does your life reflect them? 

Until we make our core values explicit and refer to them often as a way to stay on purpose in our lives, we run the risk of feeling:

1. out of alignment with our values
2. like we're living a life that is not our own  
3. like something is missing from our life  
4. powerless and stuck  
5. feeling conflicted about how we spend our time and out of balance  

Any of those sound familiar? Once I understood the importance of knowing my values, I decided to dedicate some time to figuring out what principles I want to adhere to in my life.  

So after hours spent journaling, I've distilled my list to the following 10 core values and what they mean to me. My intention is to read them daily to remind myself of my "true north" and what really matters. It's my manifesto of sorts.  

Accountability: I take responsibility for my health and my happiness. I take ownership for my actions and my results. I engage fully in my life, admit to mistakes and apologize. 

Adventure: I venture into the unknown and step out of my comfort zone. I broaden my horizons through new experiences and new ideas. I am willing to try new things, experiment and take risks. I travel and explore. 

Authenticity: I am honest and real. I stand in my truth and live by my own rules. I am vulnerable and speak my voice. I value people who are not afraid to be themselves. 

Beauty: I create beauty with my words, my actions and my contributions. I see the beauty in myself, in others and the world around me.  

Compassion: I am sensitive and caring. I am loving and accepting towards myself and others. I practice patience and understanding. I am mindful of the impact of my words and actions. 

Empowerment: I am in charge of my life. I cultivate the inner strength and courage to step boldly towards my desires. I am free to choose the life of my dreams.

Family: I unconditionally love my family. I do what's best for them, protect their health and safety and support their best interests. I respect their choices and honor their individuality.  

Happiness: I consciously cultivate an optimistic mindset. I surround myself with people, experiences and things that bring me joy. I let go of what's standing in the way of my contentment and I try not to take myself too seriously.  

Health: I practice healthy habits and make healthy choices. I coach others into their optimal health. I listen to and honor my body's needs. 

Growth: I am continuously improving, learning and evolving. I challenge myself and push my edges. I am open to feedback and work on my weaknesses. I strive towards my potential. 

These are the guiding principles I aspire to live by. What are yours?