Successful companies are very clear in defining their core values.
For example, Apple believes they are on this earth to make great simple products.
Wegmans, a grocery store chain that is ranked #3 on FORTUNE magazine’s 2019 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For has the following core values: “To care about the well-being and success of every person. High standards are a way of life. To pursue excellence in everything we do. To make a difference in every community they serve.
We benefit greatly when we define our core values on a personal and professional level.
Clearly defining your core values will make your day to day habits more meaningful and allow you to live your best life.
Here are 3 reasons why getting clear on your core values is important:
- You will remind your brain of what is important to you.
- It will have an immense influence on your behavior
- It will inspire action in your day-to-day life.
My personal and professional core values are to “Improve the lives of others” and to “Live by example”
Making a core value into a reality requires effort. Mark Zuckerberg says that to “actually follow through on your core value you need to be willing to make sacrifices. Values are not free”
Taking this further, ask your self this: To live at your peak, what are you willing to give up?
This is highly individualistic. It’s important to get very clear on what you are actually willing to let go of and what is non-negotiable.
Take some time to clearly define what your peak life looks like now and how you want it to look in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years.
A few years back my peak life included having a body that could be stage-ready in just a few weeks’ time.
After sacrificing our date-night-social-wine-habit for months on end, it became apparent that what I was giving up was not in alignment with my true peak living scenario. This was fine for me but it did nothing improve life for my husband. (improving the lives of others)
The truth is, Ed and I have built a life around enjoying great wine. This is included in our definition of living at our peak. A nearly stage-ready body is not compatible with a weekly date-night-wine-habit. 🍷 Improving the life of my partner in turn greatly improves my life.
Professionally, it gives me great joy to improve the lives of my followers and clients. This is partly accomplished by very careful programming, and listening to what clients are struggling with.
According to my core values, feeling better, looking better, and doing better, are a result of living my core values. They are not the values themselves.
I often ask my clients why they want what they want. We may go through three to five rounds of whys to get to the real reasons for the changes they want to see happen.
Living our core values also means giving up some things.
For example, I must pass up the couch to get in lifting sessions. (live by example) I must commit to walking outdoors year-round. I must commit to eliminating refined foods. I must commit to carefully programming sessions and modules for the members of Grateful Fitness and Mission: Sustainable Nutrition. (improving the lives of others) These choices both ‘improve the lives of others’ and fit in with ‘living by example.’ The result is that my own life is improved as well. As a side note, many trainers feel that living by example means looking the part at any cost. In reality, it means setting a healthy example by getting adequate rest, exercise, nutrition, and living a balanced life.
Are there times when it feels like a sacrifice to be in alignment with core values? Of course! Nobody is motivated all the time. 🙂 Sometimes that couch looks really inviting.
But as Mark says: values are NOT FREE, and worse yet, regret is painful. This is how I have chosen to decide what to give up and what to keep.
Try this: Take some time to write out your personal core values and keep them highly visible. I keep mine posted at my work station in my home office.
Let’s keep the conversation going.
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