How to know what you really value.

I bet if I asked you right now what you value most, you’d think for a moment and be able to rattle off the things that are truly important to you.

But how would you know that what you say is true? Just saying that you value something doesn’t make it so. So really, how would you know?

Turns out it’s a great time of year for figuring that out. Not only is it Spring, which is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, but you either just did your taxes or you’re about to do them. (check out my post that will help you love doing your taxes)

As you look back at your year financially, that will give you one aspect of what you value. You spend your money on things you value, whether you claim them on your taxes or not. If you’ll also look back over your calendar of the last year you’ll get another clear sign of what you value – how you spent your time.

If you say you value something, but don’t spend any energy on it – money, time or other, it probably isn’t something you truly value. It’s a nice concept. Something you care about, something you think you should value, but not truly one of your core values.

If you say you really value time with your family, but your calendar is chock a block full of work, it could be you actually value your work more. There’s no right or wrong with this. It’s just an opportunity to get to your truth. Maybe you have to work most of the time to provide just the basics for your family. You value providing for your family most. If however, your family has much more than they need, you may value your work, and the stuff it provides, more than time with them. There is no right or wrong. Just an opportunity to get clear.

If you value nature, did you get outside much? You value human rights, did you contribute to causes with your time or money? You value your health, did you spent your money on good food and time cooking, moving and getting enough sleep?

If you look over your calendar and your finances you’ll get a pretty clear view of where your values were last year. If you’re surprised to see that how you spent your time and money don’t line up with what you really value, you’ve just become conscious of a disconnect in your life. Now you have the opportunity to align your actions with your values and decrease stress.

Knowing what you truly value right now, (values change over time), and aligning your actions with your values can help you overcome guilt that you “should” value something else. You value what you value. There is no right or wrong.

And if you haven’t done your taxes yet. Here’s a way to elevate the experience.