Awareness of Expressions of Values in Everyday Decisions: Throughout your day be mindful of how you are making decisions on mundane things like which foods to eat or where to eat, how much time you spend studying, what to do on the weekends, time spent on social media or connecting with family, etc…. Practice giving your values a name/category like: academic success/learning, family, friendship, kindness, generosity, truthfulness, integrity, community, health and wellbeing, leadership, adventure, leadership, peace, stability, sustainability, balance, etc… For example: In the dining hall if you have a decision between different foods which do you choose and what category do they align with.
Noticing Obstacles or Conflicts to Living out of Values/Where are actions and values do not align: Try to be more aware of the times when your actions do not align with your values and why. What obstacles came in the way? What kinds of states of mind or external conditions prevented you from aligning your actions with your values? Or perhaps your values themselves came into conflict with one another? For example, perhaps you value health and well being and academic performance and you keep getting sick because you are staying up to too late studying or eating junk food because you lost track of time or missed a meal because of class-how do you reconcile these two conflicting values? What makes some values in certain contexts more important than others?
Practice STOP to Reassess your Values and Actions in Real Time
S --> Stop: When you feel conflicted by two values or you are intentionally trying to align your actions with your values and you feel an obstacle just pause for a moment.
T --> Take a Breath: Take a deep breath and just focus on calming your body
O --> Observe: Observe your thoughts and your body with mindfulness
P --> Proceed: With a calm clear mind proceed in your decision making