When it comes living a healthy life, VALUES are everything. Values in an ethical sense, and also in terms of the appraisements we put on our own physical and mental assets. Values are the framework on which we build our fitness, nutrition and lifestyle habits. They act as a compass, directing our choices and actions in alignment with our goals and character.

Some common values include self-fulfilment, accomplishment, excitement, health, confidence and energy. However, values are like fingerprints - no two people’s are the same, but they’re evident on everything we touch. Value- based living does, to a large extent, depend of the degree to which we feel the ‘end products’ (be it fitness, less anxiety, more energy etc) are WORTH our time and effort. If the results are important or useful, they’ll ultimately be worth the effort and investment. Going off course?! Many external events can lead us to veer away from our core values. These include work, stress, traffic... even certain people and relationships sometimes. The resultant contrary behaviours (whether it’s skipping the gym or making unhealthy food choices) usually make sense when we look at them as attempts to satisfy an underlying need. A need for REST, RELEASE or REWARD, in most cases. When there is a conflict between living your VALUES, and meeting these often basic NEEDS, there needs to be an insurance policy in place for longevity. A fail safe that enables you to feel rested or rewarded, without deviating from your core values. This might be an allowance for treats, to avoid feelings of deprivation. Or taking a conscious rest day from training, to help avoid burn out and associated demotivation that can upset your value compass. TAKE TEST What are 3 of your core health values? What three actions define what it means to live by these values? What three allowances do you afford yourself to avoid any conflict between values and needs? . What health asset do you value most and why?