Habits = Values in Motion


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We build our habits around our values. Habits are really deliberate, repetitive actions spurred on by our values, meaning habits are our values in motion.

But what then are values?

Values = the things most important to us. They are our top priorities in life.

Sometimes our values are good and sometimes they are bad.

When our values are good, we automatically forge good habits, which produces a good life.

Good Values —> Good Habits —> Good Life

When our values are bad, we automatically forge bad habits, which produces a bad life.

Bad Values —> Bad Habits —> Bad Life

That’s the great secret to life.

Therefore, the starting place for habit change of any kind must always first begin with evaluating your values, or what’s most important to you.


Because you can’t forge habits if they are in conflict with your values.

Good Value Example

Let’s say that one day you suffer a heart attack. Frightened you decide that good health will now become one of your top priorities in life. Good Health, therefore, becomes one of your Values.

Once Good Health rises up your list of priorities, you find yourself building habits around your Good Health Value. New habits will automatically begin to spring forth:

  • Habit #1 – You exercise every day
  • Habit #2 – You eat healthy every day
  • Habit #3 – You moderate your consumption of alcohol
  • Habit #4 – You cut back on cigarettes
  • Habit #5 – You cut back on all drug use

Two years go buy. You’ve lost 40 pounds and your Doctor reports that your blood pressure is down significantly, your blood sugar level is perfect and your heart is in excellent condition.

Bad Value Example

Let’s imagine that you were born and raised in poverty. Your parents, in order to keep you out of trouble, push you to play football. You not only like football, but you’re very good at it. So good that you receive a scholarship to a Division 1 school. You excel under that school’s football program and you are drafted in the first round of the NFL. Your pay is $3 million. You’re no longer poor. And you want everyone to know that you are now rich – you want to impress everyone with your newfound wealth. So impressing others becomes one of your top priorities, or values, in life. New habits will automatically begin to spring forth:

  • Habit #1 – You buy expensive things, like new cars, jewelry, watches, clothes, etc.
  • Habit #2 – You spend money on lavish vacations
  • Habit #3 – You spend money on expensive restaurants, where you tip big to impress those at the table
  • Habit #4 – You buy big, expensive home in an affluent neighborhood so you can show off your wealth

At the beginning of year two, you get seriously injured. Your football career is over. Despite your injury, you continue spending money, trying to impress others, because it is still one of your top priorities in life. Five years after your injury, you’re broke.

Habits are your values in motion. The starting point for massive habit change begins by changing your priorities – AKA your values.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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