It’s been one year since I started this blog, back when I was trying to write my way out of mindless actions and into an existence more aligned with my values.

But before we get to me, let’s talk about you.

Consider your own beliefs for a moment. What soap boxes do you often find yourself standing on? Strong family bonds? Healthy living? Environmental sustainability? Minimalism? Financial responsibility? Unplugging? I’m sure we can all identify our soapboxes and admit that we talk a pretty good game when it comes to our beliefs. But what actions are you taking? Are you living your beliefs? Are you living your philosophy?

I’m envisioning a person who prides himself on strong family bonds and disconnects himself from a meal with his son to scroll through social media on his phone. I’m envisioning a person who advocates healthy living purchasing only the most processed boxed, sugar-laden (albeit organic) snacks in Whole Foods. I’m envisioning a person who identifies with minimalism but binge-shops on Amazon in reaction to emotional distress.

It’s the classic example of the doctor taking a smoke break at work.

You might say I’m envisioning the hypocrite. Rather, I’m envisioning the hopeful yet inactive.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that, in order to live your beliefs, there is no room for backpedaling, slipups, or inaccuracies. Living your beliefs is and should be a process to a better, more aligned version of yourself, whatever that means for you.

But if we are the sum of our parts, what is your sum telling you about yourself? How do your actions as a whole line up with your beliefs?

I’ve spent a year examining what is referred to in Icelandic as lifsspeki, where your philosophy is not defined by what you say; it is defined by what you do. Your actions determine your philosophy because you embody your beliefs in your daily life.

In a year, I have rediscovered lost priorities and begun putting daily actions into place to ensure that I am living my beliefs. As I begin a new year, I have a long list of even more actions to take as I continue to realign my daily habits with my beliefs. This tells me that self-reflection and self-improvement is recursive. There is no destination; it’s all one long, dynamic journey.

We reflect, then realign.

Rinse, repeat.

So what is the sum of your parts telling you about yourself?

What action can you take right now to begin embodying your beliefs?

Henry David Thoreau is credited for saying, “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” I’d argue that, before focusing on the world, you should focus on yourself.

Live your beliefs in order to turn yourself around.

If you need guidance, consider these resources:

(These are not affiliate links. I receive no financial gain from recommending these products. Just good people doing good things I want to share with you.)