Value A + Identity B + Priority C = Action D

Busy lives sometimes result in undesirable choices that breed even less ideal outcomes. The simple equation above can demonstrate exactly how and why you end up doing something.

Let’s say you’re a mother with four kids, a loving husband, a career you enjoy but can certainly stress you out, and a busy schedule filled with practices, meetings, cleaning, cooking, walking with your best friend, singing in the church choir, and trying to sleep.

I’m going to use my newfound love, gifs, to portray some emotions that can’t be done as well with words. On a daily basis…

You’re trying to be upbeat supermom like

And the rest of the night your baby is like

Which sometimes builds up and you end up going

And it doesn’t help that your teenage daughter is always looking at you like

Then your youngest daughter drops her phone and is all

And you ask your oldest son for help cleaning and he’s like

And you want support but your husband is just


Okay, maybe it’s not that bad (I hope).

Value A + Identity B + Priority C = Action D

Your elongated equation might look like this:

I value my family time + I’m a very caring person who puts others before myself + I make sure everything for my kids is done and in order before I make sure I’m in order = my eating schedule revolves around when/what my kids want to eat. (Sometimes that’s no food, sometimes frozen chicken nuggets, sometimes the drive-thru window).

And the shortened version:

Family time + caregiver + kids always 1st = eating a poor diet and being overweight

As you can imagine with the example above, these three (value + identity + priority) could lead to a huge list of possible actions, from stress-eating to binging to having a dirty house to putting off that weekend trip with your friends you’ve wanted for 9 months. The “excuses” (actions) could go on forever.

Your values and identity (or what you perceive yourself as) will determine your priorities. If you value watching movies and you see yourself as a lazy person, your priorities probably aren’t getting in better shape or losing weight and your actions will reflect those priorities.

Here’s another example, except this one’s mine:

Hard work + being a positive role model + long-term goals


consistent motivation to move and eat well

Precision Nutrition knows what’s up. That’s why I chose their company as my avenue for learning/coaching on the subject. One of the most important concepts they’ve introduced me to is the above equation. Why? Because it’s an amazing way to look at your own actions from an objective lens.

Learning experiment – get out a piece of paper (it works a lot better than just imagining your answers), write down the equation above, and fill it in yourself (maybe even a few times). See what you come up with and see if your values, identity, and priorities are equalling the action you wish to take.

If you’d like to share what you find, I’d love to hear about it by just filling in the box below!