Simply put, personal values are beliefs or principles that we find important in our lives. Values help motivate us and guide our behaviors and interactions.
Taking some time to define our values can be a very powerful exercise. That’s because values help clarify meaning and purpose in our lives and help us to make better decisions. Values act as a compass to determine whether our lives are heading in the right direction.
To get started in defining your values, try reflecting on these questions:
- What's most important to you in life? (Click here for a list of examples.)
- What sort of behaviors in others inspire you?
- What types of behaviors in others makes you angry?
- Which of your personal qualities make you proud?
- When were you the happiest?
For a deeper exploration of your values, click here.
Once you’ve identified the values that matter most, it’s time prioritize. Because your time and energy are limited, ranking your values helps to ensure that you’re spending time on the most important things that'll offer the greatest benefits in your life.
Now, you can begin putting your values into action by:
Determining goals based on your values. (Goals are items that can be crossed off your list, whereas values are an ongoing process.) For each of your values, list several ways you can put them into practice. For example, if your value is to be a supportive friend, a goal might be to call or spend time with your friends once each week.
Making your goals “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Based). For tips on how to do this, click here.
Remember to practice self-compassion as you work to honor your values!
Need help exploring your values? Looking for support in pursuing important life changes? Travco Behavioral Health can help. Contact us today!