We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already. – J.K. Rowling
Your values are the principles that have most meaning to you. They are the ways in which you prefer to meet your needs and may change over the course of your life as your definition of success changes. This means is it useful to review them every now and then. Your values influence your choices and priorities so being crystal clear on what they are will make these decisions easier and less prone to error.
This exercise allows you to further illuminate what is really important to you, your topmost priorities.
1) First, identify your values by brainstorming all the things that you believe are truly important to the way you live your life? Keep adding to your list until you have 10 to 15 unique items. Keep your responses short – one or two words. Your values might center on spirituality, civic duty, relations, improvement, lifestyle, family unity, personal development, good character, etc.
2) Set the values items you have generate aside for a moment and take a look at the lists of values below. They are split into two categories: A) Those that influence activity choice and environmental selection – Our Doing Values, and B) How we present ourselves – Our Being Values. Read through the examples in each category and cross out those that are less important to you. Go through the list multiple times comparatively removing items until you are left with around 6 from each category. These are the ones that have greatest priority for you. Take care when you consider each item that you make a decision based on your own intuition and not what you think you ought to be doing. If you experience any sense of restriction, is it probably not your real value, but rather an expectation for what you should value.
Our Doing Values: to do with interacting, manifesting, and creating. What we choose to do in response to our external surroundings, and how we do it,
Accomplishment, Accuracy, Achievement, Adventure, Beauty, Belonging, Clarity Cleanliness, Comfort, Community, Completion, Conformity, Connection, Conservation, Contribution, Control, Development, Discovery, Diversity, Engagement, Entertainment, Environmentalism, Exercise, Expertise, Exploration, Family, Flow, Freedom, Fun, Growth, Guidance, Harmony, Health, Imagination, Influence, Inspiration, Integrity, Intimacy, Justice, Leadership, Learning, Mastery, Mentoring, Nature, Neatness, Non-judgment, Novelty, Order, Partnership, Perfection, Pleasure, Popularity, Power, Practicality, Privacy, Professionalism, Prosperity, Quality, Recognition, Recreation, Refinement, Reputation, Resolution, Sacrifice, Security, Service, Sharing, Simplicity, Skill, Solitude, Speed, Sports, Stability, Status, Structure, Success, Teaching, Teamwork, Tolerance, Tradition, Uniqueness, Volunteering
Our Being Values: to do with the essence of our character and internal qualities; what and how we have chosen to be or experience.
Active, Adaptable, Affectionate, Aggressive, Agile, Alert, Altruistic, Ambitious, Appreciative, Approachable, Articulate, Artistic, Assertive, Attentive, Aware, Balanced, Calm, Capable, Caring, Comic, Committed, Communicative, Compassionate, Competitive, Confident, Conscientious, Cooperative, Courageous, Courteous, Crafty, Creative, Curious, Deferential, Dependable, Determined, Devoted, Direct, Disciplined, Eager, Efficient, Empathetic, Endurance, Encouraging, Enthusiastic, Ethical, Faithful, Fearless, Flexible, Focused, Friendly, Giving, Happy, Hospitable, Humorous, Independent, Innocent, Innovative, Industrious, Insightful, Intelligent, Intrepid, Introspective, Intuitive, Joyous, Kind, Loving, Loyal, Mature, Meticulous, Mindful, Modest, Motivated, Neutral, Nurturing, Observant, Optimistic, Organized, Passionate, Patient, Peaceful, Perceptive, Persistent, Persuasive, Playful, Present, Proactive, Prudent, Punctual, Rational, Realistic, Rebellious, Religious, Reflective, Reliable, Resilient, Respectful, Responsible, Resourceful, Rigorous, Self-control, Sociable, Spiritual, Spontaneous, Strong, Supportive, Sympathetic, Thankful, Thorough, Thoughtful, Trusting, Truthful, Understanding, Visionary, Vital
3) Compare the two sets of values you have generated. Combine them into one list eliminating repetitions. Begin to put these values in rank order. Ask “If I could only satisfy one of these values which would it be?” This gives you number one. Look back at those that remain and repeat. If you have a hard time differentiating ask yourself “Which activities associated with each value you prefer?” When you have you top dozen or so stick them in a prominent place such as the bathroom mirror, toilet door, or kitchen cupboard. Your values are the habits of your heart. You can only live your values if you are clear about what they are and are conscious of them every day. Clearly articulating what’s most important to you brings relief, peace and a sense of direction.
4) Next, make a list of your short term goals for the next 60 to 90 days. Then add your longer term goals for the next 5 years.
5) Compare your list of values and your list of short and long term goals. For each goal listed, assess whether you can really live out your top values as you meet these goals. If any one of your goals does not harmonize with your values take the time to consider how you want to handle this new understanding. Consider changing the goal itself or your plan for attaining it. For example, you may be building a business that requires a great deal of solo work, yet you have a core value of being a close friend. You may need to re-prioritize in order to stay connected. Or, you could get your friend involved by creating a mastermind group that meets to support one another in desires and intentions.
Taking time to identify your primary values brings the benefit of increasing their expression in your daily life. Increasing the number of choices in alignment with your absolute priorities is the key to joyful living.
With this exercise you have learned if there are any discrepancies between the goals you have set for yourself and the needs and values you aspire towards. You will have also begun to explore possibilities for achieving your goals with adherence to your core values. These ideas are the beginning of designing your life for the full satisfaction of living in accordance with your priorities on all levels from ambition to relationships to nurture. Joy and reward comes from finding the balance in expression of these things you hold important.