Values are personally chosen life directions that can act as your inner compass. They help us to identify what’s important and act on it, rather than reactively following our thoughts and feelings.
It’s helpful to articulate values in different domains. For example:
fun and leisure
health and fitness
Within these domains, it’s helpful to identify words and phrases
that capture how you want to be or act on an ongoing basis. Examples:
“I want to be a team player.”
“I value helping others, taking good care of my health, and having a great time.”
“I want to keep my family in mind in whatever I do.”
“I want to engage the world with curiosity and openness.”
“I want to make the most of every day.”
Values and goals. Values are not goals. You can’t achieve or obtain them. Values are chosen life directions; goals are places we might arrive as we move in those directions.
Values and feelings. Values are not feelings. You may not feel adventurous all the time, but you can act in an adventurous way whenever you choose.
Choosing your values. You get to decide how you want to be or act on an ongoing basis. It’s up to you.
The values yardstick. How do you know if a value works for you? Ask yourself if it brings vitality and meaning to your life – even when things are hard or stressful.