What does it mean to live in line with your values? This question is at the core of therapeutic work, but you might not need therapy to start evaluating your values for yourself. Suffering often results when we realize that we are not spending time and emotional energy in ways that align with what is most important to us. The good news is that it is never too late to start making CHOICES that bring us toward our values, rather than pulling us away from them. Here is a short exercise to start moving toward your values today.
1 – Write down what is most important to you. Use an online values list for inspiration and pick three to five words that best describe your values.
2 – Think about what choices might bring you toward your values. Write down some things you can do today, and some longer term goals. For example, if I value “family,” I might write that I can call a family member today, and plan something special for a loved one in the future.
3 – Choose a behavior and execute. Even the smallest step toward your values today will make it more likely that you will make value-driven choices in the future. For example, if I value “health,” even a short walk around the block brings me toward my values.
4 – Evaluate yourself. Every now and then, re-visit your values list to evaluate if your values have changed and how your behavior is aligning with what is most important to you.
Here is a list of values
Click the file below for an advanced values exercise (~20 minutes)