We all have certain things that we value in life, whether they be our relationships, health, job, hobbies, material possessions, spirituality, or whatever.
Our values play an important role in guiding our actions and choices. They are the things in life that we strive for on a daily basis and keep us going. They are what we live for. And the fulfillment of these values is ultimately what brings us our happiness and success.
However, what we value in life can greatly depend on the individual person. We don’t all live for all the same things, so knowing what you value most in your life is important in building a lifestyle that works for you.
One of the first, most essential steps to improving your life is discovering the things in life that are your most important values. Only when you identify what you desire in your life can you really take action to begin making it a reality.
Here is a quick 5 minute exercise to help you discover your most important values:
- Open up a word document or grab yourself a pen and paper. Write down “My Most Important Values” at the top of your document.
- Ask yourself, “What matters to me most? What do I live for? What drives me to get up every morning?” and take 60 seconds to write down every single thing that pops into your head (however big or small).
- Rank each value based on its importance to you (starting with “1” next to your most important value). It’s fine if it’s not completely accurate, just give yourself a rough idea.
- To help with ranking, imagine which value you would choose over another. For example, if you had to choose only X or only Y – which would you choose?
- Once you’ve finished ranking, take the top 5 values you discover.
- Now grade yourself on each value. Are you fulfilling it or do you need to work on it more? Give yourself an A-F grade for each value on your list depending on your current situation in life.
- Based on this evaluation, identify just one value which is the most important one that you need to work on right now.
- Write down 3 different activities you could start doing to better fulfill this value in your life.
This exercise is very simple, but by doing it you can gain a better awareness into what you really value in life, as well as what you need to focus on right now.
It would be helpful to re-visit an exercise like this once every few months. Our values can often change over time, so it’s important to step back and re-evaluate where we want to go in life every now and then.
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