How to Establish Your Core Values
Values bring energy and direction; they’re at the heart of what makes an individual tick. When people deeply understand their values, they can create a way of operating in the world that leads them to a true sense of purpose and meaning.
The following exercise takes you through the process of establishing your initial values list.
On a blank piece of paper, write down a list of your values, such as honesty, power, service or security.
Your answers to the following questions can help reveal values:
What is important to you?
What do you need in your life?
What’s so critical to who you are that you’d almost forget to mention it?
After you have a list of about 12 to 15 values, see how they group and overlap; refine your values list to no more than 9 items.
Some words may have a similar enough meaning that you can count them as one value such as ‘integrity/ honesty’ or ‘purpose/direction.’ Find one word that encompasses the overall meaning.
Take each word in turn and ask ‘What does this value give me?’
Keep asking the question until you’re convinced you have arrived at an end value – that point at which you know you (or your client) have reached a fundamental need.
Capture this fully revised values list as the important building block for future planning, goal-setting and decision-making activities.
Some people like to keep a list as a note on the wall; others in their diary or mobile phone.