Values. We all have them. If someone asked you, “what are your values?” You could probably rattle them off pretty easily: loyalty, honesty, kindness, compassion, hope, etc. etc.
But how often to you *consciously* think of your values during your everyday life? If you’re like me, not super often. They’re there, I can tell you what they are, but do I think about them frequently? Not really.
The reason I bring this up is because recently a friend of mine did this pretty easy/cool self-reflection activity where you pin-point your top 5 values. Five. That’s it. And not only do you recognize your top five, you rank them. I gave it a shot and wow, it was eye-opening (in a good way ;)) While I knew what I valued in life (as I’m sure you all do), it was pretty interesting to see what my top 5 truest values were. And since I did the activity myself, I’ve found myself thinking about my values way more often (& bringing them to mind consistently has definitely changed my perspective on things).
I wanted to share this super simple (and honestly feel-good) activity with you (instructions coming up!) because it actually has some awesome benefits, liiiike:
It helps you make big (and small) decisions.
When you’re faced with a decision and there’s truly no “right” or “wrong” answer, it can be really frustrating and overwhelming. But when you know your top five values, the decision becomes clearer. Which decision aligns with your values the best? How can you exhibit your values in the decision you make? There are problems where there’s an obvious right/wrong answer, but real life isn’t usually black & white so your values can help you get through the sea of gray.
It shows you what to cultivate more of in your life.
Before I did this activity, I didn’t realize that you can have a value, but be sort of bad at it. For example: one of my values is hope/optimism. While most people would probably describe me as happy/optimistic, I’m not always the best at practicing it consistently. But it’s one of my values & I’d like more of it in my life, so it’s a nice reminder to keep practicing it and eventually it’ll become second nature.
If you follow your values, your life will feel authentically you.
You’ll see in the list (below!) there are a lot of values to choose from. Ideally, by going through the activity, you find the values that mean the most to you & truly represent who you are (or the best version of yourself that you’re working to become). Values make us happy. They make us feel fulfilled. If we make decisions and act according to our values, then we can live a life that feels like ourselves & one that we’re proud of. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?
So if I’ve piqued your interest even just a little bit… download this (cute) lil PDF here & grab a pen and a piece of paper. These are all the values to choose from (there are a lot! but if you don’t see something on the list that means a lot to you, you can fill in the blanks). Here’s what you do:
- Divide your paper in to three sections with the labels: Very Important to Me, Important to Me, Not Important to Me.
- Go through the values list and categorize each value. This part in itself really shows you what matters!
- Cross out “Important to Me” and “Not Important to Me” values.
- Focus on the “Very Important to Me” list. Cut it down to ten values. Then cut it down to five (it’s hard!) Then rank those five.
And that’s it! Again, this is meant to be a feel good activity to learn a little more about yourself so don’t overthink it. Hopefully it’ll make you smile :)
Were you surprised at some of your values? Want to share what your top five are? I’d love to hear! Comment below. &.