“A world-class athlete was number one in the world in her event and had won two consecutive world championships. Only a few human beings on the planet ever reach that level of athletic achievement. Yet, upon winning her second championship, she said her primary emotion was neither elation nor satisfaction, but fear. The reason? She was afraid she wouldn’t win next year. Minds are like that. They will never change. They are evaluative, predictive, comparative, worrying “organs”. But in the case of values, it’s different. Once you choose them, you are in fact choosing them. You’ve won. Then they allow you to follow your path and to measure your progress on that path.” – Steven Hayes
Values are the aspects of life that matter most to you.
Connecting with your values allows you to live a richer, more meaningful life – regardless of the circumstances.
In fact, studies show that reflecting on your values is one of the most effective psychological interventions around.
One study found that people who affirmed their values before a stressful task had significantly lower cortisol responses compared with those who didn’t.
To help you clarify your values, our fillable Values Worksheets PDF outlines two exercises.
1. Self-Reflection Exercise
In this exercise, you spend some time reflecting on the following questions.
- What qualities do you most appreciate in others? In yourself? What does that say about what you value?
- What would you do if money and other people’s opinions didn’t matter?
- What are you doing when time flies?
- Which events in your life have been the most meaningful to you?
- If you were to be stranded on a desert island, which three things would you bring with you? What do these things tell you about what’s important to you?
2. Fast Values Exercise
For this exercise, you set a timer for two minutes. In this time, you review a list of 93 values and tick the ones that stand out to you the most.
Don’t overthink it – go with your initial response.
When the two minutes are over, list them on the following page and rank them on a scale of most to least important. Then, review both exercises and use the insights to note up to seven of your core values on the final pages.
(Your values don’t have to be those included in the list, it’s just there to help you.)
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