Prioritise Your Personal Values

Prioritise Your Personal Values

Once you’ve come up with a list, it's important to prioritise your values.

It can help you get even closer to defining what’s important to you. Prioritising helps you to ensure that you’re spending them on the most important things that'll have the biggest payoff in your life.

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Self Improvement

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Personal values are the things that are important to us, the characteristics and behaviours that motivate us and guide our decisions. For example honesty or kindness.

Values matter because you’re likely to feel better if you’re living according to your values and to feel worse if you don’t. This applies both to day-to-day decisions and to larger life choices.

Find out what characteristics or ways of behaving makes you feel good. Answer the following questions:

  • What's important to you in life?
  • If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?
  • When you’re reading news stories, what sort of story or behaviour tends to inspire you?
  • What type of story or behaviour makes you angry?
  • What do you want to change about the world or about yourself?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • When were you the happiest?
  • Use Your Values for Goal Setting. For each of your values, make a list of things you could do to put those values into practice. For example, if you wrote “Learning,” you could go back to college and do that degree you’ve always dreamed of. 
  • Make Decisions According to Your Values. If you value health, do you always take care of your body, or do you sometimes end up eating burgers instead of bulgur?
  • Possible Barriers to Overcome. Discrepancy between your values and some else's. You could choose to focus on your own actions and on living according to your own values, without challenging those around you who live differently.

Adapt and Change Your Values When Needed

Your personal values aren't set in stone. While some of your core values will probably stay the same throughout your life, others may change as your life circumstances change or simply as you get older and start to have a different view of what’s important.

It’s worth checking in yearly to see if your values have changed.

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Living Your Personal Values

Assess how well you’re honoring each value by scoring each one on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 = optimally living the value).

  • What’s your level of satisfaction with each value?
  • Record your score for each. 
  • Date the top of the column. Repeat this exercise once a month or quarter to assess your progress.
  • If you score below 7 in a particular value, what changes do you need to make? 
  • What has to happen for you to further honor this value?

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IDEAS

Defining Your Values
  1. Identify the times when you were happiest. 
  2. Identify the times when you were most proud. 
  3. Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied. 
  4. Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment. 
  5. Prioritize your top values.

  6. Reaffirm your values. 

Defining Success

Life is a tragic thing to waste, and if you are not living your own set of values, you need to assess if:

  • Where you are investing your mental and physical energy?
  • Whether your time is spent on work that matters, and in personal pursuits, or are you just busy being busy?

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