What are your values?
VALUES WORKSHEET (Adapted from Kelly Wilson’s Valued Living Questionnaire)
Deep down inside, what is important to you? What do you want your life to stand for? What sort of qualities do you
want to cultivate as a person? How do you want to be in your relationships with others? Values are our heart’s deepest
desires for the way we want to interact with and relate to the world, other people, and ourselves. They are leading
principles that can guide us and motivate us as we move through life.
Values are not the same as goals. Values are directions we keep moving in, whereas goals are what we want to achieve
along the way. A value is like heading North; a goal is like the river or mountain or valley we aim to cross whilst
traveling in that direction. Goals can be achieved or ‘crossed off’, whereas values are an ongoing process. For example, if
you want to be a loving, caring, supportive partner, that is a value – an ongoing process. If you stop being loving, caring
and supportive, then you are no longer a loving, caring, supportive partner; you are no longer living by that value. In
contrast, if you want to get married, that’s a goal – it can be ‘crossed off’ or achieved. Once you’re married, you’re
married – even if you start treating your partner very badly. If you want a better job, that’s a goal. Once you’ve got it –
goal achieved. But if you want to fully apply yourself at work, that’s a value – an ongoing process.
The following are areas of life that are valued by some people. Not everyone has the same values, and this is not a test to
see whether you have the “correct” values. Think about each area in terms of general life directions, rather than in terms
of specific goals. There may be certain areas that you don’t value much; you may skip them if you wish. There may be
areas that overlap – e.g. if you value hiking in the mountains, that may come under both physical health and recreation. It
is also important that you write down what you would value if there were nothing in your way. What’s important? What
do you care about? And what you would like to work towards?
1. Family relations. What sort of brother/sister, son/daughter, uncle/auntie do you want to be? What personal qualities
would you like to bring to those relationships? What sort of relationships would you like to build? How would you
interact with others if you were the ideal you in these relationships?
2. Marriage/couples/intimate relations. What sort of partner would you like to be in an intimate relationship? What
personal qualities would you like to develop? What sort of relationship would you like to build? How would you
interact with your partner if you were the ‘ideal you’ in this relationship?
3. Parenting. What sort of parent would you like to be? What sort of qualities would you like to have? What sort of
relationships would you like to build with your children? How would you behave if you were the ‘ideal you’.
4. Friendships/social life. What sort of qualities would you like to bring to your friendships? If you could be the best
friend possible, how would you behave towards your friends? What sort of friendships would you like to build?
5. Career/employment. What do you value in your work? What would make it more meaningful? What kind of worker
would you like to be? If you were living up to your own ideal standards, what personal qualities would you like to
bring to your work? What sort of work relations would you like to build?
6. Education/personal growth and development. What do you value about learning, education, training, or personal
growth? What new skills would you like to learn? What knowledge would you like to gain? What further
education appeals to you? What sort of student would you like to be? What personal qualities would you like to
7. Recreation/fun/leisure. What sorts of hobbies, sports, or leisure activities do you enjoy? How do you relax and
unwind? How do you have fun? What sorts of activities would you like to do?
8. Spirituality. Whatever spirituality means to you is fine. It may be as simple as communing with nature, or as formal as
participation in an organised religious group. What is important t to you in this area of life?
9. Citizenship/ environment/ community life. How would you like to contribute to your community or environment, e.g.
through volunteering, or recycling, or supporting a group/ charity/ political party? What sort of environments
would you like to create at home, and at work? What environments would you like to spend more time in?
10. Health/physical well-being. What are your values related to maintaining your physical well-being? How do you want
to look after your health, with regard to sleep, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, etc? Why is this important?
Values help us to stay centered, to know ourselves. They help to keep us going in the right direction when we feel lost and confused. We can always fall back on our values to guide us if we know what they are. Many of us haven’t even established what values are important to us. We need to establish out values to creat our core foundation – a strong inner sense from which we operate and act in the world.
Source: thehappinesstrap – Russ Harris