Regardless of whether we’re goal oriented or a go with the flow type of person, we all do things based on a set of values within us. Our values are the governing force that compels us to act in a certain way. In a culture where values are undefined, we’ll have chaos. Here’s a 30 minute exercise we can do to define our values and at the same time make sure that we’re living in accordance with what we believe. The result will be a more fulfilling life.
Step #1: On a blank sheet of paper, give yourself 10 minutes to write down your values. Make sure that you aren’t reaching for a set of ideals which you don’t fully embrace. The key here is to be completely honest. Some questions that may prompt your thinking are:
• How do you treat others?
• What is important to you?
• Why do you live as you do?
Step#2: After you’ve listed your values take each individual value and write down instances in which you have acted according with that value. For example put the value in the circle and assign actions to the value. Take 10 minutes to do this.
Step #3: For this step you will need a partner who is close to you. This person will need to be honest and not tell you only what you want to hear. Give this person your sheet of values. Let them have 5 minutes to review on their own without you hovering. Do they agree with what you’ve written down? Have them put a star next to each value and action they agree with.
Step #4: This is the most difficult step. Take 5 minutes to determine how you are going to take action upon your values in the next 3 months. Using your same sheet, you can draw actions from the same circles. You can even draw new circles with values you want to have. Repeat every 3 months.