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What Are Your Values?

Who are you and what do you stand for?

That’s a question a friend recently asked me and honestly I couldn’t answer. I had a general idea, but not something concrete that I felt good about. I knew that I valued integrity, health, relationships, and growth, but that’s about as far as I could go.

At about the same time, I was taking a free online course from my good friend Jenny Blake, which had an entire section on identifying your values. Serendipitous timing.

I’d like to share the exercise with you as an opportunity to sit down with yourself and take a deep dive into what you stand for.

  1. Read this post on Living Your Values.
  2. Go through this list of 400+ values and choose 20-30 that resonate the most with you.
  3. Narrow that list down to 5-10 values.
  4. For each one, ask yourself: “What’s important to me about each value?”
  5. Rank them.

To be fully transparent, here’s what the exercise looked like for me.

A. When I first went through the list I came up with this list of 46 values:

Abundance, Adventure, Balance, Challenge, Change, Community, Compassion, Confidence, Connection, Courage, Creativity, Ecstasy, Efficiency, Empathy, Energy, Excellence, Experience, Family, Fearlessness, Flexibility, Freedom, Fun, Generosity, Growth, Happiness, Health, Humor, Impact, Integrity, Joy, Love, Nonconformity, Openness, Optimism, Passion, Playfulness, Pleasure, Power, Rest, Service, Sexuality, Simplicity, Spirituality, Strength, Warmth, Wealth

B. After eliminating all but ten, I was left with:

Adventure, Freedom, Fun, Growth, Health, Integrity, Love, Openness, Service, Simplicity

C. I then asked myself: “What’s important to me about each value?”

Adventure – living big, seeing new places, new foods, new perspectives, challenges, being outdoors
Freedom – not being tied down, not settling, space to think, flexibility, ability to create things that matter
Fun – life is short, dance, play, smile, boogie, laugh, giggle, be light
Growth – always becoming better, power of free will, be the best version of yourself
Health – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, work out, yoga, breathe, yummy food, vegetables
Integrity – everything, authenticity, life is easy, stress free, right thing, feels good
Love – warms my heart, feels good, I love love, juicy, goodness, towards all beings, abundance
Openness – we are all the same, listen, learn new things, be flexible, share our stories
Service – service to the world, making people’s lives better, giving without expectations
Simplicity – easy, lightness, efficiency, less is more, experiences > stuff

D. I then ranked them in order of importance:


And that’s me and that’s what I stand for.

Will these values change in the future? I’m certain of it. But for now, I have a compass to help guide me through the next couple of chapters of life.

So what do you stand for?

  • Emily Smith

    Jenny’s book also has a great values exercise. I’ve done several values exercises and try to do them yearly to see if things change and to align my decisions with my heart/values because having that internal guidance system is critical in being transparent with yourself and others. Great post my friend :-)


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