1. Print the Values Exercise List.
  2. Review the list and circle the words which best represent your current values.
  3. When circling, choose at least five words but fewer than twenty-five words.
  4. If you have chosen more than five words, try to group your circled words together to create five or fewer clusters of words. Then name those clusters. Group words that seem to tap into the same value or characteristic for you. For example, you may have circled humor, happiness, kindness, and compassion. You may decide to group them into one cluster because they all represent caring to you. Perhaps another cluster is comprised of the words family, love, and friendship because they reflect the importance of loving relationships. The names you use for the new clusters may be long or short and may be one of the initial words.
  5. Your clusters should reflect some of your key/core values. You can use this list to help with personal planning, career choice, decision making, relationship building, self-love, etc. For example, after completing this values exercise, one woman shared that she finally recognized why she was having so much trouble fitting in at work. Her job did not match any of her core values. It may have matched them at some earlier point but, as her life evolved, the job was no longer a good fit. Another woman uses her core-values list as part of her daily affirmation: Each morning she reminds herself that she is a woman who cares about family relationships, promotes happiness and humor, loves to travel and meet new people, and embraces the beauty of people and cultures. She has indicated that her daily mantra increases her confidence each morning as she heads out into the world. Both of these women discovered that they benefited from this simple activity. Partly because, they set aside time to do some structured self-reflection.

There are many ways you could use this values exercise for additional self-reflection or to prepare for your next steps. Below are possible questions to consider.

  • What did the values exercise teach you about yourself?
  • How can you use this knowledge in the future?
  • How can you use these words and ideas in a job interview?
  • Do these values help you understand your relationships better?
  • What daily mantra could you create with your core values?
  • How can you use the core values to increase your positive self-talk?
  • Does your current job reflect your core values?
  • Do your relationships help your core values shine?
  • What steps do you want to take next?
  • Should you print your core values and display them in your home or at work?
  • Do you want to share this exercise with a friend?

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