What are your core values?

How can you work out your core values?

Some time ago I read a post about personal values. Knowing your core values assists you in making decisions quickly, knowing what you will and won’t do and helps you create the life you want.

My life has changed significantly the past few years. Often I step back to evaluate where I am in my life, if things are in line with my core values and make changes if needed. I ask myself, “What do I want from life and how do I want to be remembered?”

How to work out your core values

What are core values

They are what determine how you feel about things, why you react the way you do and when you go against them, you know it. Life is smoother, decisions are easier when you know what your values are. It is similar to our basic needs, as in when we know what they are and live accordingly, it makes life better. So how do you work out what your core values are?

Evaluate your life

Sit down and take a look at your life. Does what you do and focus on reflect your values? Have you ever considered what your core values are? When something happens, how do you react? What values are important to you and do you admire in others? Is there anything you absolutely will not do?

Look up values and find ones which resonate with you.

To give you an idea, my values are as follows

Family

My family comes first, before anything. It has meant that there are things I will not be able to do that I hoped to do, but quality family time and memories are more important to me. I have decided to change the way I do things and now we have regular family activities. We have a ‘hang out night’ where my daughters each get time to hang out with me one to one. On Friday it’s family night where we spend time together and we also take regular family holidays.

I have turned down many opportunities and things I would like to do because they clash with things that are important to my family. I have got caught up at times and as soon as I realise, I cut back and make family my priority again.

Integrity

Integrity is extremely important to me. While we all do things at times we’re not proud of, I have made a conscious effort in my adult years to live a life I am truly proud of. One that is honest and full of integrity so I never need worry about anything. It is so easy to let things slide or think “everyone else is doing it, so it doesn’t really matter”. That is not good enough. An incident not long ago made me step back and take a look at how I am conducting my life, my business and what things I deem acceptable. I had to make some changes, which did result in a slight drop in income, but I feel so much better inside myself. Living with integrity is more important to me than a few dollars.

Integrity to me is being honest and true to myself, being completely honest with others and holding myself to a high standard. This also means at times not working with brands or companies who have questionable values or practices as well.

Health

Without your health you can’t do much. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent many diseases and help you live life to the fullest. It is not a matter of depriving yourself of treats (such as chocolate), but choosing to have a better quality of life.

I know what I should be doing for my health but the last few months I have been slack. I have all I need to work out at home and I know what foods I should eat and ones to avoid. It is putting this all in to practice that I have been bad at.

Freedom

Only recently did it occur to me that other values I thought were my core values could actually be combined and defined as ‘Freedom’ for me. Freedom encompasses financial freedom and the capcity to stop work whenever I want. It means being able to travel, live life my way and have flexibility to be the parent I feel is best for my kids. Instead of being locked into a job or career, I can go, do and be whatever I want.

Have you sat down and worked out your values?

When you know your values and what is important to you it is much easier to make a decision, set goals and direct your life.

8 Comments

  • John | Married (with Debt)

    I think it’s great to read about so many people focusing their own lives on values, and working to help others do the same. I’ve been making big changes in my life, focusing on what is important and what I want to do with the rest of my life.

    Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my site. Honored to have a celebrity visitor!

    • Kylie

      Thanks John. I think many people are making big changes now which is great. Have fun with yours.

      (and lol, hardly a celebrity, ut I am very flattered!)

  • Marissa

    I am happy to see you values and where you are headed. To me, intergrity and family are the top ones. The rest of my life revolves around that.

    • Kylie

      Definitely, I should have been more specific with the order I placed them as family and integrity are most important to me. I would never choose financial gain or anything like that if I had to compromise on integrity or my family. Glad to see we have similar values.

  • ErgoOrgo

    This is a really useful list Kylie and it sounds like a great exercise. I have thought about this kind of thing a bit, initially just at the level above this – ‘live a contented life’.

    Getting down into the layer below, it is of course hard to disagree with any of the values you have. There are two bits I would add on top for my list. First, something about the day job – this would be a mix of ‘balance’ (work vs other activities I am interested in) and ‘helpful’ (making sure the work you do makes you feel useful and constructive in the world). Second, something about where I live — our home, the city we live in — creating the right environment to allow the other values to nurture themselves more easily (e.g. living somewhere sunny, maybe near a beach, with enough space and not too much traffic — one can dream).

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