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Live Your Personal Values and Discover Greater Happiness

Happy New Year!

It has been a while since I have written or even tended to this site. For 2017 I am bringing it back! Time to express gratitude on a regular basis. Gratitude is one of my values – it is at my core. With that said, I am jumping right in!

Few things are more useful than knowing your values. Knowing your values results in clarity and focus. Your values can be used to define your priorities. These priorities can determine how to best spend your time and energy. Knowing your values can greatly streamline your life and your efforts. Decisions become easier to make.

Live your personal values and feel more fulfilled:

  1. First, you must know your values. Have you ever taken the time to determine your values? Now is the time! Make a list of your values. Just write them down. If it means even a little to you, list it.
  • Prioritize your list. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 values or only 10. Put them in order from most important to least.
  • Reexamine your list. Now that you have a prioritized list, decide if you’re happy with it. Consider the life you’d like to live. Will your list of values get you there? Reorder your list as appropriate.
  1. Use your values to choose a career or hobby. Suppose your top values were love, contribution, and peace, you probably wouldn’t enjoy a career as an investment banker. Your hobbies probably wouldn’t include trapping animals for fur. But you might enjoy a career with a non-profit organization or as a minister.
  • Does your current career line up with your values? If not, can you change careers? If you can’t change careers at this point in your life, can you do something on the side that will allow you to live your values? Using the previously mentioned values, you could volunteer to work with homeless children on the weekends.
  • It’s just about impossible to be happy and fulfilled if you spend most of your day living a life that isn’t aligned with your values.
  1. Create habits in alignment with your values. Suppose one of your highest values is health. It only makes sense to have eating and exercise habits to support that value. It will also be easier to create a habit that supports an important value.
  • Examine your list of values and determine if your current habits support those values. What else could you be doing to live your values more consistently?
  • List your habits that are counter to your values, too.

  1. Choose the people in your life. No matter how independent you might be, the people in your life influence your thoughts, decisions, and behavior. Consider how you think and act around each of the people in your life. Consider spending less time with the people that pull you away from your values and more time with the people that push you toward your values.
  • Be strong. Some of your longtime friends might be having a negative effect on your ability to be true to yourself.
  1. Make decisions with your values in mind. Knowing and living your values can make your decisions much easier. Imagine you’ve been offered a big raise, but you’ll spend less time with your family. That would be a hard decision for many people.
  • If you know that your primary value is wealth, the solution is obvious.
  • If you know that your primary value is family, the solution is also obvious.
  • Use your values when making decisions.

Learn and live your values. You’ll be able to make decisions easier and more quickly. Life has fewer options when you’re familiar with your values, and the best option is more obvious. Practice this important concept and you’ll streamline your life and decision-making process toward greater happiness.

18 Comments

  1. Kandas, GratitudeGeek on January 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I love the concept of writing down your core values. Probably more important than writing down goals.

    • Paul on January 1, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      Absolutely! Your Core Values are who you are – when you know them, the goals can come and go and as you work towards them they will feel more effortless! Thanks, Kandas!

  2. Patricia on January 2, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I must give this a try. I think it’ll help me get more focus on the goals I want to achieve this year.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Excellent! Let me know if you need anything, Patricia!

  3. Mayura Amarkant on January 2, 2017 at 2:32 am

    This is an extremely thought-provoking post. What if my value is family and money? How do I strike a balance. So many thoughts…too many decisions to take. I am so glad I came across your post. Looking forward to reading more posts from you as part of UBC.

    Do take a look at my latest post for UBC: https://diaryofaninsanewriter.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/my-husband-i-are-incompatible-is-my-marriage-successful/

  4. Susan Landry on January 2, 2017 at 4:21 am

    This reminds me of the idea of having a ‘mission statement’ and making sure that everything aligns with it. But first we have to put words to it. If we’re just functioning with this ambiguous set of values, we can’t really do the things you suggest, which truly do make daily decisions much easier. Valuable reminders.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Exactly, Susan! Without having something written down, you may be floundering around. Clarity is a good thing!

  5. Mara on January 2, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Love this. I’ve been thinking a lot about my core values lately, and I know my career is in liNE with them (thankfully), but I never considered writing them out. Looking forward to working on that!

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Let’s hear that works out for you, Mara!

  6. Brenda Fluharty on January 2, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I love this article, great ideas and point to help.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Thanks, Brenda!

  7. Brenda Fluharty on January 2, 2017 at 8:57 am

    I have also been into this type of thing myself. I love this article, great ideas and point to help.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Glad it could help! Looks like relaunching this site is going to be a good thing!

  8. Sherry Sapienza on January 2, 2017 at 11:48 am

    So true with Core Values…when “re-inventing” one’s journey, especially with retirement planning, this list should be your most visible list you own. Works for me…it’s a continuous process! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Regardless of one’s age, this is a process you can reflect upon all the time! You are welcome for the reminder!

  9. Kelly on January 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Exellent post and I was glad to be reminded of what I already knew but had been slacking off on. Thanks.

    • Paul on January 2, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      LOL – happy to have pointed out (indirectly) that you are a slacker, Kelly!

      Seriously – nothing to worry about! 2017 is a new start and you can pick up where you need to!

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