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Personal Values: About, Why They're Important & Examples

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Why Personal Values are at the Heart of our Intentions

Everyone talks about personal values, but what are they, why are they important, and how do you identify which ones have meaning for you?  Let’s get the conversation started…

What are personal values and why are they important?

Personal values are defined as fundamental beliefs that guide and motivate our attitudes and behaviors.  Values help determine what is important to us, helping us decide what we want to achieve and become.  Values are expressed through your thoughts, words, and behaviors.

Recognizing your values can help you live life with more intention, and increase your integrity.  There are clear benefits to living in alignment with your values:

  • Clearer decision-making abilities
  • More motivation
  • Improved well-being
  • More reliability

How do you identify your personal values?

Here’s a 3-step guide to identifying your personal values, and putting them to work so you can be the best version of yourself.

Step 1 — Ask “Who am I?”

Look through the following list, and choose 10-15 values you think you live by.  Then share the list with family and friends, and ask them to pick the values they think best represent you.  Compare the lists, and that will give you a very realistic portrait of who you are.  That realistic portrait is the starting point of self-awareness and self-reinvention.



Step 2:  Prioritize your value list

Some values are more significant to us than others.  Prioritize your values, and you can then prioritize your primary and secondary behaviors.  Read your list often, and reinforce your identity to yourself.  If you like yourself and believe in your values, you’ll avoid sabotaging your own efforts to succeed.

One way to change the direction of your life is to re-shuffle the order of the values in your list.  That re-prioritization will dictate the behaviors you should be focusing on.  For example, if your goal is to spend more time with your family, that value should be at the top of your list, and should guide you in the choices you make.


Step 3:  Complete regular value audits

As our life circumstances change, so may the things we consider most important to us.  Your value list can and should change over time.  Just recognize those changes, adjust your value priorities, and make sure your primary behaviors support those top values.

At times you will even add new values to your list.  One way to find new values that are meaningful to you is to look at the people you respect and want to be like.  What principles do they live by?  Can you emulate them?  Whatever values you add to your core beliefs, make sure you wholly embody them.  Be courageous.  Let new life experiences prove to you that this is a value worthy of being at the top of your list.


How does OHI focus on values?

One of the most pivotal classes taught at OHI is our Focus 1 & 2 class.  Franklin-Covey helped design this class, and it’s based on the Franklin-Covey time management principles.  The intention of this class is to help you identify your core values, and define the goals that support these values so you can achieve what matters most to you.  With your values and goals clearly in view, it’s easier to stay focused on your highest priorities and experience greater success in achieving what you desire.  Your personal values are at the heart of your success.

So at the end of the day, how do you live a life of value?  The secret is to plan the things that matter most to you into each day, and place those items as top priorities.  Think about what values you’d risk everything for — people you love, ideals you hold dear.  Keep laser focused on that list of core values, and your actions will follow.

Learn how to identify your core values in our Focus class at OHI San Diego and OHI Austin. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.