I attended a workshop for those challenged by their circumstances, health, and past traumas. One of the important “take aways” for me was  defining my values and how much I am living them in my daily life. So what are VALUES?

Values are NOT goals. Goals are specific events, situation, or object which keep you on track to follow your values.

Values are NOT feelings and following your values may not always feel easy or good.

Values are NOT a specific outcome but a guide or direction you choose.

Values do NOT always follow a straight line because life presents obstacles to moving towards our values.

Values are NOT just in the future, but a choice you make at every step during your journey.

Although how we live our values are unique to each of us, the values listed below are UNIVERSAL. It does not matter your culture, gender, race or religion. These ten value areas are relevant to us all. They are:

INTIMATE – your relationship with significant others

FRIENDS those you personally connect with

WORK paid employment or volunteer

SPIRITUALITY – connection to something greater than yourself

LEISURE enjoyment

CARETAKING – supporting others

EDUCATION – overall learning and developing yourself

HEALTH – physical well-being

FAMILY – your own nuclear or those you define as family

COMMUNITY – citizenship

Use the chart  below to place a number by each of these values rank ordering them according to how important it is to you. Then rank order each values based on how you are actually living that value (manifestation). Then subtract the score on how you are  living this value from the score of its importance. This will give you info on how much you are truly  living your values vs. how much you are “deviating” from them.

The higher the number, the more you may want to make some change in your life and behavior to bring your values into alignment with how you are living your life. The source of some of our unease and unhappiness may be related to this lack of alignment.

VALUE                  IMPORTANCE                MANIFESTATION             DIFFERENCE


Pick one value area that is important to you and commit to taking some action to live that intention more directly and fully. Really look at what obstacles are in the way. Remember this is not a contest on how well you achieve your goals. This is a direction to focus to move along your overall journey towards a life more in line with your values.