Identifying Your Top 10 Core Values

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The purpose of this exercise is to create a set of core values that will act as criteria for all of your future actions and decisions.   When you have completed this exercise, you’ll not only have greater understanding of yourself, you’ll also have a tool to guide you through the rest of your life.   To read more about the meaning and importance of values, read my article titled, ‘The Power of Personal Values'

(To complete the exercise, you must click the printer icon above to print article which contains the full list of values)

Criteria & Guidelines

  1. Break your life into sections such as health, spirituality, philanthropy, career, family, friends, creativity etc.  These are main categories that encompass all of your life. 
  1. Using the categories you just created, go through the values list on the pages below and mark off all the values that speak to you and try to not to edit during this initial round.  Be sure that all of your categories have been properly represented.  You could possibly create a list up to 100 items.                          
  1. Add any additional values that do not appear on the values list below.   These could be items that you admire in other people.
  1. Make a second and third pass if necessary through your new list and begin eliminating and consolidating any repeats or words that have similar meaning.  For example, you may have separately checked off courage, fortitude, and determination, which all share similar definitions.  Choose the value that best describes you.         
  1. Now it’s time to make some decisions, your goal is to narrow it down to your top 10.  It’s not easy but you can do it.  Review your list again and really choose the items that define YOU.  Do not focus on negative images of yourself, or how you feel other people may perceive you.  The purpose of this exercise is to create a set of values that guide your future actions and decision as defined by your ideal self.  It’s o.k. to have 1 or 2 more but try to keep it as close as possible to a top 10.  Remember that these should encompass all areas of your life.  Eliminating values from your top 10 does not mean that they’re not important to you.

Congratulations, you now have a list of top 10 values!!  For three weeks, you should review the list every morning so that your subconscious can begin absorbing the new information.  This is also an iterative process, which means that it would be helpful for you to review and update the list every 6-12 months.  Your list should grow and evolve, as do you through life.



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