Values are beliefs and principles that guide our behavior and decision-making. They represent what is important to us and help us define who we are as individuals. Personal values play a crucial role in shaping our personality, influencing our relationships, and determining our life goals.
In this article, we will explore 30 personal values exercises that can help you gain a deeper understanding of your values and how they impact your life.
These exercises are designed to be thought-provoking, introspective, and practical, making them suitable for anyone looking to grow and develop as a person.
1. Mind Mapping
Draw a big circle in the center of a paper and put your name in the circle, then draw lines branching off the circle. Write the values that come to mind on the lines and draw more lines from those values and repeat until you have a list of your values.
2. Your Ideal Life
Take a moment to think about your ideal life. Write down what you see, hear, feel, and experience. From that, list the values that you see yourself reflecting in that ideal life.
3. Rank Your Top Five
Write down a list of your values and then rank your top five values, considering why they are important to you.
4. Reflect on a Happy Memory
Think back to a time when you were happiest, think about what you were doing, and write down the values that are most important to you while reflecting on that memory
5. Identify Your Strengths
Take a Strengths Finder test and identify and rate your top five strengths. Your strengths often align with your values.
6. Brainstorm Personal Qualities
Write down personal qualities that you find important for yourself and next to each quality, write down what it means to you.
7. Action List
Think about the things you did that made you happy or brought you joy. Write them down and try aligning the values and actions, this will give you an idea of what values matter the most to you.
8. Ask a Friend
Ask your close friend to write down three adjectives that describe you the best, and analyze the common themes.
9. Values Conflict
Write down a hypothetical situation where you face a conflict between two values, and determine which value is more important to you.
10. Ask Why
Take one value that you hold and keep asking the question, “why is this important to me?”.
11. Mindful Nature Walks
Go on a walk and truly pay attention to the environment around you. Notice the things that strike you and reflect on why they move you.
12. Visual Journaling
Write down and picture how you want your life to be, visually creating the world you want to live in.
13. Gratitude List
Write down a list of things that you are grateful for and reflect on what values were at play in those moments.
14. Word Association
Write down a word related to values and take it from there, list the values that come to your mind.
15. Make a Sculpture
Sculpture your values or make a collage of the things that align with your values.
16. Write a Narrative
Write a narrative about your life with a positive spin. Look for the values you represented in the story.
17. Analyze Your Regrets
Reflect on things you regret doing, think about what values were missed by not aligning with them.
18. Morning Journaling
Write a journal entry when you wake up, focusing on the values that you want to uphold throughout the day.
19. Role Models
Identify your role models; list the values that they embody and reflect on why you admire them.
20. Check Your Behavior
Mindfully reflect about a behavior which you do that might not align with your values. Create a plan to eliminate that behavior.
21. Motivating Quotes
Look up quotes and articles on subjects that inspire you, and identify the values that they represent.
22. Create a focus list
Write down a list of the top five things you want to focus on and include the values you’ll need to accomplish those things.
23. The Opposite Test
Write down a situation that you would detest. Then note the different feelings at play — identify the values you’re against, and examine the opposite values that you are for.
24. Think Big
When thinking about an issue, zoom out and think about why it matters from a larger, societal perspective. Write down the values that come up.
25. Judgmental thoughts
Pay attention to the thoughts that creep into your mind about random people and situations. Be sure to closely examine the values that inspire those thoughts.
26. Image Reflection
Take a candid or professional photo of yourself. Next, write down which values you believe you see in that image.
Seek out someone to guide you, someone whose values align with yours, and learn from them.
28. Zone of genius
Identify what activities or roles align with your values and strengths – these activities are your “zone of genius”, and can help you in finding your values.
29. Engage with differences
Meet with people who are different than yourself and try to understand their views and values.
Review all the exercises you’ve done and take some time to reflect on the overlap and consistency of the values that emerged.
Finding your personal values is a process that takes time, but it’s a truly worthwhile one. When you’re in tune with your personal values, you’ll be better centered, confident, and focused, experiencing real happiness and fulfillment in living a life you want to live.
Try out these exercises, and find your own path to personal growth.