Defining Your Core Values

Posted by Todd Smith

Companies traditionally define their core values, mission, and vision statements that influence their decisions and client relationships, but individuals also benefit greatly by identifying their own personal core values.

Your core values are a series of words or phrases defining who you are and what you stand for. They represent the internal navigation system for your life and the filter through which you process all of life’s decisions. They are the values you would fight for and the attributes you hope others say about you in your absence or after your death. They become key elements of your personal brand and define your character.

Think of the last time you did something that you knew deep down inside was wrong. How did you feel? That feeling was a result of your actions being inconsistent with one of your core values. Psychologists tell us that nothing creates internal stress and guilt more than when our actions are incongruent with our values.

If you will take the time to establish and live by a set of core values congruent with the context of this lesson, you will make better decisions, enjoy healthier relationships, be happier, and enjoy a more peaceful and satisfying life.

Your core values can be single words or short phrases such as:

  • Accountability
  • Authenticity
  • Coachable
  • Communication
  • Consideration
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Encourage
  • Excellence
  • Fairness
  • Faithfulness
  • Family
  • Friendliness
  • Fun
  • Goal-oriented
  • Gratitude
  • Health
  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Leadership
  • Open-mindedness
  • Optimism
  • Productivity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Self-control
  • Stewardship
  • Unselfishness
  • Wisdom
  • Win-win attitude

In the most basic sense, core values are the characteristics, traits, and qualities on which you place a high value. They form the foundation on which you conduct yourself each day. They shape your personality and distinguish you from everyone else.

I have a document titled “Todd Smith’s Brand.”  This document clearly articulates my vision, mission, purpose, core values, and other characteristics that describe who I am and what I like.

By defining these things, along with my personal and professional goals, I know what I stand for, what I want, where I want to take my life, and how I want to be viewed by the world.  As a result, I am able to quickly make wise choices.

I want to challenge you to take 30 minutes of quiet time to sit down and put into writing the words or phrases that define your core values. This list can include the things that describe your values today and the person you want to become tomorrow.

If you have previously established a set of core values for your life, would you please take a couple of minutes to share the impact your core values have had on your life in the comments sections below this post?

Your core values give direction to the words you speak, the actions you perform, and the path you walk each day.

, , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

Load Disqus Comments
Connect with Little Things Matter

Little Things Matter

Improve Your Life One Thing At A Time

SUCCESS BOOKS ® is proud to Announce the Release of Todd Smiths New 280-page Hardcover Book and AudioBook