Values to Live By

Values  are strongly held aspects of life that make you feel happy and secure in your relationships, home environment, and work.

Your values may conflict with those you live and work with. It is important to determine when you feel you are living a life you are eager to wake up to. What contributes to your feelings of contentment, satisfaction, pride, and joy?

To be happy, you must live in alignment with our values. Coaching often reveals a conflict in values or something important that has been given up that now causes resentment or regret. Coaching people to recognize their personal life values can give them the perspective and courage to make important decisions.

Some values hold more weight than others, and values can shift in priority over time. Events and age change may change your perspective on what you hold most dear.

Because of life and family circumstances, honoring some values may need to be delayed. There are times it is difficult to sort out the difference between “shoulds” (when other people tell you what decisions to make and how to live your life) and what is most important to you.

This list can help you sort out what is most important to you. See if you can choose your top 5-6 values that you most want to honor and live by. There are other values you might like or represent strengths, but they aren’t as critical for you to align with for your entire life.

You might also look for 5 values you believe are not important to you; ones you may not even like when other people make them important. There is a lot for you to explore when choosing and discussing your life values.

Common life values include:

Achievement: Successful completion or contribution to visible tasks, goals, and projects.

Advancement: Getting ahead, aspiring to higher levels in career or personal development.

Adventure: Engaging in new experiences and discoveries that may involve risk and testing limits.

Aesthetics: Desire for beautiful surroundings, artistic expression, and sensory pleasure.

Assertiveness: Confidently speaking beliefs and setting personal boundaries.

Balance: Feeling stable and grounded.

Challenge: Testing and hopefully conquering what feels dangerous or difficult.

Community: Neighbors, coworkers, or society who help each other achieve common goals.

Competence: Being good at what you do, leading to feeling confident, capable, and effective.

Creativity: Finding new ways to do things, composing, discovering what was not seen before.

Courage: Bravely standing up for self or others even when uncomfortable, risky, or painful.

Environment: Respecting the earth and living in safe, comfortable spaces.

Ethics: Honoring practices and principles that govern behavior.

Fairness: Respecting everyone’s rights, removing prejudice and favoritism in words and actions.

Family: Taking care of and spending time with relatives and close relationships.

Freedom: Ability to make one’s own decisions and choices.

Friendship: Having close companionship, ongoing and supportive relationships.

Fun: Loving to do what brings amusement, pleasure, and joy.

Happiness: Feeling joyful, content, or purposely fulfilled.

Health: Maintaining and enhancing physical well-being.

Helping: Taking care of others, assisting others to flourish.

Honesty: Being sincere and truthful, keeping promises.

Inclusion: Welcoming everyone to participate and feel they equally belong.

Independence: Being self-reliant or having autonomy when living and working with others.

Inner harmony: Freedom from inner conflict, feeling integrated, whole, and tranquil.

Integrity: Acting in line with beliefs, doing what you said you would.

Intimacy: Having deep connections with others.

Kindness: Acting thoughtfully with consideration for other’s feelings.

Learning: Deepening knowledge and expanding perspective for personal growth.

Loyalty: Acting with devotion to people, groups, or a cause.

Patience: Calmly accepting delays and a slow pace.

Peace: Living in harmony with people, groups and the environment.

Perseverance: Pushing through to the end, completing tasks and goals even when difficult.

Personal growth: Continually developing and improving self.

Power: Having the authority or ability to direct events or people, or make things happen.

Practicality – Acting with logic, evidence, or good sense when making decisions.

Prosperity: Flourishing, being well-off, easily obtaining desires, feeling wealthy or satisfied.

Religion: Experiencing a deep connection with one’s faith.

Security: Freedom from worry, safety from threats.

Simplicity: Having an uncluttered environment, enjoying natural states, communicating easily.

Spirituality: Belief in the divine and an unseen power, living with gratitude and appreciation.

Social Justice: Working to establish fairness in society, righting what is wrong and not equal.

Stability: Having a sense of certainty and predictability, adhering to structure and systems.

Status: Being highly regarded in one’s social group.

Teamwork: Cooperating with others toward a common goal, collaborating to produce a result.

Tradition: Respecting the way things have been done in the past, honoring rituals and heritage.

Winning: Success when competing, coming out on top.


Adapted from Coach the Person, Not the Problem by Marcia Reynolds

Scroll to Top