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Values

As students experience college, they may notice that they discover new values or that their previously held values are reinforced. 

Understanding what your values are can be very helpful in increasing satisfaction in your life and assist with making difficult decisions. When we live in a manner that is inconsistent with our values, we may experience more dissatisfaction. 

HOW TO EXPLORE YOUR VALUES

We have an extensive list of possible values at the end of this section. There are a few ways you can sort through the list:

Write down the values that stand out to you (you may write down half the values the first time, then write a list from that list
Copy and paste the values you like onto a document
Download the word doc we have at the end that lists all of these values, then sort through it
After you have narrowed it to ten, rank them 1-10

Here are some exercises you can do once you have your top ten values:

  • Go through the list and reflect on why you chose each one
  • Which 2-3 do you think are most present in your life right now?
  • Which 2-3 do you wish were more present in your life right now?
  • What can you do to make them more present?
  • Go through the list and reflect on where your values came from
  • Reflect on different activities you engage in (e.g. exercise, a group you are involved in, alcohol/drug use, food intake, etc.) and whether or not the activity enhances or detracts each value 
  • You may also find it helpful to come up with questions on your own

List of values

(adapted from W.R. Miller, J. C’de Baca, D.B. Matthews, P.L. Wilbourne University of New Mexico, 2001)

ACCEPTANCE

to be accepted as I am

ACCURACY

to be accurate in my opinions and beliefs

ACHIEVEMENT

to have important accomplishments

ADVENTURE

to have new and exciting experiences

ATTRACTIVENESS

to be physically attractive

AUTHORITY

to be in charge of and responsible for others

AUTONOMY

to be self-determined and independent

BEAUTY

to appreciate beauty around me

CARING

to take care of others

CHALLENGE

to take on difficult tasks and problems

CHANGE

to have a life full of change and variety

COMFORT

to have a pleasant and comfortable life

COMMITMENT

to make enduring, meaningful commitments

COMPASSION

to feel and act on concern for others

CONTRIBUTION

to make a lasting contribution in the world

COOPERATION

to work collaboratively with others

COURTESY

to be considerate and polite toward others

CREATIVITY

to have new and original ideas

DEPENDABILITY

to be reliable and trustworthy

DUTY

to carry out my duties and obligations

ECOLOGY

to live in harmony with the environment

EXCITEMENT

to have a life full of thrills and stimulation

FAITHFULNESS

to be loyal and true in relationships

FAME

to be known and recognized

FAMILY

to have a happy, loving family

FITNESS

to be physically fit and strong

FLEXIBILITY

to adjust to new circumstances easily

FORGIVENESS

to be forgiving of others

FRIENDSHIP

to have close, supportive friends

FUN

to play and have fun

GENEROSITY

to give what I have to others

GENUINENESS

to act in a manner that is true to who I am

GOD’S WILL

to seek and obey the will of God

GROWTH

to keep changing and growing

HEALTH

to be physically well and healthy

HELPFULNESS

to be helpful to others

HONESTY

to be honest and truthful

HOPE

to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook

HUMILITY

to be modest and unassuming

HUMOR

to see the humorous side of myself and the world

INDEPENDENCE

to be free from dependence on others

INDUSTRY

to work hard and well at my life tasks

INNER PEACE

to experience personal peace

INTIMACY

to share my innermost experiences with others

JUSTICE

to promote fair and equal treatment for all

KNOWLEDGE

to learn and contribute valuable knowledge

LEISURE

to take time to relax and enjoy

LOVED

to be loved by those close to me

LOVING

to give love to others

MASTERY

to be competent in my everyday activities

MINDFULNESS

to live conscious and mindful of the present moment

MODERATION

to avoid excesses and find a middle ground

MONOGAMY

to have one close, loving relationship

NON-CONFORMITY

to question and challenge authority and norms

NURTURANCE

to take care of and nurture others

OPENNESS

to be open to new experiences, ideas, and options

ORDER

to have a life that is well-ordered and organized

PASSION

to have deep feelings about ideas, activities, or people

PLEASURE

to feel good

POPULARITY

to be well-liked by many people

POWER

to have control over others

PURPOSE

to have meaning and direction in my life

RATIONALITY

to be guided by reason and logic

REALISM

to see and act realistically and practically

RESPONSIBILITY

to make and carry out responsible decisions

RISK

to take risks and chances

ROMANCE

to have intense, exciting love in my life

SAFETY

to be safe and secure

SELF-ACCEPTANCE

to accept myself as I am

SELF-CONTROL

to be disciplined in my own actions

SELF-ESTEEM

to feel good about myself

SELF-KNOWLEDGE

to have a deep and honest understanding of myself

SERVICE

to be of service to others

SEXUALITY

to have an active and satisfying sex life

SIMPLICITY

to live life simply, with minimal needs

SOLITUDE

to have time and space where I can be apart from others

SPIRITUALITY

to grow and mature spiritually

STABILITY

to have a life that stays fairly consistent

TOLERANCE

to accept and respect those who differ from me

TRADITION

to follow respected patterns of the past

VIRTUE

to live a morally pure and excellent life

WEALTH

to have plenty of money

WORLD PEACE

to work to promote peace in the world