How to Make a List of Your Values

Recently, I wrote an article about Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.  You might want to read the updated version of the John Wooden post here: John Wooden’s Pyramid Guide for Women Over 50 Seeking Purpose which is tailored more toward women over 50 (like us!).

At the bottom of Wooden’s Pyramid of Success are his 12 Lessons in Leadership.  These are obviously geared toward a sports team, but this information can also be translated into your real-life relationships–personal and professional.   For example:  #1.  Good values attract good people.  #7.  Make each day your masterpiece.  #9.  Make greatness attainable by all.

How to make a list of your values for women over 50

Coach Wooden’s first lesson in leadership is about values: Good values attract good people.

What are Values?

  • Values are those qualities that you believe (whether consciously or unconsciously) to be important in your life–both personally and professionally.
  • Values are your ideals.  
  • Values shape your behavior and your attitude toward life.

When your thoughts, words, and actions are congruent; when you’re living as your authentic and best self–chances are your values are in alignment with the way you live your life.

Unhappiness and that feeling of discontent comes when your values are misaligned with your thoughts, words, or actions.  That’s why identifying your values is an integral part of taking full control of your destiny.

Values are an important part of your life.  They act like a compass guiding you toward your best work, your best relationship, your best financial situation, your best health–your best life!

Have you heard of the concept of “flow?”  This concept was coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. Flow is that moment in time when you are completely immersed in an activity.  You are present to the moment, losing track of all time, as you engage your skills and attention to the activity at hand.  

Positive psychologists would say that if you want more happiness in your life, experience more flow.  

How can you experience more flow? Start by identifying your values and then align your life choices by them.  Recall the moments when you felt happiest, most proud, or most fulfilled and satisfied.  What values were being expressed in those moments?

Add more flow to your life by living by your authentic values.

  • Do you know what your personal values are?
  • What are your most important values when it comes to your marriage/relationship?
  • What are your work values?
  • How can you improve your life by defining your values and being guided by them each day?
  • How can you make each day your masterpiece?

Did you know?  Values can detract from your life as well.  If you say you have the value “family” but instead are living your life as a “lone wolf”–is your professed value authentic?  If you’re in a monogamous relationship but you have cheated, what is your underlying value?  If you say you value freedom but you work at a nine-to-five job you hate–are you honoring that part of yourself?  Are you being authentic?

Identifying your values provides you with an opportunity to become aligned in your thoughts, words, and actions.  You become aligned with your authentic self.

Some of the coaching books I’ve read say to limit your values list to 10, 5, or even 3.  I say–don’t limit yourself–find what feels authentic to you.  Keep in mind that some of your values may change over time.  A twenty-year old will have different values than a 50 or 70 year-old.  Take time every year to assess your values and change the list as needed.

Need some ideas for your list of values?  Here are some examples (there are a lot more) to get you started:

Here are some examples of important values for women over 50:

Wisdom – With life experience comes greater perspective and insight. Valuing the wisdom that comes with age can help women embrace this stage of life.

Authenticity – As women get older, many feel more comfortable just being themselves without worrying about others’ expectations. Valuing authenticity brings confidence.

Growth – It’s never too late to try new things, have new experiences, and continue learning. Valuing growth keeps life exciting.

Legacy – Making a positive impact and leaving a meaningful legacy become more important. Valuing one’s legacy brings purpose.

Health – Good health allows enjoyment of life. Valuing wellness helps motivate self-care.

Relationships – Connections with family, friends and community sustain us. Valuing relationships brings joy.

Gratitude – With age comes appreciation for life itself. Valuing gratitude brings contentment.

Purpose – Contributing one’s talents and wisdom matters. Valuing purpose provides fulfillment.

Self-care – Taking time for fun, relaxation and rejuvenation is essential. Valuing self-care promotes wellbeing.

The key is to focus on those values that resonate most and help bring meaning and vitality during this phase of life. The values that matter most will be unique for each individual.


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