Author: Ann Schiebert
You can do this exercise alone, or with your partner. If you do it with your partner, do it one at a time: one can read the value and the definition to the other. Then switch.
Get a sheet of paper and put three columns on it. The first column will be for values that are most important to you. The second column will be for values that have some importance but are not at the top of your list. The last column is for values that you don’t care about at all.
I think you will be amazed at all the possible values you have never thought about! Can you think of more?
Briefly consider each value on the list below and now place it in the appropriate column. The values are in no particular order. This Value Sort is meant to go quickly, so you don’t have time to really contemplate your choice before making it.
List of Values
Intimacy – To share my innermost experiences with others.
Friendship – To have close, supportive friends.
Genuineness – To act in a manner that is true to who I am.
Tolerance – To accept and respect those who differ from me.
World Peace – To work to promote peace in the world.
Caring – To take care of others.
Honesty – To be honest and truthful.
Simplicity – To live life simply, with minimal needs.
Beauty – To appreciate beauty around me.
Generosity – To give what I have to others.
Adventure – To have new and exciting experiences.
Achievement – To have important accomplishments.
Accuracy – To be accurate in my opinions and beliefs.
Commitment – To make enduring, meaningful commitments.
Compassion – To feel and act on concern for others.
Challenge – To take on difficult tasks and problems.
Excitement – To have a life full of thrills and stimulation.
Self-Control – To be disciplined in my own actions.
Family – To have a happy, loving family.
Self-knowledge – To have a deep and honest understanding of myself.
Virtue – To live a morally pure and excellent life.
Solitude – To have time and space where I can be apart from others.
Stability – To have a life that stays fairly consistent.
Service – To be of service to others.
Self-esteem – To feel good about myself.
Purpose – To have meaning and direction in my life.
Risk – To take risks and chances.
Safety – To be safe and secure.
Romance – To have intense, exciting love in my life.
Pleasure – To feel good.
Health – To be physically well and healthy.
Responsibility – To make and carry out responsible decisions.
Fitness – To be physically fit and strong.
Order – To have a life that is well-ordered and organized.
Self Acceptance – To accept myself as I am.
Loved – To be loved by those close to me.
Spirituality – To grow and mature spiritually.
Popularity – To be well-liked by many people.
Sexuality – To have an active and satisfying sex life.
Realism – To see and act realistically and practically.
Rationality – To be guided by reason and logic.
Power – To have control over others
Passion – To have deep feelings about ideas, activities, or people.
Non-Conformity – To question and challenge authority and norms.
Openness – To be open to new experiences, ideas, and options.
Mastery – To be competent in my everyday activities.
Moderation – To avoid excesses and find a middle ground.
Monogamy – To have one close, loving relationship.
Mindfulness – To live conscious and mindful of the present moment.
Nurturance – To take care of and nurture others.
Knowledge – To learn and contribute valuable knowledge.
Justice – To promote fair and equal treatment for all.
Leisure – To take time to relax and enjoy.
Loving – To give love to others.
Independence – To be free from dependence on others.
Inner Peace – To experience personal peace.
Humor – To see the humorous side of myself and the world.
Industry – To work hard and well at my life tasks.
Growth – To keep Changing and growing.
Fun – To play and have fun.
Humility – To be modest and unassuming.
Hope – To maintain a positive and optimistic outlook.
Helpfulness – To be helpful to others.
Acceptance – To be accepted as I am.
Attractiveness – To be physically attractive.
Autonomy – To be self-determined and independent.
Authority – To be in charge of and responsible for others.
Courtesy – To be considerate and polite toward others.
Contribution – To make a lasting contribution in the world.
Change – To have a life full of change and variety.
Dependability – To be reliable and trustworthy.
Creativity – To have new and original ideas.
Comfort – To have a pleasant and comfortable life.
Cooperation – To work collaboratively with others.
Ecology – To live in harmony with the environment.
Faithfulness – To be loyal and true in relationships.
Flexibility – To adjust to new circumstances.
Forgiveness – To be forgiving of others.
Fame – To be known and recognized.
God’s Will – To seek and obey the will of God.
Duty – To carry out my duties and obligations.
Wealth – To have plenty of money.
Tradition – To follow respected patterns of the past.
WOW! Tired! Now look at what you have selected. Those are your values. Are you willing to live by them? Every time we don’t live by our values, we cause an internal discomfort because we know that our value violation is not acceptable to our inner self. It is a lot of work to live by one’s values, and none of us are nearly impeccable at it.