Determining What Makes You Happy by Identifying Values

What Will You Gain By Knowing Your Values?

By creating a list of your personal values, you can: 1.  Know that you are moving closer and closer to your definition of the best life you can possibly live.

Because our values serve as a sort of compass for the direction we are heading in our lives, creating a list of your values helps you to keep this direction in the front of your mind.  Being mindful of this can keep you on the right track and provide accountability.

2. Recognize what is NOT working for you in your life!

Again, if you have a list of values that you regularly consult, it will keep you accountable to those things that are not working for you in your life.  For example, if integrity is a value you hold in high importance, but you maintain a toxic friendship that continuously goes against this value, perhaps this friendship is no longer working for you any longer.  This might mean setting better boundaries in the friendship, or changing the nature of the friendship and finding friends that better meet that value in your life.

3.  Better understand how Values light our way to happiness.

As stated earlier, if you are following your core values, you will find your way to greater happiness.  Being incongruent with your behavior and your core values can diminish a person's internal "light".  If you create a list of your core values and make it a point to follow this, you will be closer to discovering your path in life.

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.

Clear Values Enhance Your Life

Clear values enhance your every day life! We've been discussing this for our blog this week and I hope you can see how you can identify and clarify your values. Today I want to discuss the positives that can come from this exercise. Once you are clear on what values you own and are important to you, you will become more passionate about living. When your values are more readily defined you are able set goals, priorities, and make changes to help your life become more fulfilling.

Set some new goals!

Many of us set goals with other people in mind. When you set your goals with your values in mind, it will be consistent with what you are looking for in life. If your goals are consistent with your values, you'll be more willing to put effort towards them and ultimately obtain them.

Make better decisions

When you are aware of your values you will find it easier to make decisions. It is difficult to make decisions when you are overly worried about what everyone else is thinking or wanting. Then you make decisions based on their values rather than your own. When your values are in place, you make decisions based on those and it will feel more natural that way.

What if your values are conflicting?

This can happen. Sometimes one of your values conflicts with another. For example, I love and value what I do. I am passionate about helping people live a better life and creating change. I am also passionate about being a mom and having a good marriage. Those could be conflicting values but there can be a compromise. When I became a mother I started working part-time. I love it. When I'm at work, I am at WORK! But when I am home, I am truly with my family- no work, no phone calls or emails. Just my family. I set strong boundaries around that because I value that time. Besides, no one gets the best of me if I have one foot at work and one foot at home. When your values conflict there will almost always be a compromise but your values are going to somewhat coincide with each other.

In summary, more clear and enhanced values create more realistic goals and priorities for you and enhance your ability to make better decisions. This will create lasting change that will hopefully lead to happiness.

Thank you for reading and we will see you tomorrow with Joleen.

Adapted from Debra Smouse contributing author to "Determine What Will Make You Happy by Identifying Your Values"

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville