By acknowledging and declaring your values, you give them life explains Marsha Egan

We are all governed by values.  Our values influence how we make decisions and effectively run our lives.  Values can be instilled in us, or we can choose to adopt them.  Our values can change.  The important thing to know is that when we have strong values and positive values, they will be integral to our achieving what we want in this life.

Values are not goals. Goals are targets. Values are the base upon which we run our lives.

Values are how you see the world, what you see as important, and what you believe.

Why are we talking about values?  Because they form the foundation for your approach to life!  Values are the bedrock of your walking the path of life.  They support and drive your purpose. They are who you are.

Write Them Down

Articulate what your values are. Write them down. Put to paper those guiding principles that you use. By acknowledging and declaring your values, you give them life. And it is a way to keep our values present in our lives.

Clarifying Your Values

  • Imagine you have a day to spend any way you want.  What will you do?  Some of the answers will give you clarity on what some of your values are.
  • Think about your sense of right and wrong.  As you articulate what is right, you will become clearer on your values.
  • Consider what excites you and what motivates you.  These will give you clues to values, as well.
  • Ponder the actions that can add stability to your life.  This will open thought on what those values might be.

Use Present Tense

When you write down your values, it is important to write them in the present tense.  As an example, you might write one of your values as “I am financially stable” rather than “I will be financially stable.”

A great way to do this is to use index cards or sticky notes.  Most likely, they will work their way into natural groupings.  Some people like to set a few overriding values, with supporting values.

To use the example above, an overall value could be “I am financially stable”.  You might have several supporting values to this statement such as, “I pay all my bills before the due date.”  “I review my insurance annually, ” “I save x percent of my income.”

Here are some areas where you might wish to state your values:

  • family
  • education
  • morals
  • community
  • career
  • friendships
  • health
  • finances
  • recreation

While this may appear to be making more work than is necessary, it’s interesting to see how, by being clear on what your values are, they can influence your actions.

The clearer you are on your values, the better you can honor them.  They can motivate you. They can give you strength to stick to your boundaries. They can guide you.

Taking the time to “memorialize” those values by writing them can strengthen your foundation for success. They are already there, most likely you just haven’t put them to paper. Consider making an investment in your clarity. A written testament that outlines who you are.

So, when will you pick up that pen?

Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC is CEO of The Egan Group, a Florida-based workplace productivity coaching firm. She is the author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of E-mail Excellence. She can be reached at, where you can also read her blog. To listen ... (Read More)

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