Values work is an essential part of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and really, any thorough, introspective therapy. Are you living the life you imagined? Are you living a satisfying and fulfilling life? Are you happy? Values give us a guidepost, or a direction we can use to make our decisions in life that help bring fulfillment and satisfaction into our lives. The map is not the territory, but having a map can help us navigate the territory. Values are the points on the compass, and when we are clear on our values, we begin to make choices that move us closer to living our values on a daily basis.
If you'd like to work with a more comprehensive list of values you can take a look at the Personal Values Sort exercise developed by Miller, W. R., C’de Baca, J., & Matthews, D. B at the University of New Mexico. The exercise consists of a list of 83 values to sort through and ultimately identify your top 5 values. You can find instructions, and a pdf of the exercise here. You can also find online flash versions of the Personal Values Sort exercise here, and for a version focused around your job and career, the University of Minnesota has a nice one posted here.
Personal Values Sort (pdf)
Personal Values Sort (flash required)
Job/Career Values Sort (flash required)
|Values Sort Exercise Example|