Making decisions on personal values can help you, and most people would agree with this statement. The issue is that not many people take time to think about their principles and values. Values don't change quickly, whereas goals and strategies can change day to day.

The second thing that people don't take time to consider is how they decide in the first place. Are choices coming from a logical place, are they coming from an emotional place, or maybe they are coming from something you believe in?

It's essential to identify where these decisions come from and if that is the place you desire them to come from. If you're reading this, it more than likely means that you want to change something about your decision-making process.

“Life presents you with so many decisions. A lot of times, they’re right in front of your face and they’re really difficult, but we must make them.” —Brittany Murphy

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Picking Solid Values That You Can Count On First

If you believe that making decisions based on personal values can help you, you will need to pick out those values. When we think of core values, the first thing that comes to mind is usually companies. 

Companies use core values to unite on how they conduct business and how they behave. Core values for a company should change very slowly and should take much thought and consideration. They help to direct what you do in challenging situations.

For example, If a company has a core value of loving their customers, then maybe in a situation where the customer is wrong, they take the loss on a position to make it right. Core values only matter for a company if they use them to change their behavior. 

The Road to Character
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With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives.

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02/24/2021 07:30 pm GMT
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Personal Core Values

On a personal level, core values need to help you decide if you go left or right. If a core value does not inspire you enough to dictate how you make choices, you need to find another value. When you think about your core values, they should excite you because you believe in them that much. 

Examples of Core values: 

  • Authenticity
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Authority
  • Autonomy
  • Balance
  • Beauty
  • Boldness
  • Compassion
  • Challenge
  • Community
  • Competency
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Determination
  • Fairness
  • Faith
  • Fame
  • Friendships
  • Fun
  • Growth
  • Happiness
  • Honesty
  • Humor
  • Influence
  • Inner Harmony
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Meaningful Work
  • Openness
  • Optimism
  • Ownership
  • Peace
  • Pleasure
  • Poise
  • Popularity
  • Recognition
  • Religion
  • Reputation
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Security
  • Self-Respect
  • Service
  • Spirituality
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Status
  • Trustworthiness
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom

You need about 3 - 5 core values. Any more than 5, and they become watered down and hard to uphold. Any less than three core values and you're not covering enough areas for it to have meaning. 

For example, say you have one core value of wealth. That is not well rounded enough. Does it mean every choice you make will be for money? It would help if you balanced it out with something like trustworthiness.

When you become trustworthy, it means you plan to build wealth and yet respectably conduct business. That makes in more balance and adds stability to your core values so that they don't destroy you. 

Read - How to Make Sure You Walk The Right Path

On a personal level, core values need to help you decide if you go left or right. If a core value does not inspire you enough to dictate how you make choices, you need to find another core value. 

How Making Decisions Based on Personal Values Can Help You 

Once you have your core values set, you can begin using them to your advantage. How exactly is it that making decisions based on personal values can help you?

It gives you a framework for making life choices. For example, Christians can turn to the Bible and use it as their guide book for options. They can look to what Jesus Christ did and try and live their life like him. 

When you decide on core values and then have to make a tough choice, you should be asking yourself what someone with your core values would do. The more you ask this question of yourself, the more you will use your values to guide what you do. 

3 Reasons Making Decisions Based on Personal Values Can Help You 

  1. Consistent Decisions
  2. Grounded Decisions 
  3. Confident Decisions

Consistent Decision 

When you decide based on your values, it helps you thrive because your choices are more consistent. If you have no framework for making choices, you are all over how you decide. 

Some days you choose one direction because you are more emotional, and another day you choose based on the latest book or podcast you listened to. It's hard for anyone to trust that level of inconsistency. 

Grounded Decisions

Your decision become less rushed and erratic. When you ask yourself what someone with your core values would do, it allows you to step outside of yourself and think about your response in a more logical way. 

You can feel good about your choices when you know that they are coming from a critical place. You took the time to choose your core values, and that helps you to trust following them. 

Confident Decisions 

When you look back on choices made from personal values, there will be less regret. That does not mean you will never make bad choices or have any go wrong.

What it means is that when you do make choices, you will feel much better about where they come from. 

If you made a choice knowing that it came from your core values, you could sleep at night, knowing it was not a reckless decision that came all from emotion.

The problem with emotional choices is that the feeling eventually leaves you, but the choice you made may not. 

Read - 36 Regret Quotes That Will Force You to Make Smarter Choices

When you decide on core values and then have to make a tough choice, you should be asking yourself what someone with your core values would do. The more you ask this question of yourself, the more you will use your values to guide what you do. 

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Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result.

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02/24/2021 09:29 am GMT
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Building Habits On Based On Your Personal Values 

When it clicks for you that making decisions based on your values can help you, the goal becomes to do it more. If you can improve your decision making by a mere 10%, think about how much better your entire life will be. 

You can do even better than that though, what if you begin to rely on habits that are based on your values? If learning is a core value, you have, and you want to make choices based around it. What if you make sure that you build the habit of learning for 30 minutes daily? 

Building habits based on your values is a way to ensure that your daily actions are coming from the right places. You will no longer have to think about if you're making the right choices. Your go-to behavior will be in line with your values and move you in the right direction. 

For example, I track the habit of writing daily. It's in line with my core values, and it moves me forward toward my goals each day. I do it every day without having to think about it at all.

How to Get Started Building Habits 

One of the first things you need to do when you want to start building habits is figuring out what daily actions will move you towards your goals.

Habits allow you to take something that has many steps and takes a lot of work and break it down into small chunks. A 50,000-word book will take 50 days of 1000 words or writing. 

Once you decide on the right actions, the easiest way to start is to track your habits. When you follow your habits daily, it helps you to measure where you are and see progress. 

If you don't track your habits, you will assume that you do the right thing more than you probably do. You want to be able to look at the last two years of your life and know how many days you showed up for your habits. 

Habits guarantee forward progress. You can never be sure of any specific result, but you can be sure that you're moving in the right direction. 

Read - Productive Things to Do When Building New Habits 

Making Decisions Based on Personal Values Can Help You...If You Stick With It

Value-based decision making and building habits are only valuable if you stick with it. Let's be real about something for a second; we have become a society of quitters. 

  • Quit marriages
  • Walk away from friendships
  • Leave jobs
  • Stop running businesses 
  • We don't see our ideas through until the end

The list of things we always quit could go on forever. Habits are no different, and the problem with them is that there is no immediate gratification. Building the habit of doing push-ups for a week does nothing. Doing it for two years will change your whole life. 

These things take time! Too many people are searching for that one thing, the one decision that blows up their success. Things don't work that way. Success is cumulative. It's about the efforts that you put in consistently over a long period. 

To see that success that you want to know, it's going to take being consistent. It would be best if you were ready to be persistent and not throw in the towel when it would be easy to do so. 

Read - Be Persistent and Don't Take Your Foot Off The Gas. 

Value-based decision making and building habits are only valuable if you stick with it. Let's be real about something for a second; we have become a society of quitters. 

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Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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