VALUES: Our Meaningful Life Direction
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Values are part of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy's
A value is a life direction, an internal compass which guides us throughtout life. Values are different to goals which have an end-point. Values are often life-long. Perhaps what we would like to be remembered for, or written as our epitaph, our headstone inscription.
Values give life meaning and purpose.
To identify our values, we can think about what it is in life that is REALLY important to us, the most important, what gives our life meaning and purpose.
Is it our relationships, e.g. to be a good parent? Is it our careers, connecting with nature, healthy living, community service or making a difference? Consider what legacy you want to pass on.
Having identified our values, we know where we want to go in life, the direction we want to progress towards. We might set goals along the way.
Knowing our values will help us decide how to react to stress and distress. In spite of how we feel, we can still move in the direction and service of our values.
Find Meaning: Live a Life of Purpose - Video
You can use the Getselfhelp Values card pack to help you identify your own Values.
Getselfhelp Values Cards
Use the Getselfhelp Values Cards to help identify your Values. A Value is a chosen life direction – something that guides us throughout our life. A Value is what we want to be remembered for. Our passion. Our Values give us meaning and purpose. Once we have identified what our Values are, we can take committed action to set goals and work towards those Values, helping us lead a more purposeful and enriching life.
There are 52 word cards and 4 blank cards for you to add your own words, with 8 "cards" to each A4 sheet.
Use the Values Cards for yourself or with others.
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How to use the Values Cards
Go through the cards and put them into 3 piles:
· Not so important
· Not at all important
Take the “important” pile and lay them out face up.
The aim here is to reduce them to the 2, 3 or 4 MOST important. These are likely to be your Life Values.
You might merge some of the cards as they are very similar or are closely related.
Once you have identified your Life Values, consider the Value card and ask yourself e.g. “In what way…?” or “What is it about this…?” For example, if you have chosen “Environment” – ask yourself what is it about the environment that is important to you. Enjoying? Photographing? Conserving? Protecting? How do you do that?
Some cards may, for you, fit together e.g. “Protecting” and “Environment”.
You can change the name of the Life Value to best fit your own life – choose your own words. E.g. “Conservation”, “Keeping the woods clean” or “Gardening”.
Identify goals or steps to help you move towards your chosen Life Value, your life direction to create a more purposeful and enriching life.
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