Did you know that your values are an integral part of who you are? If you didn’t have the values that you have, your entire attitude toward life would be different.

However, your most important values, maybe your top two or three, should be absolutely non-negotiable. I call these your core values. At all times, but especially when the floor is rocking in your life, your core values will be your anchor in the storm.

When you are crystal clear on what your core values are, you have a concrete and tangible way to make decisions. Have you ever known someone who was indecisive, seemed confused, kept changing her mind, or continually made decisions that did not support her? That happens when we are not clear on what our values actually are.

Here is an exercise to help you get crystal clear about your core values.

Crystal Clear Values Process

Brainstorm. Write down ten things that are really important to you. For example, adventure, community, independence, fun, peace, spirituality, variety, wealth. These are just suggestions. Come up with ten of your own.
Eliminate. Next, put a line through the five values on your list of ten that are the least important. When you have finished this step you should be left with your top five values, not in any particular order.
Write. Get five small pieces of paper. On each piece write one of your top five values. You should end up with five pieces of paper, with one of your top five values written on each.
Arrange. Take the pieces of paper and lay them in front of you. Rank them in order of importance. Then number them from one to five, with number one being the most important value and number five being the least.
Decide. Take value number five (least important) and value number four and put them side by side. Ask yourself, “If I had to give up value number five for value number four permanently, would I do it?” You have to answer “yes” or “no”—“maybe” is not an option!
Illuminate. If the answer is “yes,” move up and ask the same question in regard to value number four and value number three. Again, you have to answer “yes” or “no.”
If the answer is “no,” put down value number four, and ask yourself, “If I had to give up value number five for value number three, would I do it?”

Continue this process, each time putting down the value you would give up and holding onto the one you would not give up. You will eventually end up with the one value that truly is the most important to you.
7. Clarify.Once you have completed step six, re-number the values in order of their true importance to you.
Did the order of your values change from step four to step seven? For most people, the answer is “yes.” Many times we think something is important to us, but when forced to make a choice between one value and another our true values emerge.

Was it hard for you to choose between some of your values? Maybe you struggled giving one or more of them up? Here is a little secret: When you get the order right, you will find that your number one value includes all your other values; therefore, you don’t feel you are giving anything up. Your number one value is all inclusive.

The Crystal Clear Values Process is a great exercise to do with a partner. Having someone else ask you to choose between your values can be very revealing. Your partner is a witness to your process, and that is powerful. Just having them present will change the dynamics. Try it!

It’s also more difficult to cheat when you have a partner. Sometimes, when we don’t want to give a value up, we try to find a creative way to keep them both. Having a partner will remind you that you have to choose one value each time and it can help you be more decisive. Your partner can also encourage you when you get stuck. That’s why it is highly recommended to have a friend or a coach do this process with you.

Clarifying your values and taking a stand for them in your life is essential for maintaining personal integrity. And it’s only when we live in alignment with our deepest values that we experience life at high levels of energy and enthusiasm, and live with Full Wattage!

Author's Bio: 

Excerpted from the book, Full Wattage! A Practical Guide to Living an Engaging and Purposeful Life Worth Celebrating by Liz Fletcher Brown. Get your free chapters as well as tips and tools to live a balanced, joy-filled life at http://www.FullWattage.com