I still remember one of the things my grandmother would always say whenever I was fussing about “something wrong” with the way I looked: “What’s important is what’s
inside.” And she was right! Our values are who we really are and reflect who we are as a person “inside.” Our values are the things that we believe are important in the way we live and carry out our lives including how we determine priorities and measure how our lives stack up to what we believe they should be.


Last month I shared that as part of my “passion project” of facilitating health and wellness coaching sessions for women, I am often met with surprise from coaching clients at just how “deep” some of the coaching goes and how we delve into areas women weren’t expecting. Many come looking for ways to be more engaged in eating healthier, being more active, or reducing stress, and are surprised when coaching winds up being so much more. I shared that one of the first things we do is talk about
strengths. We also begin to spend time talking about values, because they are important and set the stage for success with health and wellness goals. It’s just like my grandmother said, “What’s important is what’s inside.” What we value sets the stage for success, whether it be health and wellness goals or anything else in life, so this is an important part of the coaching session.


Whether your personal health and wellness goals involve eating healthier, being more active, work-life balance, relationships, spirit and soul, or anything else in your personal wellness space – or for my coaching clients, their “wheel of health” (A Time to Bloom Health and Wellness Coaching, n.d.), drawing upon one’s values – and strengths – to succeed in these areas is a great strategy.

Below are some questions to help you think about your values that I use with my coaching clients (Vanderbilt, 2020), along with a list of words to help you get started in identifying your values. Consider spending some time self-reflecting to identify your personal values and how they might apply to successfully meeting your health and wellness goals, or just general life goals. And if you missed last month’s article on strengths, go back and read it too. Considering both as you begin – or continue – your
journey towards better health and wellness is so important! Think about what is important to you as you complete this short exercise.

  1. Start by writing down the things that make life meaningful for you – the reason you get out of bed in the morning.
  2. What kind of legacy do you hope to leave? If the “you today” asked the “you at 80 years of age” what they have accomplished and what has been most meaningful in life, what do you think the 80-year-old version of you would say?

Examples of Values

Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement
Adventurousness
Altruism
Ambition
Assertiveness
Balance
Being the best
Belonging
Boldness
Calmness
Carefulness
Challenge
Cheerfulness
Clear-mindedness
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competitiveness
Consistency
Contentment
Continuous Improvement
Contribution
Cooperation
Correctness
Courtesy
Creativity
Curiosity
Decisiveness
Dependability
Determination
Devoutness
Diligence
Discipline
Discretion
Diversity
Dynamism
Effectiveness
Elegance
Empathy
Enjoyment
Enthusiasm
Excellence
Excitement
Expertise
Exploration
Expressiveness
Fairness
Faith
Family- orientedness
Fidelity
Fitness
Fluency
Focus
Freedom
Fun
Generosity
Goodness
Grace
Growth
Happiness
Hard Work
Health
Helping Society
Holiness
Honesty
Honor
Humility
Independence
Ingenuity
Inner Harmony
Inquisitiveness
Insightfulness
Intelligence
Intellectual Status
Intuition
Joy
Justice
Leadership
Legacy
Love
Loyalty
Making a difference Mastery
Obedience
Openness
Order
Originality
Perfection
Piety
Positivity
Practicality
Preparedness
Professionalism
Prudence
Quality-orientation
Reliability
Resourcefulness
Restraint
Results-oriented
Rigor Security
Self-actualization
Self-control
Selflessness
Self-reliance
Sensitivity
Serenity
Service
Shrewdness
Simplicity
Soundness
Speed
Spontaneity
Stability
Strategic
Strength
Structure
Success
Support
Teamwork
Temperance
Thankfulness
Thoroughness
Thoughtfulness
Timeliness
Tolerance
Traditionalism
Trustworthiness
Truth-seeking
Understanding
Uniqueness
Unity
Usefulness
Vision
Vitality

Take what you discovered through the exercise above and after reviewing the list of values provided as examples and write down your top three or four – or more -values.
As you begin to think about your personal health and wellness goals and begin to move forward with a health and wellness coach or through your own solo journey, make sure uncovering your strengths and values is part of that process. Here’s to uncovering those inner values and using them to create a healthier and better lifestyle that is grounded in who you are. Grandmother was right, “What’s important
is what’s inside.”

Sources:
A Time to Bloom Health and Wellness Coaching (n.d.). www. https://atimetobloomcoaching.com/


Vanderbilt Medical Center, Health, and Wellness Coach Training Program (2020). Values Worksheet.