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Values guide our behavior and provide us with a personal code of conduct. When we honor our core values consistently, we experience personal and professional fulfillment. Recognizing our core values and using them to drive our decision making enables us to live our best life and feel great while doing it.

Each of us is unique in our core values. Determining your core values often proves to be difficult because it requires introspection and honest reflection. Core values are a collection of your personal experiences, trials, triumphs, and everything else that has influenced your belief system. If you think that sounds complex, you are right. The following are a few tips to help you determine your core values.

Take a Values Assessment

There are a plethora of quizzes and questionnaires available to help you determine your core values. The Values in Action Survey is regarded as the longest standing, most trustworthy questionnaire because it is based on over thirty years of research. It focuses on your positive traits rather than your negative ones and often leads people to recognize traits they didn’t know they had.

Why is this assessment necessary? It will help you not only determine your core values but also understand how those core values affect your life. For example, if you take the assessment and realize that a core value of yours is punctuality, it will become much clearer why you are irritated when a meeting starts late.

Explore Your Past

As helpful as assessments and questionnaires can be, you know yourself better than anyone. Take some time to reflect on your past as a means of determining your core values. What has been a consistent theme throughout your life? For example, do people constantly comment on your dedication? If so, this is probably a hint that dedication is one of your core values. Or, more negatively, have people commented on your lateness? If so, you can safely assume that punctuality is not one of your core values. While examining your past can be difficult, it is often the best way to move forward.

Watch How You Spend Your Time

After taking a survey and self-examining your past, you should have a good idea of what your core values are. The last step is to reconsider how you spend the hours in your day. If you routinely spend three hours a day at the gym, you can bet that health and wellness are a core value of yours.

Don’t make the process harder than necessary when deciding what your core values are. Such values are apparent in your daily life. You simply need to be willing to take a look at that life.