Last week, I talked about the identifying your values. The next step is to examine and evaluate your values. You’ll want to make sure the list you’ve come up with reflects your true values. Then you can start to evaluate your life and begin living according to your values.
Examine Your Values
Now that you have your prioritized list of personal values, it’s time to examine these values closely. Are there any that you feel do not fit? Are there any you’d like to change? This can mean dropping a value, adding a value, or tweaking your priorities. Your values may change over time, so feel free to reexamine this list as needed.
After examining my prioritized list of values, I decided to drop 3 of the values I had listed leaving me with 10. Here’s the list of my top ten values in order of importance:
Paul’s Top 10 Values
- Faith & Relationship with God
- Devotion to Family
- Compassion & Love
- Curiosity & Wonder
- Contentment & Simplicity
- Fun & Youthfulness
- Prudence & Wisdom
Evaluate How Your Values Should Affect Your Life
Finally, it’s time to consider how your specific list of values should affect your life. If these are the things that are most important to you, how should they guide your decisions? You might feel like you’re not following your values very well at this point in your life, but you have the ability to change that starting now.
With your list of values in hand, you can evaluate each decision with intelligence and confidence. You just have to ask yourself: What should I do in this situation if these are my guiding principles in life? Apply this method to every area of your life, and you’ll see your actions becoming more aligned with your values. As your situation changes, you might need to revise your values. Adapting to changes in your life will be crucial to your success in accomplishing your goals and living with integrity.
Now that you have your list of personal values, you can proceed with evaluating and planning your personal finances. These values should help you in making the necessary decisions about your goals, priorities, necessities, and the things you’re willing to sacrifice. All of these are important in reaching a financial future that aligns with your values.
This entire process is especially important for Christians. We must strive to live according to the example we have in Jesus. Our values should reflect that fact – and our lives should reflect Godly values. From my list of values, I can see some areas where I am following God closely and others where I need to make improvements.
Life as a Christian is about denying yourself – your wants and desires – and following God’s will instead of your own. How do your values align with God’s will for your life? And are you living out those values in your day-to-day actions? Remember that becoming like Christ does not happen overnight. It’s a process – a lifelong process. And we won’t fully attain the goal until we are reunited with Him in Heaven.
Now it’s time for you to share your thoughts on this process of identifying and examining your values. Did you find the process helpful? How would you improve it? Did writing down your values open your eyes to areas of your life that are not congruent with your values? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments and let us know!