Personal Core Values

As the second week in January comes to a close, we have an opportunity to solidify our yearly intentions, and fully develop our goals. This week can be tough, though. Sometimes it can feel as if we’ve already let ourselves down by not following through with something we told ourselves we are committed to doing. Life gets busy -- we get it.

How do we develop behaviors that will stick?  One way to do this is to make sure your proposed behaviors are in line with your personal core values.

You may think to yourself, “Well, shucks, that's something else I don’t have!”  Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Of course, we know Organizations have core values, but individuals can, too.  Have you ever been in a situation when something felt off? Perhaps a boss behaved in a way that made you uncomfortable, and you’re not sure why. Its possible, they encroached on one of your boundaries, or core values.

All too often, we learn about our boundaries, and what is not okay for us, whenever something bad happens.  One way to be proactive about this is to create a set of personal core values.

By creating a set of core values you can understand the behaviors that are needed to accomplish your goals, thus making you successful.

Behaviors within your core values = Living within your true self = Obtaining goals.  

There is also a fun side effect of this: You will no longer be caught off guard when someone behaves in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable! It's likely that they are acting outside of your core values.

Creating your values can be easy with some self-reflecting. Sit down and think of times when you’ve exhibited qualities that make you feel proud. Are these qualities essential to your being? If so, you’ve found a core value!  Conversely, think of times you’ve felt like your boundaries have been comprised. Reflect on that. Did it feel like a violation because someone was behaving outside of what you value? If so, you may be able to identify something important to you.

Remember, values can change as we grow!

In efforts to live one of my core values, vulnerability, I’d like to share mine with you. Happy reflecting!


Garrett’s Core values:

Vulnerability. Always be in “the arena,” sweaty, bloody, and bold with no armor. This is a strength.

Community | Connection. Surround yourself with people who are also in “the arena.” Your wealth is the people with whom you choose to spend your most valuable resource with: time.

High frequency. Connect all actions to your calling. Be intentional.

Be kind. To myself, to others, and the unknown.

Growth mindset. Every situation is a learning opportunity. Nothing about me is fixed.

Curiosity | Commitment to learning. Be curious, always. Learning equals growth. Knowledge is a privilege, always be grateful for expansion.

Giving. Think from an abundance mindset. Give abundantly and receive abundantly. Leave a place (situation) better than you found it.

Garrett Shotwell, MSW, LCSW

Co-founder | Therapist