How to Write Personal Values

Updated April 17, 2017

Identifying and writing your personal values will help guide you in life. If you find yourself troubled by ethical or moral decisions, then thinking deeply about your core values will help you to make an informed decision on ethical matters. Defining your core personal values is not an easy task, and will take some refining. Although once you have written your personal values, you can draw on them when you feel threatened or confused by an ethical problem.

Write a list of all of the values that are important to you. This list can include as many values as you wish. Keep adding to the list over an extended period of time. Discuss personal values with your friends and family to get ideas.

Narrow down your list to 10 key values. Think about these values, then reduce this list down to five. Reduce the list yet further down to three, by either removing items or merging them to create one. For example, if "Looking after my parents" and "Loving my children" are on the list, you can merge these to create "Family."

Write a short paragraph explaining why each of the three is central to your personal values. Insert quotations that you feel back up your values and encapsulate your thoughts on the matter. There is no right or wrong in this, only your opinion.

Keep your personal values somewhere that you can draw upon it in times of need. This will help you be sure of how you feel on particular issues. Be aware that values may change over time. Having thought about your beliefs, you can be confident in the validity of your own personal faith.

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About the Author

Emile Heskey has been a professional writer since 2008, when he began writing for "The Journal" student newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in modern history and politics from Oxford University, as well as a Master of Science in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Edinburgh University.