How to Use Your Core Values


As an added benefit for newsletter subscribers (thank you!), I’d like to offer you the Core Values Worksheet that I use with my clients and show you how it works. You can download the PDF of this chart straight from the June Newsletter. This is a private blog just for you and has not been posted publicly. 


Before you use this chart, I recommend that you read The Hidden Part of an Authentic Life and How to Discover Your Core Values to create your top ten core values list. Once you have all ten in prioritized order, you are ready to use this chart.


Let’s look at two clients, Mary and Martha, to see how they’ve used their values list to lead a more authentic life. 





Mary is feeling stuck in this season of her life and doesn’t know why. Since she does know her values, we can run a Life Alignment check to see what values might be neglected or dishonored at this time, leading to her frustration.


First Mary listed her values 1-10 in order of importance (see below). Responsibility is her highest value, followed by authenticity, growth, learning, etc.


Then she put today’s date in the shaded area under the first Date column.


Next, Mary scored each value on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being low and 10 being high, rating the way her life aligned with each value. I encouraged her to do this fairly quickly as these are intuitive numbers without a right or wrong answer. If she had spent more than 20 seconds deciding on a score, she would have moved into the part of her brain that was trying to choose the “right” answer, and her answer would not have been authentic.



Mary felt good about her sense of responsibility (8), growth (7), learning (9), and wisdom (7), but not so much about authenticity (3), strength (4), courage (1), freedom (5), grit (4), and accomplishment (5). Mary was meeting her responsibilities as a parent, enjoying her Bible study, and conversations with her mentor. However, she had been procrastinating a very hard conversation with her mom and her boss causing her to feel fake, weak, and puny. She hadn’t been using her calendar, so she wasn’t very organized with her time keeping her from feeling a sense of accomplishment.


For each value that Mary scored 6 or below, she created a list of things she would need to do or stop doing to bump those numbers up to a 10. She put those ideas on her to-do list and turned them into daily goals. Mary took time to consider what to say, ran her ideas by a couple of people, and then called her mom. She did the same for her boss. She bought a new calendar and time-blocked her week so she could get important tasks done. As a result of this process, Mary felt hopeful and energetic because she had aligned her life with her values.


Finally, Mary totaled her scores for all ten values (51). This is her “before” picture, the one where she doesn’t look like she wants to look, but will show her progress when she gets to the “after” shot. At a future date, ie. quarterly, I encouraged Mary to repeat this exercise in the second date column. This will tell her if the new goals she has set are helping her to live more aligned with her God-given desires. This is a great exercise to complete at the beginning of each new year.




Next, we have Martha

Martha has a big decision to make: should she homeschool her kids or put them in a private school.


Using the same chart, Martha listed out her top ten values in order of importance. Martha is a different Authentic Personality Type, so her values are very different from Mary’s values.


She then listed the two choices she had before her: homeschool vs. private school. You could use this chart for most any decision you need to make ie. take a new job vs. keep your job, publish a book vs. start a blog, stay home for Christmas or visit your in-laws.


On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being low and 10 being high, Martha rated how the first decision, homeschooling, would align with each value. Homeschooling offered her the opportunity to be creative as a teacher, and provide her children with kindness, security, and a deeper sense of belonging in their family. While they had been at the private school for years, concerns over safety and peer influence had become more heightened.


Martha completed her scores in the first column before moving on to the second choice.




Next Martha totaled both choices to see which choice has the higher total. According to these results, homeschooling (74) would align more closely with her values than keeping her kiddos at the private school (55). It wasn’t a landslide victory, but turning a qualitative process into a quantitative one, helped Martha see what she preferred, so that she and her husband could start to make some plans.





As a further check, Martha used the last column in the chart. Since values at the top of the list are more significant than those at the end of the list, it was helpful for Martha to weight her scores by multiplying each of them by the percentage in the significance column. These weighted totals confirmed her first result, homeschooling (59.3) was more in line with her values than private school (42.7).



***Please do not miss this!****


This Life Alignment and Decision Making process is never meant to take the place of prayer.


If you prayed through the process of selecting your values and are continually open to God’s voice in your life, you can be reasonably certain that this exercise will lead you into His will. It’s always wise to test your result by praying, Father, it seems that You are leading in this direction. Will you please confirm this or send me in the other direction?



If you would like help discovering your top ten core values, consider a coaching session.  

Learn more here.