Journal Prompts to Identify Your Personal Values

My husband took a new job earlier this year that gave us a noticeable income boost (yay!) and we promptly started spending more money (hmm...).

Realizing the inflation of our budget caused me to step back and think about how we're spending our money and if we're spending it on our personal values.

Because here's the thing: I'm totally fine with spending more money than we used to five or ten years ago. We worked our buns off to get out of our poverty-level income and I want to enjoy it. But unless we are intentional with how we spend our money, we could easily just start spending money on everything -- including things we don't really care about.

In my quest to live intentionally and help others do the same, I've realized just how important it is to specifically and concretely identify your personal values. If you can't point to your exact core values, you won't be able to be intentional with how you spend your time, energy, and money.

However, once you have your values identified, deciding where to allocate those things is quite clear.

How do you identify personal values?

Identifying my core personal values came down to honestly answering some helpful questions. Note that I said honestly. These are your personal values and will be totally unique. Don't worry about what other people value or what you think you should value.

I'll get into some super helpful questions in just a sec.

What are examples of values?

I take a pretty broad, yet specific view of what "personal values" are. Many core values lists say things like faith, family, honesty, etc. And those are good, but I find it helpful to be extra specific.

So here are some examples:

  • Supporting local restaurants
  • Helping all people have access to clean water
  • Kindness toward animals
  • Fitness through walking and strength training
  • Productivity and efficiency at work
  • Minimalism in my home
  • Quality over quantity
  • Reading and continuing education

Actually, those are my personal values! I can look at these values and see how each one shapes the way I spend my time, energy, and money, which is a good sign that I'm living my life with intention.

Remember that these are personal and unique to you! Most lists of personal values are quite agreeable. Most people would say they're on board with supporting local businesses and access to clean drinking water, but that doesn't make those things their core values as well. They may place more importance on racial equality, travel, and family game nights. I'm not against those things by any means, but they're not where I choose to put most of my focus. I hope that makes sense!

I've made it easy for you to getting started with these journal prompts (plus a bunch more)! Grab my free Powerful Prompts Journaling Kit here!

Questions to help you identify your personal values:

Grab your journal or a notebook and write out your answers to get the most out of these questions. By getting it out on paper you'll start to see common threads.

  • What is worth paying more for? (Examples: fair trade, organic, local, convenience, quality, etc.)
  • If I had an extra day in the week, what would I love to add into my schedule?
  • What topics or article headlines always catch my interest even if they don't relate to my current life or career? (Nutrition, animal rights, relationship advice, arts, travel, etc.)
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life and why?
  • What makes you angry? (Examples: rule breaking, unfairness, unkindness, negativity, etc.)
  • What traits do you admire most in others and want to create more of in your own life?
  • What would you change about the world? (And don't just say world peace! :) Be specific.)
  • If you had the time and energy to volunteer somewhere, where would you volunteer?
  • What do you love spending money on? (Examples: family vacations, time with friends, gym membership, healthy foods, home improvement, etc.)

Look through your answers to these questions and start to piece together a list of your core personal values.

Once I created my list of personal values, it helped give direction to our increased spending:

  • We could definitely eat out less, but I value supporting our local restaurants! So we go out to eat regularly, but hardly ever at a national chain.
  • I make time each day to walk outside and do some strength training.
  • We give money regularly to a non-profit that repairs wells in Africa so that thousands more people have access to clean water.
  • I'm happy to spend money on books, courses, and personal development because I value it so much.

And of course, there are all kinds of things we don't spend time, energy, or money on because they aren't as important to us.

Knowing what your personal values are is the first step toward living an intentional life! I hope you'll take some time to journal your way through these questions and uncover what's most important to you. Then let those values steer your decisions on how you spend your time and money.

Ready to get to work on these journaling prompts, plus more? Grab my free Powerful Prompts Journaling Kit here!

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Journaling is a powerful tool that most entrepreneurs aren't utilizing.

It will allow you to gain clarity, take action in alignment with your goals, and create the business of your dreams.

Dive in using my favorite journal prompts and watch it change your business! 

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50 Journal Prompt for Entrepreneurs

Journaling is a powerful tool that most entrepreneurs aren't utilizing.

Dive in using my favorite journal prompts and watch it change your business!