What do you think about when you are asked to define your personal core values? Have you ever really thought about them? In today’s episode of the Manifest A Positively Abundant Life Podcast, I will be talking about core values and principles, why they are so important, and how to create your own.
You can listen to this episode right here on the blog, or via the links below, or, if you prefer, read the transcript of this episode of Manifest A Positively Abundant Life Podcast below.
Transcript of Podcast Episode 13: Defining Personal Core Principles and Values
Do you have a set of written core principles that you either currently believe in, or are working towards? Today, I want to talk about the importance of having a set of written core principles in your life, and also will share with you a personal example of my own core principles.
What are core principles?
“Your values create your internal compass that can navigate how you make decisions in your life.” – Roy Bennett
Core principles, sometimes called core values, are a guidance system to live by. Many religious faiths have core values that they expect every member to follow (think 10 Commandments for example), however having personal core principles allows you to steer your life in the direction of your value goals – which are the goals that truly matter to you and align with the person you want to be.
It is like a mission statement for your entire life, but while we often create missions for sections or aspects of our daily existence, we rarely take time to really think about the core thoughts that we are going to base our success (whatever that means to you) on. Your core values are your musts – they are non-negotiable, no matter what the demands of the world ask of you. They are who you want to be – and what you want to remember as important, your North Star, so to speak.
Types of Core Values:
You can develop different types or categories of values that you want to live up to, depending on the aspect of your life. Examples are
- Personal Core Principles
- Family Principles
- Principles Of Your Business
- Team Values (as in teams within your business construct, or regarding sports teams you are a part of, for example)
- Faith Principles (which often overlap with your personal core principles)
Why should you write them out?
While there is often talk about values and principles, defining them in detail is a different story. However, what we write down is much more easily become a true part of our lives, because of the two truths
- it can be revisited
- it can be measured
“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” – Karl Pearson
Known as Pearson’s Law, this thought highlights the importance of consistent reviewing and measuring if one wants to lives up to one’s own values. Written values, just like written goals are easier to follow and harder to stray from because even if they are simply guidelines meant only for yourself, they become ingrained into your subconscious after continuous reviewing. Consistency is the key here.
Examples of Core Principles:
The following is a list of some of my personal core principles and values that I try to remember to live up to. They are a type of core truths, I do not want to forget, and are an essential part of who I want to be and become. This is not an exhaustive list, of course, as some of them are very personal to me, and others are based on my personal faith, while others pertain to family life and business.
My 10 Core Principles For Positive Living
- Positive thinking: Remember that thoughts become beliefs and beliefs become things
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a stepping stone to all spiritual practices, so it is essential to be practiced daily
- Personal Excellence: We tend to be the lowest version of ourselves that we accept. So do not accept anything but excellence from yourself
- Systems And Habits: Sticking with systems is what makes you succeed – consistency is the key
- Optimism: Calibrate your mind to find the best possible outlook at all times
- Be Grateful: Gratitude for what is now is essential to being able to be grateful for the gifts of tomorrow
- High Standards and Self-Control: Expect the best of yourself every single day
- Self-Care: Self-care is NOT a waste of time!
- Consistency: Take daily consistent action – that is better than 1 massive action day per week
- Focus: Your mind affects your body, so choose your thoughts, and focus wisely.
How I review my core principles:
I keep a list of all of my values, and rules that I live by in Notion. Of course, you do not need Notion for that, you could just simply write them into a notebook, or in Google Docs, Evernote, or OneNote Use whichever tool for digital or analog document creating, and keeping that you are most comfortable with.
Make them a part of your routine:
Every morning, and every evening, as a part of my routines, I read through a section of my values and principles. Sometimes I journal about them (I have written journaling prompts for myself for those moments) or I just take a few moments to reflect on them in silence
Because I use digital space to keep and review them, I can add, adjust, or delete any principle that no longer applies to my current life. And that is okay. Keep in mind that you are an ever-evolving person, who can change quite drastically over the course of a few years, so you need to give yourself space, and room to allow your values to grow and change with that expansion of yourself.
How to write your own principles:
- Visit the principles that already exist in your life:
If you are a member of a spiritual belief system, look over the principles that your faith has, and brainstorm about them. Which part resonates with you deeply? What aspects do you really want to hone into, or live up to at this point in your life?
If you are not religious, consider what you cherish in others – what kind of behavior and personality trait is important to you? Which of those would you like to work on at this point in your life?
- Try them out
Give those principles a try. Choose one principle that you have discovered in your brainstorming and spend some time with it. Read about that subject, find out how it resonates with you – or does not resonate with you – and explore the reasons why you want to apply them to your life? Are those reasons external or internal? If they are coming from something that you should live up to, because of an outside source only, then set that one to the side, and work through another aspect instead. You should spend at least a week with that principle before moving onto another – unless it is something that you are already completely sure of that it is a part of your personality. For example, if punctuality is important to you, and you have always been punctual, then just move that to your final list of core principles.
When you feel ready to commit to this principle, then add it to your “final” list of core principles, and review it regularly. You may not want to do this daily, but I recommend to at least consider reading through them once a week – again, the best would be daily.
From this point, you can use those principles to create solid goals for yourself – both long-term and short-term, that align with the person you want to be, and therefore with the person, YOU can be proud of.
“Your core values are your deciding factors for success.”
Free PDF to Download:
If you are still not sure which principles and values you should choose as your core focus points, you can download the PDF worksheet that I have created just for this purpose. Follow the link in the show notes below for access to the resource section which in turn allows you to download this PDF, as well as others, such as journal prompts, and a free PDF copy of my book “Diving Deeper” (which will only be available until April 10th, 2021.
Working with core values and principles for a longer period of time can create and enforce habits and beliefs that will benefit you greatly. However, they have to give you room to grow, and therefore you should not be afraid to change or disregard them whenever needed.
To Access the PDF worksheets mention in this week’s episode, you can subscribe below, or if you have already subscribed to our newsletter, then you can access the resources via the link that was shared with you when you signed up (I will add the link again in the next newsletter, so make sure that you look for it to arrive soon)