What are values? What are yours? And why do they matter?

A “value” is just something that holds meaning.

But when we discuss a person’s values, we’re referring to a set of personal guiding beliefs that define what matters and what doesn’t.

Values are inspired by social norms, culture, politics, art, and are directly and indirectly taught by parents and caretakers.

Ultimately, values are the ways in which we interpret what matters most to us. Our values are what align our actions, words and efforts in life to what we desire and need to feel fulfilled.

Think of your values like a lens through which you make choices and decisions: as you seek fulfillment, purpose and joy in life, it’s your values that define what brings you these outcomes. Your values are an invisible internal belief system — what I like to call a “soul-code” — that quietly define how you value what you value, and why.

What Are My Values? 35 Popular Choices

After referencing longer lists of values from Google searches over the years, I’ve decided to share the top guiding beliefs that I most commonly use and hear from participants in my workshops, yoga classes, online courses and various teachings.

These 35 choices are the ones that I find most popular with my yoga students, creatives and writers.

Whether you’re an “everyday yogi,” a¬†mindfulness type, a conscientious journeyer or seeker or beyond, you may find this list helpful in identifying some values of your own:

1. Abundance

2. Adventure

3. Artistry

4. Authenticity

5. Celebration

6. Clarity

7. Collaboration

8. Community

9. Compassion

10. Ease

11. Faith

12. Freedom

13. Generosity

14. Health

15. Humor

16. Harmony

17. Independence

18. Individuality

19. Joy

20. Kindness

21. Leadership

22. Love

23. Openness

24. Play/Playfulness

25. Prosperity

26. Purpose

27. Self-Reliance

28. Service

29. Simplicity

30. Spirituality

31. Tolerance

32. Truth

33. Usefulness

34. Wealth

35. Virtue

OTHER: __________

So what are your top 3 values, right now?

Don’t be surprised if your top 3 guiding beliefs change over time, either.

The big idea is that your values matter because they’re already defining how you interpret your life, decisions, actions, and choices.

Identifying even just a few of your values helps you consciously understand what matters most to you, and why.

By exploring them further, you can help yourself make the “right” choices by aligning future decisions to your values.

P.S. — If you’d like to go a step further with your top values now that you’ve identified them, head on over to explore this popular article on how to explore your values through journaling.