15 Values Worksheets to Enrich Clients’ Lives (+ Inventory)

Values WorksheetsIt’s not always easy to align our actions with our values.

By identifying and exploring what we find meaningful, we can learn to prioritize each life domain and work toward more fulfilling lives (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019).

Values are vital in therapists’ personal and professional lives. Values-guided therapy can help clients focus on the intrinsic meaning behind goals and stay on track when confronted by obstacles.

In this article, we share 15 values worksheets to use with clients to help them identify, understand, and implement values-led decision-making and goal-driven behavior.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free. These creative, science-based exercises will help you learn more about your values, motivations, and goals and give you the tools to inspire a sense of meaning in the lives of your clients, students, or employees.

3 Best Values Worksheets

Because values can ground and direct our therapeutic work, enriching client lives, it is essential to understand what they are (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019):

  • Actions or behaviors that reflect a way of living — behaviors rather than just words
  • Chosen freely by individuals, without being influenced by external factors, reasoning, or moral codes
  • A direction for how to live one’s life rather than specific goals to be achieved or completed
  • Always present and accessible but never fully attained

The following worksheets are helpful for working with clients to increase their awareness and focus on their values.

Setting Valued Goals

In the Setting Valued Goals worksheet, the client reflects on their personal values and why they matter, capturing their ambitions and passions.

Three questions are central to the process:

What do you consider most important in life?
What do you feel gives your life meaning and purpose?
What makes you happiest, most satisfied, and most fulfilled?

Next, by highlighting the most important life domains, the client can focus on how their values play out in action.

Finally, the results lead to prioritizing personal goals that align with high-ranked values.

Willingness, Goals, and Action Plan

When setting goals and building plans for meaningful living, obstacles can impede committing to the next step. Barriers may include:

Fear of failure
Fear of uncertainty
Difficulties with overly ambitious goals

Using this worksheet, the client reflects on a series of questions, including:

What is my goal?
What values underpin my goal?
What actions should I take to accomplish my goal?
What thoughts, mental processes, and feelings am I prepared to create space for?
What obstacles stand in my way? What would help?
How can I make my task easier?
What would be a manageable first step? When can I begin?

Writing Your Mission Statement

It’s not only nonprofit organizations and businesses that benefit from having a clear mission statement; people do too.

By capturing their mission statement on paper or digitally, clients can bring clarity and focus to what they wish to achieve, helping them check in occasionally to see if their life is on track.

In this exercise, the client answers several questions to help them define their mission, including:

What is most important to me?
What do I value the most?
What am I most passionate about?
What do my friends, colleagues, and loved ones consider my greatest strengths?
What legacy do I wish to leave behind?

The answers help the client build a mission statement:

I will do X for Y to achieve Z.

For example:

I will create fascinating podcasts for people interested in psychology to apply science-based learning in their everyday lives.

2 ACT Values Worksheets

ACT Worksheets“To create the conditions for genuine happiness in your life, you’ll first need to know what matters to you” and then find ways to make it part of daily living (Forsyth & Eifert, 2016, p. 213).

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) recognizes that having purpose is vital for human flourishing and that it boils down to identifying our values (Forsyth & Eifert, 2016):

What do I want my life to be about?
What really matters to me?

The following two worksheets are designed with ACT in mind to help the client identify and clarify their values.

Commitment, Obstacles, and Strategies

Commitment is an essential aspect of ACT and combines with value-led goal setting.

This helpful worksheet has three parts:

  • Identify a life goal (commitment).
    What concrete goal have you identified that relates to your values?
  • Consider the potential obstacles that stand in the way.
    What barriers could prevent you from reaching your goal?
  • Reflect on and capture strategies to overcome obstacles.
    What could you do to tackle these obstacles?

The answers can be stored and revisited to understand progress and identify the most helpful coping strategies.

Values and Problems

Reducing struggle and suffering in the client’s life is essential to therapeutic success in ACT.

To do so, the therapist considers the problematic thoughts and behaviors that cause or contribute to their difficulties and replaces them with value-driven goals and actions (Forsyth & Eifert, 2016).

In this exercise, the client is introduced to the following four key elements of ACT, reflecting on each one and capturing their thoughts:

  • Problematic thoughts and emotions – What negative or unhelpful mental patterns, processes, and self-talk do you struggle with?
  • Problematic behaviors – Which actions do you engage in that take away from, rather than add to, your life?
  • Values – What do you consider most important to you in your life?
  • Goals and actionable steps – What things do you do to improve your life in the long term?

The effort given to answering these questions is time well spent, helping the client picture and work toward a meaningful and valued life.

3 meaning valued living exercises

Download 3 Meaning & Valued Living Exercises (PDF)

These detailed, science-based exercises will equip you or your clients with tools to find meaning in life help and pursue directions that are in alignment with values.

2 Ways to Identify Core Values

In many ways, “values aren’t really a thing at all. Values are the ways of living and being in this world that are important and meaningful to you” (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019, p. 11).

Identifying our core values offers insight into living a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Knowing them can reduce complexity, bringing clarity to what we do, how we behave, and what we strive for (Berg & Slaattelid, 2017).

Use the following worksheets with your clients to help them ask the right questions and reflect on what they want out of life to identify their values.

Life Deviation Scores and Setting Goals

Knowing our highest-valued life domains is essential for identifying which areas of our lives need the most attention.

This worksheet defines meaningful long- and short-term goals to help clients focus their energies according to their values.

The result is a series of highly valued goals broken down into manageable chunks of work.

Your Core Values Worksheet

While value identification is essential to a flourishing life, we may need help to identify what is most important to us.

In fact, we may struggle to think of more than a few, so we may settle for ones that don’t truly reflect what is important to us.

The Core Values Worksheet contains a list of more than 100 values.

The client can circle all that resonate with them and group similar or related ones. The groupings may include:

Growth
Security
Freedom
Wealth
Flexibility

One value is chosen to represent each group and, ultimately, what is important to the client.

2 Sheets for Value Clarification

Sheets for values clarificationValue-guided therapy involves exploration and clarification.

Only after completing both activities can the client “focus on other repertoires that support valued living rather than only talking directly about values” (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019, p. 24).

Value clarification helps both client and therapist understand the client’s values and reconnect in an ongoing way with what is most important in their lives (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019).

The following two worksheets are focused on getting a deeper understanding of the client’s values.

Finding My Values

In this exercise, the client lists 10 things that are deeply important to how they live. They then reflect on how much time they spend on their top three.

Is it sufficient?
How could I find more time for each one?

The result identifies whether the client’s life focus truly reflects their most important values.

Often, the findings are surprising; they will lead to further discussion and, ultimately, a reevaluation of their lives.

Ranking Your Values and Finding Your Life Deviation Score

While this exercise can be performed independently, it also follows on from the Personal Values Worksheet.

The client lists and ranks their most valued life domains on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 10 (extremely important).

Once done, they repeat the exercise, indicating how much fulfillment each value brings to their lives right now (where 1 is “no fulfillment,” and 10 is “total fulfillment”).

When the second score is subtracted from the first, the result is recognized as “life deviation.” If the number is high (meaning there is a significant gap between the importance of a value and its current impact), it can help offer clarity regarding which life domains require additional attention.

Personal core values: the why, what and how – Peace Itimi

For Exploring Relationship Values

Relationships are recognized as essential to human flourishing, especially warm and supportive ones. They confer long-lasting mental and physical health benefits that impact the entire human life span (Waldinger & Schulz, 2023).

However, they often don’t receive the attention they deserve for a happy life and increased mental wellbeing (Waldinger & Schulz, 2023).

The following worksheets focus on the values surrounding positive relationships.

Understanding the Values You Want in a Relationship

Most of us know the importance of good relationships at work, in education, and our personal lives.

In this exercise, the client starts by considering what the word “values” means in terms of their relationships with friends and family.

Next, the client reflects on what changes they would like to see in the world and how to show their values in their relationships.

Valuing My Partner Worksheet

We are often highly critical of those we have relationships with. As a result, we can damage the bond between us and how the other person feels.

Spending time considering the qualities, shared memories, and what we value in our partner can help us see our relationship more positively.

Here the client begins by reflecting on the answers to the following questions:

What qualities first attracted me to my partner?
What qualities do I find attractive in my partner now?
What are my favorite memories of time spent with my partner?
When does my partner show me how much they care about and value me?
Why do I value my partner?

While the focus here is on a romantic partner, we can tailor the questions toward any relationship.

Values Inventory Worksheets

Values Inventory WorksheetWe have already seen the importance and value of identifying, exploring, and applying our values throughout our life domains (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019).

In the following worksheets, we go further, increasing our commitment to living our values.

Exploring Willingness and Commitment

This powerful worksheet combines elements from ACT and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy to help clients deep-dive into their values, with the aim of:

  • Isolating meaningful values to pursue in life
  • Identifying the practical steps required to achieve them
  • Planning to overcome obstacles along the way

The client can repeat the exercise for multiple values or revisit the same value later.

Personal Values Worksheet

In this exercise, the client creates a values inventory to explore and clarify what is meaningful to them in 10 different life categories:

Romantic relationships
Leisure and fun
Job/career
Friends
Parenthood
Health and physical wellness
Social citizenship/environmental responsibility
Family relationships
Spirituality
Personal development and growth

The resulting values inventory can be helpful as a lead-in to other worksheets, such as Ranking Your Values and Finding Your Life Deviation Score.

Comprehensive List of Values

PositivePsychology.com has many resources and worksheets to help clients focus on value-based living.

In our Top 5 Values Worksheet, available by subscribing to our Positive Psychology Toolkit©, we provide a comprehensive list of 140 values.

A sample is given below:

Achievement Excitement Personal expression
Adventure Expertise Planning
Affection Family happiness Pleasure
Altruism Freedom Reputation
Beauty Friendship Responsibility & accountability
Collaboration Fun Risk
Community Harmony Safety & security
Competition Health Sensibility
Compassion Imagination Sensuality
Connectedness Involvement Service
Country Integrity Spark
Creativity Knowledge Sophistication
Diversity Leadership Speculation
Economic security Loyalty Spirituality
Education Magnificence Stability
Efficiency Meaningful work Status
Enlightenment Mystery Success
Environmental awareness Order Wealth
Ethics Passion Winning

2 Exercises to Explore Values in Families

“Humans are highly social creatures and our actions or inactions impact countless others whose lives we touch, for better or worse.”

LeJeune and Luoma, 2019, p. 154

Happy familiesClients can use their newfound knowledge of values to create more meaningful lives while guiding others within their family unit, improving bonds, connections, and relationships along the way (LeJeune & Luoma, 2019).

Mind the Gap

When we become disengaged from others within the family, we can lose close connections and bonds can become damaged.

This worksheet is helpful for clients wishing to identify gaps that need to be addressed and where either the wrong values have been adopted or insufficient attention is being placed on the right ones.

Parenting With Purpose

Parenting can be difficult. Therefore, it can be helpful for clients having difficulty with their children to remind themselves of their values and purpose as a parent.

In this worksheet, clients reflect on several questions, including:

What is important to me?
What am I parenting for?
What do I intend from my interactions with my children?

World’s Largest Positive Psychology Resource

The Positive Psychology Toolkit© is a groundbreaking practitioner resource containing over 500 science-based exercises, activities, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments created by experts using the latest positive psychology research.

Updated monthly. 100% Science-based.

“The best positive psychology resource out there!”
Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, Flourishing Center CEO

Meaning and Valued Living Masterclass Tools

Our Meaning and Valued Living Masterclass© offers a step-by-step virtual course that empowers coaches, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to help clients identify their core values and create meaningful lives.

The course includes three modules covering:

  • Introduction
    An in-depth explanation of positive psychology and second-wave positive psychology, providing a foundation for goal-oriented practice
  • Meaning
    Brings clarity to the complex topic of valued living and provides hands-on tools to assess and increase purpose in life
  • Valued living
    An exploration of values with a focus on helping clients discover what is important to them and how to live them

The course is self-paced and includes all that is needed to help clients, including:

  • Slide presentations
  • Worksheets
  • A handbook
  • Illustrations, exercises, and references
  • Live recordings
  • Resource recommendations
  • Train-the-trainer instructions and support materials

If you are not quite ready to embark on this incredible course, you might want to consider a collection of tools first. For science-based ways to help others discover meaning, this collection contains 17 validated meaning tools for practitioners. Use them to help others choose directions for their lives in alignment with what is truly important to them.

A Take-Home Message

By focusing on values-led decision-making and goal-driven behavior, therapists can help clients prioritize what is deeply meaningful in their lives.

These should be truly personal; they are the ways of living, behaving, and existing that are vital to the client.

Awareness and deep knowledge of values can help them reduce complexity in their day-to-day life, while boosting clarity in all they do and what they strive for when overcoming obstacles.

With this newfound knowledge, clients can create more meaningful lives and improve their relationships with others. By being increasingly authentic — more themselves — they will develop deep and enduring bonds that align with their value-led goals and decisions.

The shared worksheets provide valuable tools for increasing awareness and understanding of personal values, which can ultimately lead to more fulfilling lives. Use them to ask the right questions and reflect on what they want out of their lives.

Creating a life of flourishing requires careful consideration of values and their implementation in clients’ lives.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Meaning and Valued Living Exercises for free.

Ed: Updated Apr 2023

  • Berg, H., & Slaattelid, R. (2017). Facts and values in psychotherapy: A critique of the empirical reduction of psychotherapy within evidence‐based practice. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 23(5), 1075–1080.
  • Forsyth, J. P., & Eifert, G. H. (2016). The mindfulness & acceptance workbook for anxiety: A guide to breaking free from anxiety, phobias & worry using acceptance & commitment therapy. New Harbinger.
  • LeJeune, J., & Luoma, J. B. (2019). Values in therapy: A clinician’s guide to helping clients develop psychological flexibility and live a more meaningful life. Context Press.
  • Waldinger, R. J., & Schulz, M. S. (2023). The good life: Lessons from the world’s longest scientific study of happiness. Simon & Schuster.
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  1. Koot van Nieuwholtz

    I love short and sweetly packed bombs like this

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  2. Prof Dr.C.Karthikeyan

    Excellent matter for every human being, and thank you for initiating as well as sharing the knowledge with humility.

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