Generally, people like to live a life with meaning and purpose. When these goals are met, it puts harmony in one’s life, and the others they surround themselves with.

The spiritual element of wellness can be the most personal piece of the puzzle when trying to place all seven dimensions of wellness together. Spiritual wellness is about much more than just religion. It involves seeking meaning and purpose in life as well as living intentionally, acting in line with your beliefs and core values.

Often, our spirit is the most neglected aspect of our selves. Just as we exercise to condition our bodies, a healthy spirit is nourished by purposeful living. Your core values serve as a road map to living a purposeful life.

Identifying core values

Even if you can’t name them off the top of your head, you are likely subconsciously aware of your core values. A core value is something that you believe in so strongly that you cannot imagine its absence. However, it is helpful to identify them and write them down. Clearly defining your core values makes decisions easier and life simpler. This quick activity will help you identify your core values.

Listed below are 22 common values and three blank lines. Feel free to use anything that is important to you that is not already listed. Start by choosing 10 words that you feel strongly about and write them on a piece of paper. Then, whittle it down to five. Lastly, narrow your list to three.

This may be a very tough decision, but ask yourself: What three things can you not imagine your life without? Think of life as a stool with three legs. The legs represent your core values. If you remove one leg, or value, your life would be thrown completely out of balance.

Examples of core values

  • Authenticity
  • Care
  • Education
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Happiness
  • Hope
  • Influence
  • Integrity
  • Joy
  • Justice
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Power
  • Recognition
  • Security
  • Service
  • Status
  • Success
  • Truth
  • Wealth
  • Wisdom
  • ______________________
  • ______________________
  • ______________________

Core values help serve as your internal compass for life. Our actions are guided by our values, whether or not we are aware of it. Acting in line with your core values is not always easy. But no matter what challenges you face, your core values will lead you to know what to do.


Challenge yourself to make YOU a priority! SEVEN is a free program from Health Promotion and Wellness for students, faculty, and staff that focuses on the importance of the seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environment, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. SEVEN runs from September to the end of April, and you can join at any time. Log wellness activities to earn points toward monthly prize drawings. Participants also receive the SEVEN newsletter and information on campus wellness events.

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