Spiritual Zen

How to Discover Your Core Values

I want to share with you all my journaling process because I feel like sometimes we can get lost in the weeds when we are juggling a lot.(blogs, 9-5s, family, exercise, and run a house? whew!)

Also, if you feel like you’ve never simplified your gifts and core values this could be the tool you need.

First, I gather up a pen, several highlighters, and lots of paper. I typically use printer paper since I don’t always want lined paper.

This process of journaling starts in the past, the future, then the present. You could do this in almost any order but I find this works for me.

Honoring the Past:

On one sheet of paper, I write all my accomplishments out. Write as if you were bragging on your best friend. Heck yeah, Did you know the Beth earned her 7th-degree black belt WHILE pregnant? Did you know she pushed through and graduated with her degree in accounting?

Seriously brag on yourself.

From big items to small. Did you cook a meal this week? How did you handle your job? Honors English in 10th grade?

Once you have this list, its time to find the common themes that will tell you your core values and feelings. On a separate sheet of paper, write down one-word descriptors that can be applied to more than one item on the list.


Flexibility, Honesty, Kindness, Compassion, Discipline, Generosity, Devotion, Optimism, Community, Equality, Beauty, Courage, Individuality, Love.

Set these two items aside. and get a fresh piece.

I told you it takes some paper to do!

Predicting Your Future:

Keeping in mind my accomplishments and the core values and feelings associated with them I allow my self to dream big.

On another sheet of paper, I will write everything I want to do, see, or experience in my life. As if I got to the end of my life, and before I passed on to the other side someone handed me a book of everything.

This can be on more than one paper, but I usually starting with one sheet is good.

Think of it kind of like a brain dump but bigger than just the next week or month’s worth of stuff.

Example items on my list:

  • – Visit Alaska, Hawaii, Ireland, Australia, Japan
  • – Have a thriving Online Business
  • – Run 2 spiritual retreats a year
  • – Take a family vacation 1x a year
  • – Pay off Student Loan debt
  • – Buy a house
  • – Read 20 books in a year.

The items on this list should be in a similar theme as your core values and feelings.

If not, that’s okay! You can add another core value and theme to the list!

Why are we doing all this work?

To live in alignment with what important to us.

Taking Present Action:

Now you have to be honest about how you’ve been living and what changes you will need to make to live a life that is in alignment with whats important to you and your big dreams.

The hardest part of this “be honest” process is realizing what isn’t important to you and letting those things go without judgement.
If you aren’t good at being flexible, if that isn’t important to you, then let that go.

I want to stress that this is judgement free.

Its okay to not be good at or find something important. The key part here is being honest about what is in your zone so you can utilize it.

I am really good at organizing tasks, posts, calendars, and pins. You need a spreadsheet for something? I got you!
But I am not so great at the optimism part (yet).

This journaling process can take a little as a few minutes to a few months of thinking. Don’t overthink but take all the time you need.

At the end of all these lists you should have a really good idea of:

  • 1. What’s important to you. (Core Values)
  • 2. Where you’ve been and where you want to go. (Accomplishments and Dreams)
  • 3. How to use your gifts. (Present Day Actions)

Love and Light,


  • Cleo

    This is a wonderful way to journal! It has been so long since I have actually sat down and journaled. I recall many years ago I manifested my desires through journaling. I intentionally started at the back of the journal and flipped my pages opposite of normal to get into the frame of mind I needed to manifest my string desires. I’m 100% certain it worked!

  • Angela

    Thanks for the tips! I decided that 2020 is going to be the year of “no”. If it doesn’t serve me- no. If I don’t want to do something- no. No more living on other people’s terms.

  • Dori

    I’ll have to give this a try. I do love to journal. I did, recently, have an epiphany about my core values. I’ve been reading a book called “The Power of Full Engagement” and while reading a case study of someone else finding their core values, mine clicked into place. It was an amazing moment!

  • Madi Dearson

    I Loveeeeee this post so much!! first let me say Iam so excited about your goal of Run 2 spiritual retreats a year – that sounds like an amazing thing to work toward to. and I am adding this line to the quotes and affirmation I keep in my work space – To live in alignment with what important to us.. It think it’s summs up trying to live with purpose so well. Thank you for sharing this beautiful ideas.

  • Katie

    I love this idea, can’t wait to try it. I also like the honouring the past but, especially being able to recognise the good things when some other parts of my life weren’t so good.
    By the way I live in Australia. Would like to go to Alaska and Ireland too. We we ever get to travel again

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