How to Create a Values Journal to Energize Your Time

By , The Time Finder Expert, Founder of Finding Time

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Paula Eder - The Time Finder Expert, Founder of Finding Time

Time management tips boost your productivity best when you create crystal clear priorities. So anchor your priorities with values, and your day will be infinitely more rewarding!

What Makes a Value a True Value?

For a value to be a true value, it must meet these seven criteria as defined by Louis Raths. Sidney Simon, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, credits Raths as “the true father of values clarification”.


  1. It must be freely chosen.


  3. It must be chosen from other alternatives.


  5. It must be chosen after deliberate reflection.


  7. It must be prized and cherished.


  9. It must be publicly affirmed.


  11. It must be acted upon repeatedly.


  13. It must be consistent with your other values.


Journal Your Way to Clearer Values with This Simple Exercise

One way to clarify your personal values is through the use of a journal. Sidney Simon calls this a “Values Journal”.


  • Over a period of three to six months, record your most important thoughts, feelings and ideas.


  • Process your entries, identify emerging and consistent patterns and write them down.


  • How do they represent your strongest and clearest values?


Writing down even one or two sentences to clarify these issues will strengthen your sense of self, and will help you make time choices you are happier with.

There are many questions you can ask yourself to help identify what’s most important. Those that present dilemmas provide some of the richest lessons. Make a list of dilemmas in which one value comes into direct conflict with another.

For example: you value boundaries, not taking what isn’t ‘yours’ – yet your baby is starving and you have absolutely no money.


  • Would you steal infant formula if it meant you could save your child’s life? Ask yourself, what is your most cherished value?



  • What consequences are you willing to endure?


  • What sacrifices are you willing to make?


  • What does this say about who you are and how you choose to live your life?


  • Are your values consistent or do you find inherent conflicts that need to be resolved?


Like a lens on a camera, such questions help you select, focus and prioritize your values by defining and refining the most significant and fundamental aspects of your life.

Taking the time to maintain a Values Journal and explore dilemmas will yield unexpected rewards. Your sense of self will strengthen along with your confidence. The more respect you accord your values, the more calmly and assertively you can set important boundaries. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to truly value your time and inspire yourself to make the best time choices ever!

Now ask yourself: How can you start clarifying your values today to find more time?

Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.  To learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey, sign up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Discover how you can find time for what matters most.

© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.

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