Module 5: Values and Committed Action
Using the Weekly Rating Sheet, please rate how well your life is working.
What was your experience of practicing the Observer Self exercises?
If you did not do any practice exercises, what thoughts or feelings got in the way?
1. Values are what we care most about in our hearts. They are different from goals because goals can be completed and marked off a list, but values are always there to guide us. They are like points on a compass.
2. Values are about how we want to act, not how we want to feel or think. There are no “right” or “wrong” values. We all get to choose what we care the most about in life, and we don’t all have to have the same values.
Please take a look at the worksheet “Reflecting on Your Values” for help with figuring out some of your values.
Reflecting on Your Values
Below is a list of values. As you read through them, please circle the ones that are most important to you. Or, you may want to circle all the ones that are even somewhat important, and then go back and star the ones that are most important. There are many other values besides the ones listed here. We encourage you to list any other values that come to mind that you don’t see on the list.
Remember, values are about desired, ongoing action. They describe HOW we want to live our life. They are not about accomplishing a specific goal or achieving a certain level of “success”. We can’t always control whether or not we meet our goals, but we can choose to act according to our values even if our goals are not met. In addition, values are about our own actions, not the actions of others. So, for example, if you decide that “Compassion” is one of your values, your focus should be on you acting compassionately toward other people and toward yourself, not having other people be compassionate to you (although that would be nice!)
3. Committed action means living in line with our values even when we have difficult thoughts and feelings.
4. It takes careful planning to set the right goals, and it often takes mindfulness and defusion skills to follow through on those goals in the face of painful thoughts and feelings.
Practice New Skills:
Please take a look at “My Action Plan.” Begin by thinking of a small but specific goal that you would like to set. It’s best to choose one you can realistically accomplish between now and the next module, so you can reflect on how things turned out.
My Action Plan
Set a SMART goal (Specific, Meaningful, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-specific): Ex, Between now and the next module, I will call one friend and ask if they are available to meet for lunch next week.
This goal is meaningful to me because I value: ___
These are the uncomfortable or painful thoughts and feelings I’m willing to make room for in order to reach my goal: ___
If these uncomfortable or painful thoughts and feelings show up, these are some skills I can use to deal with them effectively: ___
I am willing to take the first small step toward this goal on this day and at this time: ___
Between now and the next module, if you are willing…
1. Try your best to follow through on your Action Plan.
2. If you need more help, you may also want to read the article “Ten Tips for Motivating Yourself to Practice New Skills or Pursue Important Goals” by Russ Harris. Don’t worry if you don’t reach your target. We’re not aiming for perfection, just for trying our best. Whatever happens, continue to the next module.