Adapted from the Wake Forest University Mentoring Resource Center’s National Mentoring Month 2020 web page.

As you begin a new year, this is the perfect time to get clarity around your values – those things that are most important to you in your life, that guide your decision-making and motivations – and to identify the people in your support network who can help you live out those values personally and professionally (or build new relationships with the people who you need in your network!).

Identify Your Values

Values are those things that are of importance and worth to you that guide your motivations, judgments, and behavior. Take a look at some of these sample values, and jot down a few that jump out at you, as things you think might align with who and where you are right at this moment.

list of life values










Additionally, you may want to take the Life Values Inventory a free online values clarification assessment to identify the values that most align with you.

Now take some time to consider how your values align (or don’t align) with your current job role, extracurricular activities and hobbies, life choices, friendships or relationships, future career aspirations, etc. Write down any reflections, inconsistencies, and realizations you may have.

Identify Who Can Help You Live Out Your Values

So what types of people should you be looking for to help you live out your values on a daily basis?

Let’s do some reflection on how the people in your life add or detract from your ability to live out your values consistently. And, consider any gaps in your support network.

  • Who are the people that you turn to regularly for support, feedback, advice, and wisdom? This could be family members, friends, professors, staff members, peers, etc.
  • In what ways do these people add to or detract from your ability to live your values?
  • Do the people you are spending time with feed you emotionally, intellectually, or otherwise? Or does that time drain you and leave you emotionally, intellectually, or otherwise exhausted?
  • Who else do you need in your life to provide support and wisdom?