Are you struggling with whether or not to do something? Sometimes it can feel like you are at a crossroad. You might feel:

• Confused about what you are feeling and why.
• Stuck in a work situation or relationship.
• Overwhelmed and stressed by recent events.

You may have blind spots that prevent you from knowing what direction to take and setting realistic goals. To get clarity, it is important for you to identify your values because they make your life more meaningful.

There are many values to choose from. These are things that make your life worthwhile and your soul sing. Here are ten values to start you thinking about what your top values might be:

Accomplishment , Adventure, Creativity, Family, Freedom, Growth, Honesty, Humor, Service, Spirituality.

If you are feeling stuck trying to make a decision, begin by listing five of your values. These are things that are necessary for you to feel life is meaningful and good.

Once you have your list of five values, complete each of the following three sentence stems three to nine times. Taking each stem, write three to nine different endings each time you say the stem. Use whatever comes to mind without judging your response. If you cannot think of something, invent a response. If you don't want to write your responses, record your sentence stems and responses.

Here are the three stems:

1. One of the things that might be important to me is.
2. One of the things I might hope for this year is...
3. One of the things I'm optimistic about is...

Now, look back or listen to your responses for each stem. Stem number one indicates your values.

Next, look to see if most of the things that are important to you are also reflected in your responses for the second and third stems. If not, what can you change or add to make what you hope for and are optimistic about reflect your values?

Then, look for a pattern or theme that might be present in one or more of the stems. What pattern do you see? If you do not see any, try writing more responses to the stems in a day or so. Sometimes this process has to be done several times for a pattern to emerge.

As you look at your responses, write down several things you learned or what surprised you. How ready are you to make your decision with what you have learned?

This may be the time to translate one or two of your hopes into goals with action steps. You can also do the same thing for one or two things you are optimistic about.

Think about who you need to support you as you move forward and complete your goal. Having someone in your life whom you trust and can discuss your action plan with helps ensure your success.

As you go through these steps you will become clearer about what your decision needs to be, beginning steps to take and who can support you as you move forward. With your values as your compass, you will live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Author's Bio: 

Maurine Patten, Ed.D., CMC, Coaching Psychologist
For more help in making decisions, see my 3 Step System to Know Yourself and Make Better Choices: Discover Your Strengths, Find the Key to Happiness and Become More Satisfied with Life, go to