You’ve started your search for a list of core values, and clicked in here because you were curious. Welcome!

Have you ever wondered: 

“Will a list of core values really help me determine what I hold near and dear?”

Maybe… But choosing your own is better. We’ll start there. A list of core values can help, but you’re better off discovering and determining your own values. 

In this post we’ll cover three methods for determining your core values. 

  1. Guided self reflection (don’t worry it’s easy). 
  2. Taking an online passions test. (even easier).
  3. And your last resort is looking over a list of core values (included below).

(In a hurry? download this zip for all 846 core value words in PDF, DOC, XLS, and Word Cloud formats)

You don’t need a list to determine your core values, but sometimes it can be an easier place to start. The best approach is to dig deep and discover words akin to your true purpose and what you can about most. 

Let’s get started with determining your core values. ?

What Are Core Values?

Before we dive into the 3 methods for discovery, it’s helpful to figure out what we are talking about when it comes to core values. 

It’s best to start with these three questions:

  1. What matters most to you? 
  2. What bothers you at a deep level? 
  3. What do you most want to change?

Answer these questions and you’re good right? Wrong…

“Value” is abstract, which makes it hard to boil down the your answers to the above into just a few words. You can’t touch value. You can’t see it.

Values live in your heart and mind and in the way you think about and interact with the world. 

I’ll share my top five personal core value examples later on, but core values are made up of the following:

  • Values describe how you feel about the world.
  • Things you care deeply about.
  • Fundamental beliefs you hold in your heart.
  • At their highest form, they help dictate behavior and guide decisions. 

Core values aren’t easy to determine right off the bat, but knowing what you care about most is important. Your values guide your actions, help you make big life decisions, and discover what matters most. 

You’re guided by something when you make decisions. We all are. What’s your something? Who’s behind the wheel of your decision making vehicle? 

Determining what that guide is and directing and creating your own values will lead to better outcomes. Never forget, you are in charge of your destiny and your life. You’re never stuck. 

Why Do I Need to Know Core Values?

As mentioned above, our core values guide our decision making process. You might even make your decisions from negative values of selfishness, greed, desire, or fear too.

You might not think of fear as a value, but if it guides your decision making process, even if you don’t like it, it’s still a value my friend! ?

Many of us operate out of fear, without even knowing it. But here’s the key. Once something is made known, we can change or deal with it. If you discover that you operate out of fear or anger, make it your aim to lead with hope or happiness instead. 

If you don’t know your core values, you might be living a life of fear, regret, loss, prejudice, or the false belief you aren’t special or deserving of a good life. 

Determine your core values so you live your life with them out in front, and leave behind negative decision making processes. 

Unless of course, you are hiking and see a Mountain Lion… Use your fear instinct and get the heck out of there! ?

1) How to Discover Your Personal Core Values

Core value words are best come to intuitively. The last thing you need is for someone else to tell you what you care about or believe in.

A list of core values will only get you so far. You need to feel a certain way about your words. 

But this can be tough if you aren’t a wordsmith or need to make a list of your core values for your boss or for an upcoming interview… So if you need to browse the list of words. 

Determining your own value words still takes the cake, and has the potential to impress others if that’s your aim, or become a bright beacon for personal growth. 

Describe your thoughts and experience for the following five scenarios:

  1. Picture the most vivid or exciting memory you have; what thoughts or feelings bubble to the surface?
  2. Picture the last time you got into a heated discussion or debate. Why were you so riled up?
  3. What is your strongest habit? Why?
  4. Picture your perfect day? What kinds of things do you want to experience?
  5. Lastly, (and forgive the morbidity) what do you want them to say at your funeral? How would you end this sentence: (Your name) always lived with passion for…

Using your answers from above determine your top five core value words. You can use the list of core values below to get ideas if you need ideas to get started, but first start with self reflection.

My core value examples:

  1. Hiking on Rigi Mountain in Switzerland. Value: Freedom
  2. Heated discussion about people who live their lives in comfort and don’t think outside the box. Value: Non-Conformity
  3. My strongest habit is doing something physically active each day: Value: Wellbeing
  4. My perfect day involves writing, spending time with Miranda, watching a Marvel movie, and eating a delicious meal. Value: Family.
  5. “Jordan always lived with a passion for helping people to achieve their dreams. Value: Significance. 

Freedom, non-conformity, wellbeing, family, and significance fit me extremely well in terms of core values and what I hold most dear to my heart. Feel free to steal these words and use them for yourself, but your core values probably look quite different than mine. 

2) Take a Core Values Test

This method is your second approach if you’re too busy for the above. It’s second best because you get to choose from a set of predetermined questions, but still aren’t doing as much of the thinking. 

It’s a fast way to determine and get your mind thinking about core values and life priorities, so you might even try this first and then come back to method number one above. 

Here is one test I’ve tried for determining and ranking your core values:

Personal Values Assessment | Discover Your Values: This is a good one to get started. You have to rank the items against each other. Don’t do what I did and pick 26… I had to answer far too many questions. Instead, pick your top ten and then go through the ranking process. 

Other tests exist to help, but tread carefully. Use them as a tool to get started and priming your brain to think about your values. 


3) List of Core Values + 846 Words in Clouds (Organized Alphabetically)

Top 26 list of core values

The top 26 words (best one from each letter) are as follows:

  1. Adventurous
  2. Benevolent
  3. Cheerfulness
  4. Dexterity
  5. Encouragement
  6. Flexibility
  7. Grace
  8. Heroism
  9. Ingenuity
  10. Joyful
  11. Knightly
  12. Legacy
  13. Magnanimous
  14. Nimble
  15. Optimism
  16. Patriotism
  17. Quixotic
  18. Relentlessness
  19. Security
  20. Temperance
  21. Unflappable
  22. Valor
  23. Wealth
  24. Xenomania
  25. Youthful
  26. Zappy

I’ve created a list of 800+ core values for you in alphabetical order. Browse the word cloud images at the top of the page or download this zipped doc (Zipped file of DOC, PDF, Word Cloud Images, and XLS) to print out and/or use whenever and wherever you need.)

Enjoy and thanks for reading!


PS: Before you go, sign up for your Personal Destiny Guide here. This guide comes complete with a core values worksheet where you can use the above words and methods to determine your personal core values.